Thursday, November 1, 2012

OSEP Wants You! Seeking Input Re Results Driven Accountability

Seal of the United States Department of Education
Seal of the United States Department of Education (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Office of Special Education Programs is the arm of the federal government that oversees special education. OSEP is currently seeking input regarding changes in their monitoring system.

OSEP has determined to switch to a results driven accountability system from whatever the previous system was. These changes sometimes make me nervous, but the concept of focusing on outcomes for kids with disabilities seems really good.

In pursuit of this goal, OSEP has posted a series of questions seeking comments from stakeholders.  If you feel strongly about special education, you should comment.  This is your chance to provide your input, and I strongly believe that OSEP will consider your input carefully.  They may not agree, but you will be heard.

The current question seeks comments concerning the core principles that OSEP has developed internally to guide its process toward results driven accountability.  Here are the principles:

The following core principles underlie and will guide OSEP’s RDA work:
  1. OSEP is developing the RDA system in partnership with our stakeholders.
  2. The RDA system is transparent and understandable to states and the general public, especially individuals with disabilities and their families.
  3. The RDA system drives improved outcomes for all children and youth with disabilities regardless of their age, disability, race/ethnicity, language, gender, socioeconomic status, or location.
  4. The RDA system ensures the protection of the individual rights of each child or youth with a disability and their families, regardless of his/her age, disability, race/ethnicity, language, gender, socioeconomic status, or location.
  5. The RDA system provides differentiated incentives, supports, and interventions based on each state’s unique strengths, progress, challenges, and needs.
  6. The RDA system encourages states to direct their resources to where they can have the greatest positive impact on outcomes and the protection of individual rights for all children and youth with disabilities, and minimizes state burden and duplication of effort.
  7. The RDA system is responsive to the needs and expectations of the ultimate consumers (i.e., children and youth with disabilities and their families) as they identify them.

You can and should let OSEP know what you think on this website. You can review the core principles here. You can review the previous four questions and resulting comments at these websites: one, two, three and four.

Let me know what you think of the RDA process.
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  1. Thank you for sharing the office of Special Education Program process on Response Driven Accountability. This is the first time I have heard of that the U.S. Department of Education is seeking comments. Will share with education and disability rights communities: School ;

  2. Thanks EH5A,

    Please also spread the word about this blog and it free subscriptions. We provided an impartial view of special ed law and always share available resources.



  3. From a recent comment on a Dianne Ravitch blog post, "Undermining Special Education"

    "DoEd will reform (translation: eliminate) OSEP’s compliance procedures assuring IDEA and special education IEPs are effectively working for children with disabilities. OSEP director Melodie Musgrove told us at the Council for Exceptional Children’s international convention (CEC) in April, 2012 that they will be monitoring “achievement data” (translation: standardized test scores) from Washington and cutting back on state compliance officers (translation: firing). Her “vision” for OSEP is “results driven accountability” and to “reward teachers who work with sped students.” (translation: TfA exploiting the SPED teacher shortage).

    OSEP’s shift from compliance to monitoring sets back 40 years of special education progress in assuring all schools provide a free appropriate public education for children with disabilities.

    Musgrove signaled that DoEd and OSEP would essentially ignore IEP violations.
    This is a huge gift to the for-profits. Shifting away from school compliance on IEPs means schools will not be accountable to parents or teachers for providing individualized educational services. You know, all those expensive services like smaller class groupings, collaborative teaching, inclusion, transportation, psychological support, speech therapy, OT, PT, etc. that the profiteers don’t want to pay for.

    Musgrove said we could call her anytime a 205-245-8020 or e-mail her at She added, we might not like what we hear…

    If you are the parent or child of a child with special needs, or if you care about children with special needs, you should get in touch with Musgrove."

  4. Anon,

    I encourage you to let OSEP know how you feel.

    Thanks for the comment,