Results-Driven Accountability (RDA)
The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) is authorized under §37-23-5 of the Mississippi Code 1972, to “foster, inspect, approve, and administer a program of education for exceptional children.” It is the responsibility of the MDE, Office of Special Education (OSE) to ensure implementation of the mandates of Federal and State laws and regulations regarding the provision of programs, services, and protections to all Mississippi children and youth with disabilities.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004 requires that the primary focus of IDEA monitoring be on 1) improving educational results and functional outcomes for children with disabilities, and 2) ensuring states and local educational agencies (LEAs) meet the IDEA program requirements. With a heightened focus on accountability and effectiveness for students with disabilities, the OSE is implementing a process for Results-Driven Accountability (RDA) to support LEA improvement efforts that are designed to improve the educational results and functional outcomes of Mississippi’s students with disabilities. RDA will align all components of accountability in a manner that best supports LEAs in improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities and their families.
The RDA process, a data-driven process, will focus on areas of compliance that impact results for children and youth with disabilities and support a more balanced approach to determining program effectiveness in special education.
Mississippi’s RDA system includes these major components:
- Annual Performance Report
- Annual LEA Status Determination
- Monitoring and Technical Assistance
The OSE, through its general supervisory authority, will conduct monitoring activities as a result of the following:
- Receipt of a Formal State Complaint
- Request by the Office of Accreditation, Commission on School Accreditation, or the State Superintendent of Education
- Selection by the Office of Accreditation for a Nonpublic School On-Site Evaluation
- Fiscal Audit
- Educable Child Program Review
The RDA system includes a process of rewards for LEAs achieving the Meets Requirements determination and sanctions for LEAs that do not show progress on selected indicators, fail to correct all identified areas of noncompliance within 12 months, or that fail to submit and/or implement an Improvement Plan following the identification of noncompliance.