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New Special Education Rules Issued by Education Department

August 6th, 2014

The U.S. Department of Education announced that it will change the way it assesses whether states are meeting the needs of students with disabilities. The department will begin using test scores, graduation rates and other academic information to measure states’ special education performance. The previous system focused on procedural standards, including timelines for due process hearings and evaluations.

According to the department, a change was needed because students with disabilities had lower math and reading scores and lower graduation rates than their peers. Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, said that when special education students are held to high standards, they can excel.

Under the new standards, states that fail to meet certain benchmarks for more than two years could lose some federal funding.

The new standards would be much more stringent. Last year, when the department measured performance by compliance with procedural standards, a total of 41 states and territories were able to meet requirements. This year, when the department included data on student performance, only 18 states and territories met requirements.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires the department to classify states annually as either meeting requirements, needing assistance, needing intervention or needing substantial intervention.

Under the new Results-Driven Accountability standards, New York State was classified as needing assistance, based on data from 2012-2013.


Littman Krooks assists special needs students and their parents with our special education advocacy services. Visit our website, www.specialneedsnewyork.com to learn more.


Roles and Responsibilities of the One-to-One Aide

January 18th, 2012

If a student requires a one-to-one aide, school personnel must:

–          Consider the qualifications of the individual (i.e., teaching assistant or teacher aide) that would be necessary to meet the needs of the student (http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/career/tavsta.html )

–          Establish a plan to monitor the student’s progress towards the goals to be addressed by the assignment of the one-to-one aide and the student’s continuing need for the one-to-one aide;

–          Consider a plan for progressively reducing the support provided to the student and his or her dependence on an aide over time;

–          Plan for substitutes to serve as the student’s one-to-one aide to cover staff absences in order to ensure the student receives the recommended IEP services of the one-to-one aide; and

–          Ensure that the one-to-one aide has access to a copy of the student’s IEP, has been informed of his or her responsibilities for IEP implementation for the student and has received the professional development and supervision necessary to carry out these responsibilities.

Attached are three sample forms that, when used together, will assist and guide CPSEs and CSEs in their consideration of a student’s need for a one-to-one aide:

–          One-to-One Aide Planning: Considerations and Recommendations

–          Checklist to Determine the Student’s Needs as They May Relate to the Need for a One-to-One Aide

–          Considerations for Need for a One-to-One Aide: Available Natural and Other Supports for the Student’s Schedule

Questions regarding this memorandum may be directed to the Special Education Policy Unit at (518)473-2878 or your Special Education Quality Assurance Regional Associate at one of the following Regional Offices:

Central Region                        (315) 476-5081
Eastern Region                       (518) 486-6366
Hudson Valley Region           (518) 473-1185
Long Island Region                 (631) 884-8530
New York City                         (718) 722-4544
Western Region                      (585) 344-2002
Non-district Unit                      (518) 473-1185

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This article does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. If you need legal advice concerning this or any other topic please contact our offices to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys at 914-684-2100 or 212-490-2020.