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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"


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


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.


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 assessment or you can have pedagogical nihilism. People have a vision of touchy feeling education, but it is really about priorities, you have to pick one set over another. Ed Policy should be outcomes based, i.e. data driven.



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 denied a FAPE with no side effects.

My son currently has an overall 98.3 GPA. His Spanish grade is above 100 due to extra credit earned. That requires ongoing good memory.

Memory has its place in education but should never replace education.