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OSERS: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
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RDA: Results Driven Accountability

RDA: Results Driven Accountability - Improvign Results for Children with Disabilities


  • State Systemic Improvement Plans (SSIPs)
    Thirty-two states and entities have submitted drafts of their SSIP in response to OSEP’s initiative regarding Results Driven Accountability (RDA). The majority of Part C programs have selected early childhood outcomes as their State Identified Measurable Result (SIMR) although a number have chosen family outcomes. In addition, some Part C programs have elected to create an SSIP that includes both Part C and Part B services, addressing the needs of children from birth to five years of age. The majority of Part B programs have chosen to focus on assessment data, aligned to Indicator 3 for their SIMR, although a number of states are targeting their graduation rate. Staff members in the Division of Monitoring and State Improvement Planning (MSIP) are reviewing draft submissions to provide feedback to states prior to the submission of their final plan, due April 1, 2015. Find more information at the following Web sites:

  • New Accountability Framework Raises the Bar for State Special Education Programs
    To improve the educational outcomes of America’s 6.5 million children and youth with disabilities, on June 24, 2014 the U.S. Department of Education, announced a major shift in the way it oversees the effectiveness of states’ special education programs.
  • Joint Letter to Chief State School Officers about RDA
    The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), of which OSEP is a part, and the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) are working together to ensure that all stakeholders in the Department of Education (Education) have the supports necessary to address the needs of all children, including children with disabilities. To provide Education’s stakeholders and partners with coordinated support, it is collaborating across offices to deliver more effective monitoring, policies and technical assistance.
    On May 21, 2014, OESE Assistant Secretary Deborah Delisle and OSERS Acting Assistant Secretary Michael Yudin wrote a joint letter to Chief State School Officers about RDA:
     Joint Letter Explaining the RDA Framework (220KB)
     Michael Yudin's Press Call About RDA (7.6MB)



The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has revised its accountability system to shift the balance from a system focused primarily on compliance to one that puts more emphasis on results.

RDA's Three Components:

  • State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Reports (SPP/APR), which measures results and compliance. States are currently developing State Systematic Improvement Plans (SSIPs), designed to improve outcomes in targeted areas.
  • Determinations, which reflect state performance on results, as well as compliance.
  • Differentiated monitoring and support for all states, but especially low performing states.

The following Core Principles (Full Version) underlie and will guide OSEP’s RDA work:

  • Principle 1: Partnership with stakeholders
  • Principle 2: Transparent and understandable to educators and families
  • Principle 3: Drives improved results
  • Principle 4: Protects children and families
  • Principle 5: Differentiated incentives and supports to states
  • Principle 6: Encourages states to target resources and reduces burden
  • Principle 7: Responsive to needs



OSEP and its grantees have created and compiled a collection of resource materials to provide information related to RDA.

  • The National Center for Systemic Improvement
    The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) recently funded the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) to help states transform their systems to improve outcomes for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities. NCSI provides states with technical assistance to support their school districts and local early intervention service programs in improving educational results and functional outcomes for children with disabilities. Launched in October 2014, this multiyear center will play a major role in helping states achieve a national vision of Results-Driven Accountability for special education and early intervention programs.

  • The Center for IDEA Fiscal Reporting
    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires states to collect and report special education fiscal data. The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has funded a new center, the Center for IDEA Fiscal Reporting (CIFR), to provide technical assistance to state educational agencies (SEAs) to help them meet this federal obligation. The specific reporting requirements supported by the CIFR are: state maintenance of financial support (MFS) and local education agency (LEA) maintenance of effort (MOE) reduction and coordinated early intervening service (CEIS) provisions. Learn more about the IDEA’s fiscal reporting requirements and the work of the CIFR.
  • Slides to Explain Results Driven Accountability (RDA)
    State Directors of Special Education and Part C Coordinators can use these slide decks to explain RDA to their stakeholders in both Part B and Part C programs.
      Part B (MS Powerpoint) (54KB) | Part C (MS Powerpoint) (54KB)
  • OSEP GRADS360°
    OSEP GRADS360°is a site where you can find highlighted SPP/APR resources, other OSEP material on the Highlighted Resources page, information about grants, an SSIP Overview and Tools, and an events calendar with important dates to remember. GRADS360° is also the platform for states to submit the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) Part B and Part C State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR) electronically.




Last Modified: 01/08/2016