Helping states improve IDEA data quality

The Challenge 

The Office of Special Education Programs has modified its approach to state accountability and is emphasizing data-based improvement planning for systemic change. With this new results-driven accountability model, states need more support than ever to provide high-quality data.

Westat is operating a comprehensive technical assistance center focusing on data requirements under Sections 616 and 618 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), including data focused on programs for infants, toddlers, and their families (Part C) and on programs serving children ages 3 through 21 (Part B).

Our Solutions 

  • Westat will
    • Provide a full range of state and local technical assistance—universal and individualized—to build capacity related to collecting, reporting, analyzing, and using high-quality IDEA data
    • Use a state liaison model to develop a comprehensive understanding of each state’s data quality needs and challenges and to provide effective technical assistance
    • Maintain an innovative and interactive website that allows for knowledge sharing and communicating about high-quality data
    • Develop tools and publications to increase the knowledge base and assist states and local school districts and programs to implement rigorous data validation practices and procedures
    • Communicate to the field about high-quality through webinars and presentations at national, regional, and state meetings
    • Provide leadership to the field by working with other federally funded centers to provide coordinated technical assistance to states


The Results 

  •   States and local school districts and programs will
    • Improve their capacity to collect, report, analyze, and use high-quality IDEA data
    • Increase their analysis and use of data for improvement planning

Our Client 

U.S. Department of Education (ED)