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Indicator 13: Secondary Transition

What is Indicator 13 (Secondary Transition)?

  • Indicator 13 checks to see whether Massachusetts students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) who are aged 14 and above receive secondary transition planning and services that comply with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • IDEA transition planning and services are mandated in federal regulations in these and other sections: § 300.43, § 300.305, § 300.320, § 300.321, § 300.322, § 300.324, § 300.520, § 300.622.
  • Massachusetts state law requires that transition planning and services begin no later than the student's 14th birthday, two years earlier than the federal requirement of age 16. Therefore Massachusetts uses age 14 for the Indicator 13 review.

Why Is Indicator 13 Important?

  • Indicator 13 is one way that Massachusetts ensures that schools and districts comply with federal and state special education law.
  • If students with IEPs have compliant secondary transition planning and services, they are more likely to have positive outcomes in post-high school education/training, employment, independent living, and community participation.
  • Indicator 13 also helps the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to understand which schools and districts may need additional professional development and other resources to support students' secondary transition needs.

How does Massachusetts collect Indicator 13 data?

Each year, DESE requires Massachusetts districts to review a sample of files for students with IEPs who are aged 14 and above, using a checklist with Indicator 13 requirements. The results of these file reviews are used in a federally required calculation to determine the statewide percentage rate for Indicator 13 compliance.

How is the Indicator 13 statewide compliance rate measured?

Percent of youth with IEPs aged 14 and above with an IEP that includes:

  • appropriate measurable postsecondary goals that are annually updated and based upon an age-appropriate transition assessment;
  • transition services, including courses of study, that will reasonably enable the student to meet those postsecondary goals;
  • annual IEP goals related to the student's transition services needs;
  • evidence that the student was invited to the IEP Team meeting where transition services are to be discussed; and
  • evidence that, if appropriate, a representative of any participating agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services, including, if appropriate, pre-employment transition services, was invited to the IEP Team meeting with the prior consent of the parent or student who has reached the age of majority.

Indicator 13 Data

Because this is a measure of compliance, the federal government requires a target of 100% compliance.

School Year2016-20172017-20182018-20192019-20202020-20212021-2022
Statewide Percentage Compliance99.80%97.09%96.99%97.45%97.46%94.74%

Learn More about Secondary Transition and Indicator 13:

Secondary Transition:

Indicator 13:

Last Updated: May 17, 2024

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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