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Special Education

Massachusetts State Performance Plan (MA SPP) and Annual Performance Reports (MA APR)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) says that each state must submit a state performance plan/annual performance report (SPP/APR) to the federal government. This SPP/APR explains how the state is working to meet IDEA's requirements. SPP/APRs include:

  • Indicators that measure child and family outcomes. These are called "Performance Indicators." There are eight Performance Indicators.
  • Indicators that measure compliance with IDEA. These are called "Compliance Indicators." There are nine Compliance Indicators.

You can see school district data for our state's Performance and Compliance Indicators on the Massachusetts School and District Profiles website.

Framing Questions and Indicators

The Office of Special Education Planning and Policy (SEPP) manages the collection, organization, and data analysis for the 17 Indicators of Special Education performance and compliance under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). This Indicator data is gathered and submitted each year to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in the State Performance Plan and Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR).

The Framing Questions are overarching questions about the importance and meaning of each Indicator. Each question gives stakeholders a context to better understand the Commonwealth's quality of special education services. In addition, each webpage includes a description of the Indicator, how it is measured, what the data shows, what that data means for students and their families, and additional resources to learn more.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) plays an important role in ensuring access to high-quality education for all students in the Commonwealth. Part of this mission of General Supervision of IDEA compliance is to ensure that tools and interventions in use to help students with disabilities are not also perpetuating inequities. DESE is committed to strengthening the skills and knowledge to provide greater access and opportunities for all students. DESE recognizes the necessity of understanding how policies and practices can support more equitable student outcomes. The Framing Questions and the Indicators look closely at performance and compliance data as it relates to race, ethnicity, language, and specific disability categories. SEPP strives to close not only achievement but equity gaps across all Indicators to improve outcomes for students with disabilities.

Framing QuestionsIndicators
How do schools meaningfully engage parents in the education of their children with disabilities?
Are children and youth appropriately referred, evaluated, and determined eligible for special education in a timely manner?
What educational environments are children and youth with disabilities a part of, and do they have meaningful access to the general curriculum and the life of the school?
What progress are young children with disabilities making as it relates to social-emotional and cognitive development, and what systems are in place to improve outcomes?
Are children and youth equitably referred, evaluated, and determined eligible without biases?

Are children and youth with disabilities receiving equitable behavioral support to minimize disciplinary action?

Are the suspension and expulsion rates equitable for students with disabilities and for students with disabilities by race and ethnicity?

In what ways are children and youth with disabilities participating in statewide assessments at rates that meet state targets?

In what ways are children and youth with disabilities meeting grade level academic achievement standards?

What knowledge, skills, and experiences have youth with disabilities gained in order to complete postsecondary education or training, to access a job that matches their individual interests and skills, to earn a life-sustaining wage, and to be an active member of the community?
Does the state's dispute resolution system result in settlement and mediation agreements?

SPP Indicators Printable Cards — The IDEA Data Center, funded by the Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, has created a printable list of the Indicators for Part B and Part C.

State Reports and the Office of Special Education Program (OSEP) Responses

Massachusetts's SPP/APR Submissions:

A state is required to submit a state performance plan (SPP) at least every six years. Each year, states must report against the targets in its SPP in an annual performance report (APR). The state systemic improvement plan (SSIP) is part of the SPP/APR but required a separate report until FFY2020. They are submitted and approved by OSEP each year. FFY refers to Federal Fiscal Year.

State Performance Plans (SPP) Letters and Annual Performance Report (APR) Letters

Below you will find the most recent State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR) and the Office of Special Education Programs' (OSEP) response, including any required actions.

Local School and District Information

Additional Resources

For more information about the SPP/APR Indicators contact:

Special Education Planning and Policy Office
specialeducation@doe.mass.edu
781-338-3375

Last Updated: November 30, 2022

 
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