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Indicator 14: Post-school Outcomes for Students with IEPs

What Is Indicator 14?

Indicator 14 is one of the 17 Indicators that the United States Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) uses to see whether school districts are following special education law and whether special education is improving outcomes for students with disabilities.

Indicator 14 reports whether our students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are in school or have a job one year after they leave high school by graduating, aging out at age 22, or dropping out.

Why Is Indicator 14 Important?

Indicator 14 tells us about the lives of our students with IEPs one year after they have left high school. It is one way to help us understand whether students' education prepared them for adult life.

How Does Massachusetts Collect Indicator 14 Data?

Starting in 2023, Massachusetts is moving to statewide data collection. This will give us a more comprehensive picture of the lives of our students with IEPs one year after they have left high school. This change to all-state data collection will improve Massachusetts' ability to disaggregate and analyze data in a statistically significant way and to better compare Indicator 14 data with graduation data (Indicator 1) and dropout data (Indicator 2).

Data collection occurs during the summer and early fall. Districts survey each former student with an IEP using the Massachusetts After High School Survey. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) offers the survey online in six languages, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Haitian Creole, and Vietnamese.

What Are the Three Indicator 14 Measurements?

The U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) requires that we report "the percent of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and within one year of exiting high school were:

  1. Enrolled in higher education
  2. Enrolled in higher education or competitively employed
  3. Enrolled in higher education or in some other postsecondary education or training program; or competitively employed or in some other employment"

What Factors Affect Indicator 14 Results?

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced whether our former students with IEPs go to school and/or work after high school.
  • If groups are under- or over-represented in the survey (for example, Latinx students, students with intellectual disabilities, or students who dropped out), the data may show that our former students with IEPs are more or less engaged in school or work than they really are.
  • Both the interviewers and the former students may be biased.
  • Based on the response group size for Measures A, B, and C, there is a margin of error of approximately plus or minus three percent.

Indicator 14 Historical Results

The table below includes four-years of data as reported in MA's FFY 2020 APR which was submitted to OSEP early in February 2022.

Trend DataMeasurement AMeasurement BMeasurement C
DataConfidence IntervalTargetDataConfidence IntervalTargetDataConfidence IntervalTarget
FFY2017 *50.00%+- 3.59%53.00%79.37%+- 2.82%88.00%87.09%+- 2.34%95.00%
FFY201841.18%+- 3.02%50.20%70.88%+- 2.79%79.60%79.02%+- 2.05%87.30%
FFY201934.79%+-2.16% 50.40%56.55%+- 2.76%79.80%62.35%+- 2.90%87.50%
*New Baseline Year

Indicator 14 Representativeness

The second indicator of the quality of survey data is representation. The NPSO/NTACT Response Calculator is used to calculate representativeness of the respondent group on the characteristics of: (a) disability type, (b) ethnicity, (c) gender, and (d) exit status (e.g., dropout) to determine whether the youth who responded to the interviews were similar to, or different from, the total population of youth with an IEP who exited school in 2019-20. According to the NPSO/NTACT Response Calculator, differences between the Respondent Group and the Target Leaver Group of more than ±3% are important, as this may skew engagement. Negative differences indicate an under-representativeness of the group and positive differences indicate over-representativeness. In the Response Calculator, bolded is used to indicate a difference exceeding a ±3% interval.

  • Respondents: Youth or their designated family member who answer the survey or interview questions.
  • Leavers: Youth who left school by graduating with a regular or modified diploma, aging out, left school early (i.e., dropped out), or who were expected to return to school, but did not.
Statewide Representativeness by Percent (1 of 2)
Disability CategoriesOverallSLDEDIDAll Other
Target Leaver Totals2,3757245071601,344
Response Total92123416456467
Target Leaver Representation26.47%18.54%5.85%49.14%
Respondent Representation25.41%17.81%6.08%50.71%
Statewide Representativeness by Percent (2 of 2)
Demographic CategoriesDropoutEconomically DisadvantagedFemaleMinorityEL
Target Leaver Totals2191139631,139179
Response Total453729542060
Target Leaver Representation8.01%41.39%35.21%41.65%6.54%
Respondent Representation4.89%40.83%32.03%45.60%6.51%

Indicator 14 Trainings and Webinars

Indicator 14 Resources

FFY2023 Indicator 14 Data Collection Tools and Resources (Spring/Summer 2024)

Last Updated: May 24, 2024

Contact Us

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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