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Pass or Fail? Check Your School District’s 2008 Report Card

by Wrightslaw

In July, US DOE reported that only thirteen states met their own “self-imposed” requirements for educating children with disabilities. Not very promising, but a slight improvement from 2007 when only nine states met their requirements.

IDEA 2004 established a requirement that all states develop and submit a State Performance Plan (SPP) to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

The state plan should:

  1. evaluate the state’s implementation of IDEA
  2. describe how the state will improve implementation, and
  3. indicate how the state will improve the educational and functional outcomes for children with disabilities, using baseline data, projected targets, and activities to achieve those targets.

Each state is required to submit an Annual Performance Report (APR) on the performance of each of its local agencies according to the targets in its Plan (SPP).

Each state is required to post its Performance Plan SPP on the state education website and is required to annually report its progress to OSEP and the public.

Last year when State Report Cards were released, we questioned what would happen. Would schools take the data to heart and use it to improve performance?

The 2008 Report Cards on state performance released in July indicated:

  • 8 states “Need Improvement”
  • 23 states remain on the “Need Improvement” list for the 2nd consecutive year
  • 4 states “Need Intervention”
  • 3 states remain on the “Need Intervention” list for the 2nd consecutive year

Read more about the IDEA 2004 requirement for State Performance Plans. IDEA Report Cards

Do you know your state’s performance? Pass or fail? Find your state’s Report Card here.

Individual state letters can be found here:

To find the specific data for your state and your school district, go to your State Department of Education or simply google “[your state name] state performance plan”.

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14 Comments on "Pass or Fail? Check Your School District’s 2008 Report Card"

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01/20/2009 12:37 pm

All I have to say is, This website is God sent. Thank you very much. I need some help and found it.

12/26/2008 11:51 pm

The Special Education Performance Report for Virginia state and division levels has not been posted for the public for year 2007-08. Pam, shouldn’t this be available by now?

The VDOE says they are still collecting and compiling (making the numbers come out right, maybe?) and it will be available in spring 2009. If this were the general report, it would not be tolerated being this late.

12/03/2008 11:29 am

Re: Teaching to the Test

If the (fill in your appropriate state assessment) is based upon state standards (a criterion referenced test) and we’re teaching to the test, aren’t we teaching the state standards…even if weakly?

You can’t have a focus on achievement without assessment (and lots of it). This has long been true in other industrialized countries: Le Bac, A-Levels, the Abitour. These are high stakes tests (much higher than in our country) and are all anxiety producing. As a whole this is eustress and not distress.

Make up your minds. You can have a focus on achievement without lots of burdensome… Read more »

12/02/2008 11:09 pm


Memorization is a good learning strategy.
My son was an A student in all subjects including band. The day that he was placed on an IEP, we were informed that he could no longer participate in Band, P.E. ride the bus or attend assemblies. His placement was eventually changed to home based which then changed to home based with no teacher provided.

After multiple consecutive years of exclusion from educational services and a documented 34 point decrease in IQ, the district’s only goal in having my son memorize the answers to the test was to demonstrate that a child can be… Read more »

11/30/2008 4:04 pm

Re: Teaching to the Test con’t

When we found out what was happening in the classroom, my DH reassured our son that his grade for the yr did not depend on this particular series of tests – that it was a test for the school district to show how well they were doing their job.

Once that pressure was removed from his shoulders, our son relaxed. In the end, he did very well on the 2nd grade test. This yr’s tests are the biggies, so we expect the same kind of pressure.

I understand that there are high standards… Read more »

11/30/2008 3:51 pm

Re: Teaching to the Test

What I mean by this is the district spends an extraordinary amount of time on drilling the kids to pass this test so the school can meet the NCLB standards. The time spent is at least a month.

While I don’t have a problem spending a wk doing practice tests so the kids know how to fill in an oval w/ a # 2 pencil, I do have a problem w/ my 2nd grade son having HW based upon this test & being anxious that he HAS to do well on the test. … Read more »

11/30/2008 3:39 pm

I find this website to be fantastic. I live in Ontario canada. can you give me somewhere to go for Canadian info. I have find some very good places in my area from this website camps and one school. That I plan to look into. Thank -you so very much.

Nancy CJ

11/26/2008 7:34 pm

Good teachers teach kids how to learn as opposed to having them memorize specific information.

My child’s school district used a lot of creativity in justifying denial of a FAPE for multiple consecutive years.

My child took the HSAP (High school exit exam) at home due to the educational arrangements at the time. The district sent out a school psychologist during the week before the test. The psychologist brought a copy of the test with answers so my child could “practice” the type of questions that would be on the test.

We did not allow our child to practice because we were not… Read more »

11/26/2008 5:03 am

My home state of NJ may pass IDEA standards, but at the expense of children, starting in the 2nd grade, spending months out of the school year “cramming” for the state tests. They are teaching to the test rather than just teaching.

The state of NJ also needs to define what a gifted & talented program should be; right now all school districts are required to have a G&T program, but there is NO definition of what a G&T program should include.

11/21/2008 10:35 pm

Wouldn’t it be nice if the real world worked the way that our parents taught us when we were growing up?

Passing grades leads to privileges. Schools that do not have passing grades should devote most or all their travel/conference funds to areas of identified weaknesses.

When the school earns a passing grade, conferences at vacation resorts could resume for the district admins. Why should they be allowed to travel while our kid’s education is going nowhere?

It is a simple ABA technique. Do not allow them access to rein forcers until they demonstrate appropriate behaviors. Once they learn that they can gain… Read more »

11/21/2008 1:28 pm

Great information. Thanks for posting this.