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Special Education Data Services & Reports

These data and reports relate specifically to students with disabilities. The information included addresses both state and federal reporting requirements.

Annual Performance Report

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004, states are required to compile both aggregate and district-level data addressing 17 "indicators" that measure implementation of special education programs. Targets for these indicators (minus Indicator 17) are collaboratively set by the department and stakeholder groups, including the Governor's Advisory Council for the Education of Students with Disabilities.

The department submits an Annual Performance Report (APR) containing statewide data and targets for the 17 indicators to the federal government early every year. Based on this data, a determination on the quality of the implementation of special education programs in the state is issued. This same indicator data is publicly reported at the district level, and determinations are made for each of these individual districts. Indicators provide information about achievement, post-school outcomes, and educational environments for students with disabilities.

State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP)

Indicator 17 of the APR is the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP). For this specific indicator, states are required to identify a measurable goal and then develop a thorough plan, complete with action steps, infrastructure development, evidence-based practices, and evaluation metrics, to meet this goal. In Tennessee, the goal set was to increase by three percent annually the percentage of students with specific learning disabilities in grades 3–8 scoring at or above basic on the English language arts (ELA) statewide assessment.  

Additional Data and Reports

Significant Disproportionality

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004, states are required to conduct analysis on 14 identified categories to determine if there is over-representation or over-identification of students with disabilities based on race or ethnicity (memo can be found here). These 14 categories fall under the following three areas:

  1. Identification of students with disabilities overall and in six high-incidence disability categories
  2. Educational environments for students with disabilities
  3. Type, duration, and incidence of disciplinary action for students with disabilities

Defining Significant Disproportionality in Tennessee: Revisions to the Calculation

The department has revised its calculation of significant disproportionality that will likely lead to an increase in the number of districts identified in 2018-19. Identification of significant disproportionality will require districts to review (and possibly revise) policies, procedures, and practices that might contribute to significant disproportionality and set aside 15 percent of the district’s IDEA Part B allocation to address causes of significant disproportionality. More information about this regulation and the revised calculations can be found here. The department has also developed a template by which districts can assess whether they meet criteria for significant disproportionality, which can be found here