Why does California collect information about Early Childhood Outcomes?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act 2004 (IDEA) included a heightened emphasis on accountability, focusing on improving educational results for children with disabilities. IDEA 2004 directs states to develop a State Performance Plan (SPP) and to submit Annual Performance Reports (APRs) related to the Indicators specified in the SPP. Each SPP Indicator contains information such as baseline data and measurable and rigorous targets. Indicator 7, Preschool Assessment, of the SPP focuses on measurement of skills of preschool children with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) in three specific outcome areas. Since 2007, Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAS) have reported (CDE/SED) on preschool-aged children’s progress by implementing the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) assessment. DRDP data is used for the SPP/APR reporting according to the requirements of the federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). This document describes the relationship between the DRDP and the SPP/APR.
What is the Preschool Assessment Indicator of the SPP/APR?
Each year the CDE, SED reports on Indicator 7, Preschool Assessment, of the SPP to OSEP. OSEP then determines how well the state’s programs have helped children in early childhood special education programs make progress in three key outcome areas of early learning and development. The CDE, SED uses the information to determine whether local school district programs are making a positive difference for young children in California and their families. The three key outcome areas measured in Indicator 7 are:
- OSEP 1: Social relationships, which includes getting along with other children and relating well with adults,
- OSEP 2: Use of knowledge and skills, which refers to thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, and early literacy and math skills, and
- OSEP 3: Taking action to meet needs, which includes feeding, dressing, self-care, and following rules related to health and safety.
Source: The Early Childhood Outcomes Center (http://ectacenter.org/eco/assets/pdfs/childoutcomeshighlights.pdf)
What information fulfills the requirements for Indicator 7?
In California, SELPAs report DRDP (2015) assessment data to the CDE (SED) through the California Special Education Management Information System (CASEMIS) for all 3, 4 and 5 year old children with IEPs1 (not in transitional kindergarten or kindergarten) each fall and spring. This data is used to fulfill the OSEP requirements for Indicator 7.
The DRDP (2015) is a developmental continuum for children birth through five years of age and is comprised of developmental domains representing important areas of learning and development for young children along which children’s skills are measured. Administering the DRDP (2015) twice a year provides a picture of how the child functions over time.
Note: Currently, the DRDP access instrument is used for reporting. In the Fall 2015, the CDE, SED will replace the DRDP access with the DRDP (2015) for special education. Data from the DRDP access and DRDP (2015) will be used to fulfill the Indicator 7 reporting requirements for the 2016 and 2017 APR.
How is DRDP (2015) data aligned to the Indicator 7 Outcome Areas?
The DRDP (2015) developmental domains are grouped to align to the three Indicator 7 child Outcomes. Figure 1 above illustrates this alignment.
How is DRDP (2015) data used to measure progress?
In each of the OSEP Outcomes, DRDP data is used to establish “entry” and “exit” scores for every child by comparing the child’s DRDP data at the time of entry into preschool special education services to the data at exit from preschool special education. The steps in this process are: DRDP access data (and beginning fall of 2015 DRDP (2015) data) are compiled to create a single longitudinal DRDP data set. These data are reviewed to identify an “entry” assessment for every child. The CDE, SED reviews the DRDP data in CASEMIS to identify children who have exited preschool special education. The most recent DRDP assessment is used as the “exit” assessment. “Entry” and “exit” DRDP assessments are paired and extracted for the Indicator 7 analyses.
For more information about Indicator 7 of the SPP, visit these websites:
- The U.S. Department of Education at http://www2.ed.gov/fund/data/report/idea/sppapr.html
- The California Department of Education at http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/se/ds/leadatarpts.asp
- The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center at http://ectacenter.org/
- The Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems at http://dasycenter.org/