State Systemic Improvement Planning: Impact on System and Student Outcomes

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In the wake of reports of continued gaps between youth with and without disabilities in regard to graduation rates and postschool outcomes, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE), Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) began examining their process for monitoring state implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA). OSEP’s revised accountability system, known as Results-Driven Accountability, better aligns accountability systems to support states in improving results for infants, toddlers, and youth with disabilities and their families. Currently required from states, is a comprehensive multiyear State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) focused on improving results for students with disabilities. The purpose of this article is to describe the phases of the SSIP and provide an example of how this new accountability system is working in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). As with all other states, territories, and freely associated states, RMI is required to develop and implement an SSIP.