USDOE is required to review and grade each state on how well it complies with Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). In the last two years, USDOE has stricter measures to assess compliance with IDEA and ESEA by each state.
“Previously, states were graded based on their adherence to procedural requirements like completing evaluations or due process hearings. Now, however, federal officials are taking into account student performance and functional outcomes for kids with disabilities in addition to compliance.”
(Disabilityscoop, November 20, 2015, see separate post on USDOE ranks states in this blog.)
Utah is ranked as “Needs Assistance”
Utah Office of Education (USOE) implemented a plan to bring Utah into compliance with IDEA/ESEA The following two statements are found in the Utah State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP), April 2015.
“Utah’s 2013–2014 SAGE tests show 42.2% of students without disabilities in grades three through eight and ten were proficient in mathematics, but just 12.9% of students with disabilities were proficient: a 29.3% achievement gap. To address this achievement gap, the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) brought together a variety of education and community stakeholders to create the FFY 2013 State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) Phase I.”
“This document represents Utah’s Phase I plan for the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP), and describes the state system and its capacity to assist Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to develop the needed capacity to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. These improvement efforts align with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The success of the SSIP requires systematic improvement across the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) and LEAs to leverage existing strengths while simultaneously closing system gaps. ”