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National Trends in Special Education Dispute Resolution. Region 6 Alliance for Technical Assistance to Parent Centers Annual Conference August 13, 2007 San Diego, CA Philip Moses CADRE. APR Summary and Analysis. Data on Indicators 16 through 19: Data from SPP (12/05) and APR (2/07)

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National Trends in Special Education Dispute Resolution

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National Trends in Special Education Dispute Resolution

Region 6 Alliance for

Technical Assistance to Parent Centers

Annual Conference

August 13, 2007

San Diego, CA

Philip Moses


APR Summary and Analysis

  • Data on Indicators 16 through 19:

  • Data from SPP (12/05) and APR (2/07)

  • Overall “Big Event” Activity

  • Indicator 16 through 19 Results

  • Progress and Slippage

  • APR (2/07):

  • Most Frequently Used Improvement Strategies

  • Improvement Strategy Examples

  • Upstream/Early Resolution Activities

Three years of verified APR/SPP data

  • APR Att. 1 – March 2005 (2003-2004)

  • SPP Att. 1 – December 2005 (2004-2005)

  • APR Table 7 – February 2007 (2005-06)

    During May and June 2007, States had the opportunity to review, amend, and verify the accuracy of data in the report format currently on the CADRE web site.

Indicators 16 Through 19

  • Indicator 16: Percent of signed written complaints with reports issued that were resolved with 60-day timeline or a timeline extended for exceptional circumstances with respect to a particular complaint

  • Indicator 17: Percent of fully adjudicated due process hearing requests that were fully adjudicated within the 45-day timeline or a timeline that is properly extended by the hearing officer at the request of either party.

  • Indicator 18: Percent of hearing requests that went to resolution sessions that were resolved through resolution session settlement agreements. (this is a narrow definition…)

  • Indicator 19: Percent of mediations held that resulted in mediation agreements.

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Indicator 16: % Complaints w/in Timelines (# States Reporting by Percent Ranges)

Each cell displays: # All States / # Region 6 States

Indicator 17: % Hearings Held within Timelines (# States Reporting by Percent Ranges)

Each cell displays: # All States / # Region 6 States

Indicator 18: % Resolution Settlement Agreements, and Indicator 19: % Mediation Agreements (# States Reporting by Percent Ranges)

Each cell displays: # All States / # Region 6 States

Indicator Progress/Slippage (2005-06 minus 2004-05)

Each cell displays: # All States / # Region 6 States

Washington State Continuum:

Special Education Ombudsman

Skill Building Training

Parent-to-Parent Support Programs

IEP Facilitation

Solutions Panels

Resource Parents

IEP Coach

Expert Team

Local Mediation

Facilitated IEPs

First Aid/Early Case Review

Independent Child Advocate

Placement Specialist

Support of Local Capacity:California

ADR mini grants to intermediate units to support:

Intermediate units with mini grants have lower rates of SEA level formal procedures

Good News: States Increase Reporting on Use of ADR Options

  • 13 States reported on “Early Resolution Activities” (DR options conditioned upon a formal dispute filing – e.g., early complaints resolution, facilitated IEP following DP Complaint)

  • 16 States reported on “Upstream Activities” (training/other activities aimed at improving parent/school capacity to reach collaborative decisions and resolve differences without resorting formal DR processes)

National ActivityIEP Facilitation Programs

  • January ‘06 = 7 state-wide programs

  • Today = 12 state-wide programs

  • Also:

    • 11 pilots, under development or consideration

    • At least 2 problem solving facilitation programs (IA, UT)

  • Region 6 programs: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada (under development) & Washington (district pilots)

Dispute Resolution Improvement Strategies from SPP Analysis

  • Integrate system management for all dispute resolution options, including process & outcomes

  • Implement “IEP Facilitation” services

  • Support early and informal options (e.g., rapid access to mediation, response to informally expressed parent concerns, facilitated IEPs)

  • Advanced skills training for hearing officers, mediators and facilitators (e.g., interview techniques, decision writing, culturally relevant practices, impasse management, writing durable agreements)

  • Develop guidance, forms, & reporting requirements re: timeline extensions

  • Use practitioner performance (e.g., timeliness, agreement rates, satisfaction) in evaluation & contract renewal

  • Train and provide technical assistance to staff, families & organizations on DR options and effective collaboration

  • Measure parent/school awareness of options, understanding of rights, and satisfaction with and effectiveness of processes

  • Collaborate with stakeholders to promote ADR processes & resources

  • Pre-service curriculum emphasizing collaborative problem solving

Dispute Resolution Improvement Strategies from SPP Analysis

  • Realign administrative staff to support DR practitioners

  • Design and implement general supervision processes for LEA involvement in all DR, including resolution meetings

  • Engage stakeholders in evaluation & review of system, DR options & improvement planning

  • Establish performance indicators beyond the four required SPP/APR indicators (e.g., cost, durability, satisfaction)

  • Establish data collection and evaluation processes to help guide resolution or mediation process improvements:

    • Resolution meeting held, waived, opted for mediation

    • # days from filing that the resolution meeting was held

    • # days from filing that the agreement was reached

    • Use of 3 day period to rescind agreement and by which party

    • Issues addressed in agreements

    • Issues that remain unresolved or may proceed to hearing

    • Resolution process elements (use of facilitator, participants)

Region 6 APR Improvement Strategies Reporting Activity Highlights

  • Idaho (e): The SDE goes beyond the federal requirement for resolution sessions and offers the services of a facilitator to assist the parties in resolving the dispute. The SDE will continue the practice of offering the services of a facilitator on a voluntary basis to parents in districts for all resolution sessions. By the time a dispute reaches the level of a due process hearing request and the resolution session becomes an available option, past experience has proven that conflict can be resolved more readily by offering the services of a facilitator on a voluntary basis to the conflicting parties in order to reach the desired outcome for the student.

  • Washington (e): OSPI has piloted with OAH, a settlement process for matters expected to proceed to hearing. If the represented parties wish to participate in a mediation model settlement process, a settlement conference is scheduled with one of the ALJs who is not assigned to the case. This year, four settlement conferences were scheduled and three of those settled.

Region 6 APR Improvement Strategies Reporting Activity Highlights

  • Alaska (up): Along with mediations services they also provide IEP facilitations to school districts upon request.

  • Washington (u): In addition to providing mediation services to families of special education students and school districts in Washington state, Sound Options also provides, annually, training in the areas of “Approaching Difficult Conversations”, “Building Collaborative Teams”, and “Meeting and Facilitation Skills”

Region 6 APR Improvement Strategies Reporting Activity Highlights

  • Nevada: Provide initial training to cadre of IEP facilitators; evaluation training efforts; establish policies and procedures for IEP facilitation system and develop a manual (including necessary forms) to address the following items:

    • Criteria for accessing system (e.g., documentation of previous unsuccessful attempts to complete an IEP)

    • Procedures for convening sessions, including scheduling, determining participations, etc., clarifying areas of concern/disagreement

    • Procedures for conducting sessions, including establishing parameters for interaction among participants, recording/documenting decisions made, etc.

  • Data collection to identify instances where within one year a due process hearing is requested on issues addressed through IEP facilitation

  • Collaborate with parent training/support groups and school districts to advertise availability of IEP facilitation, including development of brochure

  • Pilot-test system in Clark County, Douglas County, and Washoe County School Districts

  • Report results to stakeholders

  • Evaluation and refine

  • Implement system throughout states

  • Expand cadre of IEP facilitators to meet emerging needs

CADRE and Other TA Project Involvement Reported by States

  • CADRE identified 45 instances where states named TA centers in their APRs.

  • Mentions of TA agencies were in 25 of the 60 APRs reviewed

  • For these 4 indicators, only CADRE and RRCs (NERRC, MSRRC, SERRC, MPRRC, WRRC) were referenced clearly (participation or reference to a specific sponsored activity) or explicitly named.

  • CADRE was named a total of 36 times by 19 states.

CADRE Technical Assistance references included~

  • USE of the CADRE website and the “Continuum of Dispute Resolution” in planning expanded ADR options state-wide

  • Participation in CADRE symposia

  • Participation in the SERRC/7PAK regional conference on dispute resolution systems improvement

  • Use of the CADRE systems planning tools in reviewing state dispute resolution system operations

  • Involvement of CADRE in conducting in-state training or technical assistance

  • Use of CADRE state data summaries in examining state dispute resolution system performance

  • Distribution of CADRE materials (e.g., Special Education Mediation – A Guide for Parents)

Highlights of CADRE Activities: Beyond National Database Initiative

What is happening!

  • An Initial Review of Research Literature on Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Special Education, an article presenting a review and analysis of research on alternative dispute resolution in special education. 183 individual cites in database

  • Resolution Meetings: A Guide for Parents – Translation into Spanish is currently in progress

  • Procedural Safeguards “Cluster” Facilitator. Members include CADRE, RRCs, RPTACs, NECTAC, NCSEAM, IDEA Partnerships and OSEP. “At a Glance”, a summary of TA resources available to states interested in improving performance on the dispute resolution indicators

  • DR SIPE revision

  • Publication updates with IDEA ‘04 > CD of all materials

  • IDEA Partnership Creating Agreement Workgroup

    What might be happening in ’08?

  • Jobs-alike event or activities related to determination letters

  • Procedural Safeguard Flow Charts

Hot Topics

  • Compelling participation in resolution meetings

  • Complaints under the “highly qualified” provision

  • Using the procedural safeguards to enforce written agreements rather than using judicial resources

  • Issues related to res judicata (already decided)

  • Personnel participation in Part C to Part B transition

  • Expedited hearing questions

  • Provision of services without parental consent

  • Standards for reevaluation

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