Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Outcomes System

The United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has implemented a new special education requirement. Pursuant to 20 U.S.C. 1416(a) (3)(A), states will be required to report child progress data for preschool aged children receiving early childhood special education services.

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has convened a group of stakeholders, including school district personnel from rural and urban districts, researchers from universities, and representation from the Part C Early Intervention Lead Agency, who have assisted in the development of a child outcomes measurement and reporting system for Illinois. The group took into consideration that many school districts and special education cooperatives have high quality assessment practices in place and that some districts have developed child outcomes and measurement systems for all preschool aged children.

A large majority of districts and special education cooperatives are funded by ISBE to operate prekindergarten programs for children at risk of academic failure. These prekindergarten programs, for the most part, are already using evidence-based curricula and assessment systems identified by ISBE. Many districts “blend” their prekindergarten programs and early childhood special education services to facilitate a high quality early childhood program for all preschool aged children served by the district.

A guiding factor in developing the outcome measurement system was that it will enhance the high quality early childhood programs. Therefore the outcomes measurement system is based on school districts’ use of multiple sources of information regarding a child’s functioning on each of the outcomes.

For more information on the early childhood Outcomes System, please refer to the Illinois State Performance Plan, Indicator 7, found on the ISBE website at the following link: