Making Connections Across Indicators to Improve Post-School Outcomes:


Early State Efforts

Making Connections Across Indicators to Improve Post-School Outcomes: Early State Efforts

Prepared by
Cathy Hammond, Ph.D.
Loujeania Williams Bost, Ph.D.

National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities (NDPC-SD) In partnership with the National Post-School Outcomes Center (NPSO) University of Oregon • March 2008

Acknowledgments
The authors are indebted to the individuals from universities and state offices in Alabama, Indiana, New York, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin who generously shared their time, expertise, insights, and materials on the four transition indicators in the development of this document. Their assistance made this document possible, particularly the contributions of:

  • Karen Rabren and George Hall from Auburn University in Alabama
  • Teresa Grossi from Indiana University and Adam Bauserman from Ball State University in Indiana
  • Doris Jamison and Joanne LaCrosse from the New York SEA
  • Debby Norris from the Texas SEA
  • Cinda Johnson and Lisa Scheib from Seattle University in Washington
  • Mary Kampa and Lynese Gulczynski from the Wisconsin SEA

We also thank Merry P. Chrestman of the National Dropout Prevention Center and Elizabeth Hilst from the National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities for their expertise in the design and editing of this document. We would additionally like to thank our OSEP project officer, Dr. Selete Avoke, for his continued leadership and support of the Center's work.

The information contained in this guide is copyright free. Readers are encouraged to copy and share it, but please credit the National Post-School Outcomes Center, http://www.psocenter.org. This document was prepared by the National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities at Clemson University, South Carolina, under contract with the National Post-School Outcomes Center, Eugene, Oregon, (funded by Cooperative Agreement Number H324S040002) with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. This document has been reviewed by Selete Avoke, NPSO and NDPC-SD Project Officer, U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Department of Education nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education.


Making Connections Across Indicators to Improve Post-School Outcomes: Early State Efforts

Introduction to This Guide
Exploring relationships between the quality of students' transition planning, how they exit school, and their early experiences after leaving school is critical to improving student post-school outcomes. Some former students may be less likely to experience successful outcomes than others. As patterns in outcomes are identified, relationships between post-school outcomes and high school IEP goals, transition planning, and services can be explored to pinpoint areas needing improvement. Based on such analyses, states and LEAs can then modify practices or policies, or reallocate technical assistance (TA) and resources to target problem areas and/or high-risk student subgroups.

States are collecting and analyzing data on these relationships through requirements for Part B State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR) Indicators 1 (graduation), 2 (dropout), 13 (secondary transitions), and 14 (post-school outcomes). This online guide is intended to help states and districts collect this information and begin to look at relationships across these transition-related indicators. This guide provides insights, resources, and materials from six states (Alabama, Indiana, New York, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin1 ) that have begun examining their data to identify relationships across these indicators.

This guide is part of the National Post-School Outcomes Center's series on Strategies for Reporting and Using Post-School Outcomes Data. It is not intended to be an exhaustive review of how to collect data on these indicators or how to analyze resulting data for the purposes of a state's SPP/APR or local reporting. Instead, the guide includes descriptive accounts of how these six states have begun to display, analyze, and apply these data in their states.

Organization of the Guide
This online guide is designed to be interactive. The guide is divided into two main sections and six subsections so states can review sections most relevant to their needs. Section I describes data collection requirements and options for the four indicators and includes examples from the six states. Section II focuses on ways to analyze the connections across indicators with guiding questions and analysis examples from the six states. These states have also identified ways that their data have been used to impact state policy and practice. The two final sections, Sections III and IV, include additional resources and references.

Links within sections and subsections go to relevant Web sites or back to the Additional Resources or Reference sections of the guide. Web links to materials and resources are provided in Section III. References used to compile the document appear in Section IV.


1Unless otherwise noted, detailed information on what the six contacted states are doing in relation to these four transition indicators was collected during phone conversations and follow-up emails with the following staff: Alabama (AL): Karen Rabren, August 21, 2007, with assistance from George Hall; Indiana (IN): Teresa Grossi, August 27, 2007, with follow-up with Adam Bauserman; New York (NY): Doris Jamison, Joanne LaCrosse, Wendy Latimer, and Cynthia Wilson, August 8, 2007; Texas (TX): Debby Norris and Carla Johnson, August 8, 2007; Washington (WA): Cinda Johnson, August 7, 2007, with assistance from Lisa Scheib; and Wisconsin (WI): Mary Kampa and Linda Maiterjean, August 22, 2007, with assistance from Lynese Gulczynski.  Throughout the guide, contributions of each of the six states are noted in parenthesis after relevant text by the state abbreviations noted above. Graphics included are derived from actual state data or, if state data were not available, prototypes were developed for the purposes of this guide.

I. Data Collection on the Four Transition Indicators

In order to gain knowledge about trends on the four indicators, adequate, quality data needs to be collected. This section of the guide helps states plan for data collection and analysis of these indicators, including:

  • Overview of data collection requirements
  • Options for additional data collection
  • Examples of how six states are collecting these data

A. Tracking Transition Outcomes: Requirements and Options

This section focuses on data collection for the four transition indicators and outlines the types of data that states are required to or may opt to collect. Examples of graphic displays developed by states to analyze these data are also included.

B. State Examples of Data Collection on Transition Indicators 13 and 14

Ways in which Alabama, Indiana, New York, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin are collecting data for Indicators 13 and 14 are described in this section and links to online examples are provided.

II. Making Connections Across Indicators to Understand Trends

The first step in transition indicator data analysis is to identify trends in graduation, dropout, IEPs and transition services, and post-school outcomes. This section helps states get started on these types of analyses by providing:

  • Guiding questions for
    • analysis of indicator data
    • exploring connections between indicators
    • reporting findings
  • Examples of ways the six states have analyzed connections between indicators
  • Sample state visual displays
  • Examples of ways findings have impacted states' policy and practice

A. Making Connections Across Indicators in Analysis and Reporting

This section helps states start data analysis by providing guiding questions for analysis of all indicators as well as some specific to Indicator 14, with examples of analysis from Alabama, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

B. Making Connections Between Demographic Characteristics and Post-School Outcomes

Not all former students will have the same post-school experiences and some groups may be consistently less likely to experience successful outcomes than others. This section helps LEAs and schools examine differences in post-school outcomes across demographic groups by providing guiding questions and examples of analyses from Wisconsin, Washington, and New York.

C. Making Connections Between Graduation, Dropping Out and Post-School Outcomes

How a student exits school may have an impact on their experiences after leaving school. This section helps LEAs and schools to examine these connections by providing guiding questions and descriptions of how staff in Indiana, Washington, New York, and Alabama have analyzed and used findings to impact policy and practice.

D. Making Connections Between Transition Planning and Post-School Outcomes

A key to understanding post-school outcomes is to explore the relationship between a student's IEP goals, transition planning, and services and what happens to a student after they leave school. This section includes guiding questions and examples of analysis and the impact of findings on policy and practice from New York, Wisconsin, Washington, and Texas.

III. Additional Resources

The following are additional resources to assist with data collection or with modifications of practices or policies and include:

IV. References

The following materials, publications, and resources are referenced in the guide.

Bost, L. (2006, September). Sharing the findings. PowerPoint presentation by the National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities at the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center's "Making the Connection" Forum, Denver, CO. Available online at http://www.ndpc-sd.org/documents/NSTTAC/
2006_NSTTAC_Denver_forum/NSTTAC_Presentation--20060920.pdf

Bost, L., Falls, J., Klare, M., & Test, D. (2007). Moving the measurement of secondary transition related Part B indicators through collection of reliable and accurate data, analysis, and use of results. PowerPoint presentation for the Overlapping Part B and Part C Data Meetings. Washington, DC: National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities, National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center, National Post School Outcomes Center.

Brauen, M. (2006, July). Post-school outcome data collection and use: Questions state data managers should ask. Eugene, OR: National Post-School Outcomes Center, University of Oregon.

Johnson, C. (2007, June). Post-school outcomes data collection and use: Teachers as partners. Eugene, OR: National Post-School Outcomes Center, University of Oregon.

Johnson, C., Hasko, D., & Scheib, L. (2005, July). Post-school status report: 2004 special education graduates. Seattle, WA: Center for Change in Transition Services, Seattle University.

Levay, R. D. (2002, March). Destination success for students with disabilities. PowerPoint presentation, Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities, New York State Education Department.

New York State Education Department (NYSED). (2006, May). High school preparedness & post school outcomes: What makes a difference? PowerPoint presentation on the New York State Post School Indicators Study by the Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities.

New York State Education Department (NYSED). (2005, May). NYS schools make a difference to students with disabilities through transition planning and services. PowerPoint presentation on the NYSED Longitudinal PSI Study Preliminary Data, Senior Class 2001 - Three Years Out, by the Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities.

New York State Education Department (NYSED). (n.d.). The post school status of former special education students in the Big Five Cities: Transition planning, PowerPoint presentation by the Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities, Retrieved October 19, 2007 from http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/specialed/transition/rp0299/word/0299rr4.htm#Figure%2010 External Web Document

Rabren, K., Dunn, C., & Chambers, D. (2002). Predictors of post-high school employment among young adults with disabilities. CDEI, Spring, 25, 1, pp. 25-40. Available online from http://www.psocenter.org/Docs/state_info/articles/bamaarticles.html External Web Document

Reder, N. (2006, November). Post-school outcomes data collection and use: Questions state directors of special education should ask. Eugene, OR: National Post-School Outcomes Center, University of Oregon.

Sheperd, B., Jamison, D., & Turbett, J. P. (2006, March). 2006 National forum on post-school outcomes: Using the data to inform state and local practices. PowerPoint presentation, Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities, New York State Education Department and SUNY at Potsdam for the 2006 National Forum on Post-School Outcomes, Portland, OR.

Wagner, M., Newman, L., Cameto, R., Garza, N., & Levine, P. (2005). After high school: A first look at the postschool experiences of youth with disabilities. A report from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2). Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.

Wisconsin Post High School Outcomes Survey (WPHSOS). (2006, August). Wisconsin statewide and LEA post high school outcomes: 2006, Year 6 statewide summary report of 2004-05 exiters. Turtle Lake, WI: CESA #11, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.