Public School Coordinated Program Review System
Scope of Coordinated Program Reviews
As one part of its accountability system, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education oversees local compliance with education requirements through the Coordinated Program Review (CPR). All reviews cover selected requirements in the following areas:
Special Education (SE)
selected requirements from the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA-2004); the federal regulations promulgated under that Act at 34 CFR Part 300; M.G.L. c. 71B, and the Massachusetts Board of Education's Special Education regulations (603 CMR 28.00), as amended effective March 1, 2007.
Civil Rights Methods of Administration and Other General Education Requirements (CR)
- selected federal civil rights requirements, including requirements under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, together with selected state requirements under M.G.L. c. 76, Section 5 as amended by Chapter 199 of the Acts of 2011 and M.G.L. c. 269 §§ 17 through 19.
- selected requirements from the Massachusetts Board of Education's Physical Restraint regulations (603 CMR 46.00).
- selected requirements from the Massachusetts Board of Education's Student Learning Time regulations (603 CMR 27.00).
- various requirements under other federal and state laws.
English Learner Education (ELE) in Public Schools
selected requirements from M.G.L. c. 71A, the state law that governs the provision of education to English language learners, and 603 CMR 14.00, as well as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. All districts that enroll limited English proficient students are reviewed using a combination of updated standards and a self-assessment instrument overseen by the Department's Office of English Language Acquisition and Academic Achievement (OELAAA) and Program Quality Assurance Services (PQA), including a request for information regarding ELE programs and staff qualifications.
Some reviews also cover selected requirements in:
Career/Vocational Technical Education (CVTE)
Districts providing Title I services participate in Title I program monitoring during the same year they are scheduled for a Coordinated Program Review. Details regarding the Title I program monitoring process are available at Title I / Federal Support Programs website.
Coordinated Program Review Elements
|Team:||Depending upon the size of a school district and the number of program areas to be reviewed, a team of one to eight Department staff members conducts onsite activities over two to five days in a school district or charter school.|
|Timing:||Each school district and charter school in the Commonwealth is scheduled to receive a Coordinated Program Review every six years and a mid-cycle special education follow-up visit three years after the Coordinated Program Review; the number of school districts and charter schools that are scheduled for Coordinated Program Reviews in any given year varies depending upon the scheduling of other comprehensive reviews. The Department's current School Year (SY) schedule of Coordinated Program Reviews is posted at the conclusion of this overview.|
|Criteria:||The Program Review criteria for each program area encompass both state and federal education laws and regulations. The requirements selected for review in all of the regulated programs are those that are most closely aligned with the goals of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 to promote student achievement and high standards for all students.|
The Web-based Approach to Special Education and Civil Rights Monitoring
Starting with the 2007-2008 SY, the Department commenced the piloting of a new web- based approach to comprehensive special education monitoring. In the 2008-2009 SY, nine school districts and charter schools from that year's monitoring cycle were reviewed using the web-based approach, and in the 2009-2010 SY half of all school districts and charter schools in that year's monitoring cycle were monitored using the web-based approach. By the 2010-2011 SY, all school districts and charter schools in that year's monitoring cycle were engaged in web-based monitoring for special education. Starting with the 2011-2012 SY, the Department commenced the web-based approach to comprehensive civil rights monitoring. The web-based monitoring system (WBMS) allows both districts and the Department to submit, review and exchange documents and information through the Department's security portal. This new approach combines familiar elements from the standard CPR procedures in combination with new features that strengthen district/school accountability and oversight for special education and civil rights on a continuous basis.
WBMS methods used in reviewing special education and civil rights programs include:
Self-Assessment Phase: This is a requirement for all districts/schools participating in WBMS and is completed in the year prior to the onsite review.
- District/school review of special education and civil rights documentation for required elements including document uploads. Upon completion of this portion of the district/school's self-assessment, it is submitted to the Department for review. Please refer to the program specific School District Information Package for a complete listing of document requirements.
- District/school review of a sample of special education student records selected from across grade levels, disability categories, and levels of need. Additional requirements for the appropriate selection of the student record sample can be found in the School District Information Package for Special Education. Upon completion of this portion of the district/school's self-assessment, it is submitted to the Department for review.
Desk Review Phase: A Monitoring Team Chairperson, who is assigned to each district/school, reviews the district/school's responses to questions regarding the critical elements for appropriate policies, procedures, and practices, as well as actual documents and data submissions by criteria. The district/school's student record review data and explanatory comments are examined by focus area and by criteria. The outcome of this review, along with Indicator data collected by the Department and three-year trend data from the Problem Resolution System, is used to determine the scope and nature of the Department's onsite activities.
Onsite Verification Phase: This includes activities selected from the following:
- Interviews of administrative, instructional, and support staff consistent with those criteria selected for onsite verification.
- Interviews of parent advisory council (PAC) representatives and other telephone interviews as requested by other parents or members of the general public.
- Review of student records for special education: The Department selects a sample of student records from those the district reviewed as part of its self-assessment to verify the accuracy of the data. The Department also conducts an independent review of a sample of student records that reflect activities conducted since the beginning of the school year. The onsite team will conduct this review, using standard Department procedures, to determine whether procedural and programmatic requirements have been implemented.
- Surveys of parents of students with disabilities: Parents of students with disabilities whose files are selected for the record review, as well as an equal number of parents of other students with disabilities, are sent a survey that solicits information regarding their experiences with the district's implementation of special education programs, related services, and procedural requirements.
- Observation of classrooms and other facilities: The onsite team visits a sample of classrooms and other school facilities used in the delivery of programs and services to determine general levels of compliance with program requirements.
Methods for all other programs in the Coordinated Program Review:
- Review of documentation about the operation of the charter school or district's programs such as English Learner Education (ELE) and Career Vocational Technical Education (CVTE).
- Interviews of administrative, instructional, and support staff across all grade levels.
- Telephone interviews as requested by other parents or members of the general public.
- Review of student records for English learner education and career/vocational technical education. The Department selects a representative sample of student records for the onsite team to review, using standard Department procedures, to determine whether procedural and programmatic requirements have been implemented.
- Parents of English language learners are sent a survey, in the language of the home, to provide information on their experiences with the district's implementation of the ELE program and related procedural requirements, if their student's record was selected for review by the onsite team.
- Observation of classrooms and other facilities. The onsite team visits a sample of classrooms and other school facilities used in the delivery of programs and services to determine general levels of compliance with program requirements.
At the end of the onsite visit, the team will hold an informal exit meeting to summarize its comments for the superintendent or charter school leader and other administrative staff he or she chooses. Within approximately 45 business days of the onsite visit, the Monitoring Team Chairperson will forward to the superintendent or charter school leader a Draft Report containing comments from the Program Review. The Draft Report comments for special education and civil rights are provided to the district/school online through WBMS. These comments will, once the district has had an opportunity to respond, form the basis for any findings by the Department. The district will then have 10 business days to review the report for accuracy before the publication of a Final Report with ratings and findings (see below). The Final Report will be issued within approximately 60 business days of the conclusion of the onsite visit and posted on the Department's website at Public School Coordinated Program Review Reports webpage.
Content of Final Report:
Ratings. In the Final Report, the onsite team gives a rating for each compliance criterion it has reviewed; those ratings are "Commendable," "Implemented," "Implementation in Progress," "Partially Implemented," "Not Implemented," and "Not Applicable." "Implementation in Progress," used for criteria containing new or updated legal requirements, means that the district has implemented any old requirements contained in the criterion and is training staff or beginning to implement the new requirements in such a way that the onsite team anticipates that the new requirements will be implemented by the end of the school year.
Findings. The onsite team includes a narrative statement in the Final Report for each criterion that it rates "Commendable," "Partially Implemented," "Not Implemented," "Implementation in Progress," or "Not Applicable" explaining the basis for the rating. It may also include findings for other related criteria.
Where criteria are found "Partially Implemented" or "Not Implemented," the district or charter school must propose corrective action to bring those areas into compliance with the relevant statutes and regulations. This corrective action plan (CAP) will be due to the Department within 20 business days after the issuance of the Final Report and is subject to the Department's review and approval. Department staff will offer districts and charter schools technical assistance on the content and requirements for developing an approvable CAP. The approved CAP will be posted on the Department's website at Public School Corrective Action Plans webpage. Department staff will provide ongoing technical assistance as the school or district is implementing the approved corrective action plan. School districts and charter schools must demonstrate effective resolution of noncompliance identified by the Department as soon as possible but in no case later than one year from the issuance of the Department's Final Program Review Report.
Coordinated Program Review Reports
Mid-cycle Review Reports
Corrective Action Plans (CAP's as of January 2010)