Special Education/Progress


Can you explain what a school is legally obligated to provide in terms of progress reports, how often, and if any detail is required or a rating of goals is sufficient.Thanks!

Dear Daniel,

Thank you so much for a great question about progress monitoring and reporting.

The student's IEP will specify how often progress is to be reported, and progress on goals needs to be reported at least as often as students without disabilities get progress reports in the form of report cards.

The IEP should also specify whether data collection and what kind of data collection should be used to monitor and report progress. This is especially true if you take a view that the interventions must be provided with fidelity, and data should be collected to discover if interventions are working (Response to Intervention framework).

It is often a discussion and negotiation between parents and school districts. Parents want to see data related to the evaluation criteria on the IEP goals and school districts sometimes resist, seeing it as extra work. For example, if the goal is that student will answer 9/10 inferential comprehension questions as measured by weekly curriculum based probes, parents should in my opinion, have a right to see those probes/quizzes. Putting the data collection into the IEP and having more frequent progress reporting in the IEP is the best way to assure it is accomplished.

I hope this answers your question! If not, feel free to follow up. Thank you again for writing to me and using this service!

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Michelle R. Davis, M. Ed.


I can answer questions about disability definitions and criteria for services, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, No Child Left Behind, 504 plans, how to craft an IEP that drives the appropriate services, school placement, dispute options, and least restrictive environment. I worked in the public school system as a special educator and am now in private consulting practice where we assist parents as they navigate the special education process. I have expertise in all educational disabilities except blind/visual impairments and deaf/hard of hearing. This includes ADHD and other health impairments, medical conditions, dyslexia and learning disabilities, Autism, emotional disabilities, language processing problems, and interfering behaviors.


10 years as special educator and administrator in public school system; Director of ABCs for Life Success since 1998; Expert services such as analysis and testimony; Author: Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book: What you can do now to advocate for your exceptional child's education; Special Needs Advocacy Training Institute; internet radio show Teach Your Children Well: Hot Topics in Education; author School Success for Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders released March 2010 (Prufrock Press).

Masters in Special Education with Emphasis on Inclusive Education (Johns Hopkins University); B.S.in Special Education (James Madison University); Conduct training for Universities, public and private schools, parent groups. Adjunct professor current George Washington University and prior George Mason University.

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