Interim Report From the NationalAssessment
n the 1997 reauthorization of the Individuals with DisabilitiesEducation Act (IDEA), Congress sought to address some of theconcerns and issues that have emerged since the law’s initiationthrough a mandate for a national evaluation. Section 674 (b) of the 1997 amendments specifically requires the Department of Education to undertake an evaluation of the implementation andprogress toward meeting the goals of the act. Nine target issuesare specified in the law (see table IV-1). The assessment mustexamine how well schools, local education agencies (LEAs),States, other recipients, and the Department are achieving thepurposes of the act, including:
improving the performance of children with disabilities ingeneral scholastic activities and assessments ascompared to nondisabled children;
providing for the participation of children with disabilitiesin the general curriculum;
helping children with disabilities make successfultransitions from early intervention to preschooleducation; preschool education to elementary school;and secondary school to adult life;
placing and serving children with disabilities, includingminority children, in the least restrictive environment(LRE);
preventing children with disabilities, especially childrenwith emotional disturbances and specific learningdisabilities, from dropping out of school;
This module is based in part on work performed by Margaret McLaughlin,Ann Milne, and Maurice McInerney at the American Institutes for Researchthrough a task order contract to design, consistent with IDEA Section674(b), a national evaluation of the implementation and impact of the IDEAAmendments of 1997.