I. Data Collection on the Four Transition Indicators
A. Tracking Transition Outcomes: Requirements and Options
Collecting information about how various groups of students transition from high school to their postsecondary lives can help to improve programs so all students transition successfully. Data collected on these transitions can provide valuable information for improvement planning and initiatives. With valid and reliable data, states can target improvement activities toward students, schools, and districts with the most need.
The four transition indicators-PART B SPP/APR Indicators 1, 2, 13, and 14-required by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) can help states collect data on important aspects of student transitions. These indicators require data collection on the percentage of youth with IEPs who:
- Drop out
- Have coordinated measurable goals and reasonable transition services in their IEPs
- Are competitively employed and/or enrolled in some type of postsecondary school
To help guide decisions on what data to collect, this section includes:
- Requirements for data collection on indicators
- Suggestions for optional data collection
- Examples of data displays to use for data analysis and reporting, developed by staff in Alabama (AL), New York (NY), Washington State (WA), and at the National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities (NDPC-SD)
For further information on requirements for these indicators, please go to the Part B Indicator Measurement Table (http://www.rrfcnetwork.org/content/view/490/47/ ) or to the Part B State SPP and APR Indicator Support Grid (11/9/07) (http://www.rrfcnetwork.org/images/stories/FRC/spp_mat/2007_Nov/b%20indicator%20support%20grid%
Indicator 1: The percent of youth with IEPs graduating from high school with a regular diploma compared to percent of all youth in the state graduating with a regular diploma (Figure A-1)
- Collect and report graduation rates annually for students with disabilities who graduate with a regular diploma in the same way as rates are reported for all youth in the state graduating with a regular diploma
- Exclude students who graduate with alternative types of diplomas, e.g., IEP Diplomas or Certificates of Completion, from graduation rates
- Provide the numbers used to calculate the percentage, including the number in the numerator and the denominator (numerator = # of youth with IEPs graduating with regular diploma/ denominator = total # of youth with IEPs)
- Compare rates for special education to general education students to identify performance gaps between youth with IEPs and the general education population (Bost et al., 2007)
- Disaggregate graduates by type of diploma received to look for patterns over time
Figure A-1. Alabama Display Example for Indicators 1 and 2: Percentage of Alabama
Post-School Survey Respondents by Exit Status and Year, 1996-2006
Note: Ten years of data collected on former students through the Alabama Post-School Survey conducted for the Alabama Student Tracking System one year after exit, with nonrepresentative samples of special education school leavers (exiters). Number of students in survey sample by year, beginning with 1996: 71, 266, 363, 357, 362, 634, 562, 382, 538, 405, and 523.
Source: Data are from the Alabama Post-School Survey of school leavers, 1996-2006, K. Rabren and G. Hall, Alabama transition Leaderhsip Institute, Auburn University, 2007
Indicator 2: The percent of youth with IEPs dropping out of high school compared to the percent of all youth in the state dropping out of high school (Figure A-2)
- Collect and report dropout rates annually for students with disabilities in the same way as dropout rates are reported for all youth in the state
- Exclude from dropout rates students who left school because of death or that they reached the maximum age for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004)
- Provide the numbers used to calculate the percentage, including the number in the numerator and the denominator (numerator = # of youth with IEPs who dropped out/ denominator = total # of youth with IEPs)
- Compare dropout rates for special education to general education students to identify performance gaps between youth with IEPs and the general education population (Bost et al., 2007)
- Ensure consistent data by cleaning up the state's exit codes (e.g., dropped out, graduated, moved) and instituting systems and/or procedures to locate youth who have moved or transferred from the district (Bost et al., 2007)
- Collect information on reasons youth drop out (through exit or post-school outcome surveys) to identify areas to target for improvement
Figure A-2. New York display example for Indicator 2: Percent of [New York] students with disabilities who dropped out, 1999-2000.
Note: "Dropouts" include the percentage of students with disabilities who exited school without graduating during the 1999-2000 school year.
Source: Data are from the New York State Education Department Longitudinal Post School Indicators Study survey, 1999-2000. Adapted from "Destination Success for Students with Disabilities," PowerPoint presentation, Slide # 7, by R. D. Levay, Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities, New York State Education Department, March 20, 2002.
Indicator 13: The percent of youth aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes coordinated, measurable, annual IEP goals and transition services that will reasonably enable the child to meet the postsecondary goals (Figure A-3)
- Collect a sample of IEPs of students aged 16 or older annually and report the total percentage of these students' IEPs that include ALL FOUR of the following:
- Measurable postsecondary goals
- Related annual IEP goals
- Related transition services
- Age-appropriate transition assessment
- Provide the numbers used to calculate the percentage, including the number in the numerator and the denominator (numerator = # of youth 16 and older with IEP with ALL required elements/denominator = total # of youth 16 and older with IEPs)
- Report percentages based on results from the review of individual IEPs, not district averages
- Report separately the percentages of IEPs that meet each component requirement in your state's checklist, in addition to the overall percentage meeting all requirements (Bost et al., 2007)
- Collect data on high school work experiences to assess whether these experiences impact dropout or the type of diploma a student receives
- Compare the types of diplomas (e.g., regular, occupational, certificate) received by students with IEPs with required elements to the types received by students whose IEPs did not have IEPs with required elements, to explore whether having required IEP elements contribute to graduating with a regular diploma
- Compare the percentages of students who graduated who had IEPs with required elements to the percentage of students who graduated who did not have IEPs with required elements, to explore whether having required IEP elements contributes to graduation
Figure A-3. Display example for Indicator 13: Constructed example of percentage of 16-year-olds and older with required IEP elements, 2005-2007.
Note: Prototype date used to construct a model chart.
Source: C. Hammond and L. Bost, National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities (NDPC-SD), Clemson University, 2007.
Indicator 14: The percent of youth who had IEPs, are no longer in secondary school and who have been competitively employed, enrolled in some type of postsecondary school, or both, within one year of leaving high school (Figure A-4)
- Report the percentage of all youth, or percentage from a sampling of these youth, who had IEPs and are no longer in secondary school
- Describe the sampling methodology including how you will assess the representiveness of the sample
- Collect data from those who left school during the prior school year by graduating, dropping out, reaching the maximum age of eligibility for services, or leaving with other certificate or completion document
- Collect data annually between April and September
- Collectively report the total percentage of school leavers (exiters) who are:
- Competitively employed; or
- Enrolled in postsecondary school; or
- Both competitively employed and enrolled in postsecondary school
- Report definitions used for "competitive employment" and "postsecondary school" (Part B Indicator Measurement Table http://www.rrfcnetwork.org/content/view/490/47/)
- Provide the numbers used to calculate the percentage, including the number in the numerator and the denominator (numerator = # of youth with IEPs who are no longer in secondary school, who have been competitively employed, enrolled in some type of postsecondary school, or both, within one year of leaving high school/ denominator = total # of youth with IEPs who are no longer in secondary school)
- Ensure that the data is valid and reliable
- Assess whether the respondents to the state survey are representative of the original target population using the NPSO Response Calculator (http://www.psocenter.org/collecting.html#samp )
- Report separately the percentages of school leavers (exiters) competitively employed, enrolled in postsecondary school, or both competitively employed and enrolled in postsecondary school since leaving high school
- Include additional questions in the post-school outcomes survey on the following:
- Reasons dropouts left without getting a diploma (AL, IN, NY, TX)
- Ways that schools could have kept students from dropping out (NY)
- Whether students had a job while in high school (AL, IN, NY, TX, WI)
- Current living situation (IN, TX, WA, WI)
- Post-school connections or contacts with adult service agencies (IN, NY, TX, WA, WI)
- Compare post-school outcomes of (1) graduates with different types of diplomas and (2) dropouts to identify groups that may need to be targeted for special assistance and/or programming
Figure A-4. Washington display example for Indicator 14: Reported post-school outcomes of Washington graduates, 2004-2006
Note: Includes graduates only for this survey year. Employed: Employment (competitive or supported) and military; Postsecondary education: 4-year, 2-year, or vocational/technical college, excluding noncollege training/education programs; Engaged: Currently in post-high school education or training program (including postsecondary education), working, or both. Total number of surveys: 2004 - 2,962; 2005 - 3,180; and 2006 - 3,317.
Source. Data are from the 2006 Washington Post-School Status of Special Education Students Survey, C. Johnson and L. Scheib, Center for Change in Transition Services, Seattle University, 2007.
Data Collection Options for All Indicators
The following options suggest data collection that can be carried out for any one of the four transition indicators.
- Tie student demographic characteristics (particularly gender, race/ethnicity, and type of disability) to these data, where possible, to enable comparisons in dropout rates across groups
- Compare post-school outcomes across LEAs to identify districts to target for technical assistance
- Compare post-school outcomes across different types of communities (urban, suburban, and rural) or income level (percentage in Free and Reduced Price Lunch Program or community census data) to identify communities where special assistance may be needed
- Develop graphic displays to show trends across indicators, like the examples provided in this section (e.g., Figures A-1 - A-4 and Table A-1)
Display Example for Indicators 1, 2, 13, & 14: Transition Outcomes Summary
|Indicator #1 Graduation Rate (population)
||Indicator #2 Dropout Rate (population)
||Indicator #13 Quality Individual IEPs (IEP sample size)
||Indicator #14 Post-School Outcome (population or student sample size)
% Measurable postsecondary goals
% Related annual IEP goals
% Related transition services
% Age-appropriate transition assessment
% That include all four required elements
% Parent-student consent for interagency* collaboration
% Course of study*
% Competitively Employed
% Enrolled in postsecondary school
% Both competitively employed & enrolled in postsecondary school
% Competitively employed, enrolled in postsecondary school, and/or both
*Optional, but not required.