Per Indicator 14 of the State Performance Plan (SPP), states are required to collect and report data to the U.S. Department of Education on postsecondary education/training and employment outcomes for youth with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) one year after leaving high school.
A number of school districts in Illinois are selected each spring to administer the Illinois Post-School Survey to former students. Districts are categorized by size and type. One-fourth of the districts in each of the following cohorts (small unit districts, medium unit districts, large unit districts, and high school districts) in the state have been randomly selected to administer the survey. A number of high schools in City of Chicago School District 299 have also been selected. Districts chosen to administer the survey in spring 2020 will not be selected again for four years.
Districts selected to administer the Illinois Post-School Survey have the option to use an eight-question data collection tool that meets minimum federal reporting requirements, or use an expanded survey that allows youth to provide additional information on their postsecondary experiences in education, employment and independent living, as well as how high school prepared them for adult living.
ISBE will formally notify districts selected to administer the survey this spring in writing, which will include specific instructions on accessing the web application used to complete the survey through the IEP-Student Tracking and Reporting System (I-Star). The anticipated window to complete the survey administration will be from April 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020.
Districts will be able to access aggregate data provided by their former students in the web application used to administer the survey. We hope the information collected through the Illinois Post-School Survey will be useful to local districts in evaluating the secondary transition services it provides to students with disabilities.
Contacting Hard-to Find Youth: Strategies for the Post-School Survey
Yearly, approximately 100,000 former students who had an individual education plan (IEP) when they left high school are contacted to participate in a post-school survey. Efforts are made to contact youth who represent a variety of disabilities, as well as, minority youth and those who left high school with a diploma or dropped out of high school. Nevertheless, there are groups of youth who are difficult to contact and who are routinely underrepresented in the post-school survey data (e.g., those students who leave school early). To learn strategies for contacting youth who are hard-to-find, the National Post-School Outcomes Center conducted six focus groups with young adults and their family members in four states. This document summarizes the strategies recommended by youth and their families. Strategies are organized by five common themes.
Post-School Outcomes Data Collection and Use: Teachers as Partners
This paper provides information to assist other states in including teachers as partners in post-school data collection and examination. Suggestions are also included for teacher participation in this research with the goal of increasing the positive post-school status of youth with disabilities.
Collecting Post-School Outcomes Data: Strategies for Increasing Response Rates
As states grapple with collecting post-school outcome data, many are seeking guidance on strategies for improving response rates, especially for students who exit school early and informally by dropping out. The brief contains an overview of the requirement to collect post-school outcome data and challenges experienced by states in collecting these data. Recommendations and strategies that states can use to secure sufficient response rates, especially from youth who drop out of school, are provided.
Post-School Outcomes Surveys: Coming Soon to a Student Near You!
Participation in state post-school outcomes surveys is voluntary. However, youth and their families should know that their participation is important and valued. By giving a small amount of their time, they can make a big difference in the development of more effective special education and secondary transition programs for future students with disabilities.
Measuring Transition Success: Focus on Youth and Family Participation
American youth with disabilities now have an opportunity to participate in shaping the future of special education in our country. To determine how well schools are preparing youth with disabilities for success after high school, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) requires states to find out whether their former special education students have pursued further education or found competitive employment within one year of leaving high school. Youth and family participation in these post-school outcome data collection efforts has the potential to usher in a new era of effective, evidence-based transition programs and practices.
Transition Out of High School: A Quick Stats Fact Sheet
The transition from high school into college or the workforce is a key turning point in the lives of young people. Regardless of their chosen careers or academic paths after high school, young people must have the capacity to grapple with complex problems in order to maximize their potential for professional and personal success. This fact sheet from the National High School provides statistics highlighting some of the challenges and opportunities facing high school students after graduation.
Advice from the Field: Perspectives of State Directors of Special Education Regarding Post-School Outcomes Data and Indicator 14
The National Post School Outcomes Center (NPSO), in conjunction with the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE), conducted a focus group with several state directors of special education to (a) discuss the collection of their post-school outcomes data and (b) share their experiences and suggestions with other state directors, especially those who are new to their positions.