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Special Education Performance Improves Again on Federal Rating

LANSING – Michigan’s performance on the U.S. Department of Education’s (USED) key special education factors improved for the 2021-22 school year, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) reported today.

Michigan received a score of 75 percent for its federal determination annual performance rating on meeting the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B factors for the 2021-22 school year. In 2017-18, Michigan scored 59.17 percent and was identified by USED as “needs intervention.”  This year’s increase was five percentage points, which brings the five-year growth rate to 15.83 percentage points.

“This is the highest score that Michigan has received since 2014, when the federal government moved to results-driven accountability,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “We are pleased with the trajectory of the growth and will continue to work with ISD and local educators to improve outcomes for Michigan students with disabilities. There is still much work to do in the areas of graduation and dropout rates, research-based best practices, and inclusion, as we are still in the ‘needs assistance’ category.”

Federal officials use both compliance and results data for a “letter of determination” on whether a state "meets requirements," "needs assistance," or "needs intervention."

Deputy Superintendent Dr. Scott Koenigsknecht said a lot of work is being done in school districts across the state, and at MDE, to improve compliance and results outcomes. A steering committee and four work groups formed in December 2018 to generate and implement recommendations designed to lead to continued improvements for graduation and dropout rates, M-STEP test participation, and national NAEP test results and participation.

“We appreciate the commitment from our partners across the education landscape in Michigan and look forward to continued growth and improvement,” Dr. Koenigsknecht said. “To become a top education state, we need to provide a quality education and growth for all students, including those with special needs.”

MDE’s work to become a top education state is designed to better support intermediate school districts (ISD) to address local school district improvements. This evolving partnership between MDE and each ISD as a subrecipient of the federal IDEA grant funds further ensures the alignment and coordination that evidence-based practices are being implemented and supported in local districts.