Part B Indicators

Help with Listen Feature Help with Listen Feature

Photo of a measuring stick.

It’s critical to be able to measure and report your progress toward specific goals.

Updated, April 2013

So you’re interested in Part B indicators, are you? Impressive. Most people have never heard of them, let alone why they are important. NICHCY is pleased to serve as a gateway to this essential information.


What are the Part B Indicators?

Part B indicators are one of the ways in which States measure and report their performance in educating students with disabilities. When you click on an indicator of interest to you (further below, under the List of Indicators), you will be taken to a page containing:

  • the full text of that indicator, and
  • information on helpful resources related to that indicator, as developed by the projects of OSEP Technical Assistance andDissemination (TA&D) Network.

 Back to top

Where Did the Indicators Come From?

In 1993, the 103rd Congress of the United States of America passed the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA).  GPRA embodies Congress’ concern that many federal programs lacked specific program goals and, thus, could not provide federal managers with information on how well the program was actually doing (called “program performance). GPRA was designed to be an “Act to provide for the establishment of strategic planning and performance measurement in the Federal Government.” Now, as then (effective date, 2000), GPRA requires every federal agency to develop annual performance plans and program performance reports.

When the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act was reauthorized in December of 2004 and itsregulations were issued in August of 2006, similar performance plan requirements were included for State Education Agencies (SEAs). Here is a verbatim quote from IDEA 2004′s regulations:

Subpart F—Monitoring, Enforcement, Confidentiality, and Program Information Monitoring, Technical Assistance, and Enforcement

§ 300.600 State monitoring and enforcement.

(a) The State must monitor the implementation of this part, enforce this part in accordance with § 300.604(a)(1) and (a)(3), (b)(2)(i) and (b)(2)(v), and (c)(2), and annually report on performance under this part.

(b) The primary focus of the State’s monitoring activities must be on— (1) Improving educational results and functional outcomes for all children with disabilities; and (2) Ensuring that public agencies meet the program requirements under Part B of the Act, with a particular emphasis on those requirements that are most closely related to improving educational results for children with disabilities.

(c) As a part of its responsibilities under paragraph (a) of this section, the State must use quantifiable indicators and such qualitative indicators as are needed to adequately measure performance in the priority areas identified in paragraph (d) of this section, and the indicators established by the Secretary for the State performance plans.

(d) The State must monitor the LEAs located in the State, using quantifiable indicators in each of the following priority areas, and using such qualitative indicators as are needed to adequately measure performance in those areas:

(1) Provision of FAPE in the least restrictive environment.

(2) State exercise of general supervision, including child find, effective monitoring, the use of resolution meetings, mediation, and a system of transition services as defined in § 300.43 and in 20 U.S.C. 1437(a)(9).

(3) Disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in special education and related services, to the extent the representation is the result of inappropriate identification.

Based upon these regulations, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has identified 20 indicators to guide SEAs in their implementation of IDEA and in how they report their progress and performance to OSEP itself. This, in turn, now allows OSEP to report concrete data back to Congress and to monitor and supervise State implementation in specific areas.

Interesting, the 20 indicators developed by OSEP for State reporting and progress measurement also clearly show:

  • the domains in which IDEA is implemented (with babies and toddlers, with preschoolers, with school-aged children);
  • key areas of responsibility toward children and youth with disabilities and their families (e.g., timeframe between identification and evaluation of children, parental involvement, dispute resolution);
  • the major concern areas that OSEP and research tie to improving  results for children and youth with disabilities (e.g., graduation rates, dropout rates); and
  • whether or not the services provided to individuals under IDEA actually  “prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living” (e.g., participation in postsecondary settings one year after graduation).

That quote is actually the first purpose of IDEA, as stated in its statute.

So, in short, States use the 20 indicators we’ve listed below to gather and report data on their progress to the federal government—namely, OSEP.

 Back to top

General Resources on the Part B Indicators

SPP/APR brochure.
This brochure (released April 2010) can be used at the local level to help stakeholders understand the SPP/APR process.

Looking for in-depth analysis of each indicator? Look no further.

Interested in both the Part B indicators and the related requirements in the IDEA statute and regulations?
Check out this helpful chart produced by the Department of Education. One side of this chart lists monitoring priorities and indicators, and the other half lists related requirements found in the IDEA which will be of interest to those who are working on state performance plans (SPPs) and annual performance reports (APRs).

 Back to top

List of Indicators

Indicator 1: Graduation Rates
Percent of youth with IEPs graduating from high school with a regular diploma.

Indicator 2: Drop out Rates
Percent of youth with IEPs dropping out of high school.

Indicator 3: Participation and Performance on Statewide Assessments
Participation and performance of children with IEPs on statewide assessments:

A. Percent of the districts with a disability subgroup that meets the State’s minimum “n” size that meet the State’s AYP targets for the disability subgroup.
B. Participation rate for children with IEPs.
C. Proficiency rate for children with IEPs against grade level, modified and alternate academic achievement standards.

Indicator 4: Suspensions and Expulsions
Rates of suspension and expulsion:

A. Percent of districts that have a significant discrepancy in the rate of suspensions and expulsions of greater than 10 days in a school year for children with IEPs; and
B. Percent of districts that have: (a) a significant discrepancy, by race or ethnicity, in the rate of suspensions and expulsions of greater than 10 days in a school year for children with IEPs; and (b) policies, procedures or practices that contribute to the significant discrepancy and do not comply with requirements relating to the development and implementation of IEPs, the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and procedural safeguards.

Indicator 5: Participation/Time in General Education Settings (LRE)
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served:


A. Inside the regular class 80% or more of the day;
B. Inside the regular class less than 40% of the day; and
C. In separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements.

Indicator 6: Preschool Children in General Education Settings (Pre-School LRE)
Percent of children aged 3 through 5 with IEPs attending a:

A. Regular early childhood program and receiving the majority of special education and related services in the regular early childhood program; and
B. Separate special education class, separate school or residential facility.

Indicator 7: Preschool Children with Improved Outcomes  
Percent of preschool children aged 3 through 5 with IEPs who demonstrate improved:

A. Positive social-emotional skills (including social relationships);
B. Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills (including early language/ communication and early literacy); and
C. Use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs.

Indicator 8: Parental Involvement
Percent of parents with a child receiving special education services who report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities.

Indicator 9: Disproportionate Representation in Special Education that is the Result of Inappropriate Identification
Percent of districts with disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in special education and related services that is the result of inappropriate identification.

Indicator 10: Disproportionate Representation in Specific Disability Categories
Percent of districts with disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups in specific disability categories that is the result of inappropriate identification.

Indicator 11: Timeframe Between Evaluation and Identification (Child Find)
Percent of children who were evaluated within 60 days of receiving parental consent for initial evaluation or, if the State establishes a timeframe within which the evaluation must be conducted, within that timeframe.

Indicator 12: Transition Between Part C and Part B
Percent of children referred by Part C prior to age 3, who are found eligible for Part B, and who have an IEP developed and implemented by their third birthdays.

Indicator 13: Post School Transition Goals in IEP 
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals that are annually updated and based upon an age appropriate transition assessment, transition services, including courses of study, that will reasonably enable the student to meet those postsecondary goals, and annual IEP goals related to the student’s transition services needs. There also must be evidence that the student was invited to the IEP Team meeting where transition services are to be discussed and evidence that, if appropriate, a representative of any participating agency was invited to the IEP Team meeting with the prior consent of the parent or student who has reached the age of majority.

Indicator 14: Participation in Postsecondary Settings One Year After Graduation  
Percent of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were:

A. Enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school.
B. Enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school.
C. Enrolled in higher education or in some other postsecondary education or training program; or competitively employed or in some other employment within one year of leaving high school.

Indicator 15: Timely Correction of Noncompliance
General supervision system (including monitoring, complaints, hearings, etc.) identifies and corrects noncompliance as soon as possible but in no case later than one year from identification.

Indicator 16: Resolution of Written Complaints
Percent of signed written complaints with reports issued that were resolved within 60-day timeline or a timeline extended for exceptional circumstances with respect to a particular complaint, or because the parent (or individual or organization) and the public agency agree to extend the time to engage in mediation or other alternative means of dispute resolution, if available in the State.

Indicator 17: Due Process Timelines
Percent of adjudicated due process hearing requests that were adjudicated within the 45-day timeline or a timeline that is properly extended by the hearing officer at the request of either party or in the case of an expedited hearing, within the required timelines.

Indicator 18: Hearing Requests Resolved by Resolution Sessions
Percent of hearing requests that went to resolution sessions that were resolved through resolution session settlement agreements.

Indicator 19: Mediations Resulting in Mediation Agreements
Percent of mediations held that resulted in mediation agreements.

Indicator 20: Timeliness and Accuracy of State Reported Data
State reported data (618 and State Performance Plan and Annual Performance Report) are timely and accurate.

This is rather breath-taking in its breadth, don’t you think? This list of indicators certainly gives you an idea of the complexity of the task that States and local education agencies tackle in addressing their responsibility to educate students with disabilities in a way that improves their lifelong outcomes. Not the least of which is collecting the necessary data to demonstrate how they’re doing!

Back to top


NOTICE: NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resources' Library at This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to