IDEA Complaint Decision 03-022

On May 9, 2002, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, on February 18, 2003:

  • failed to include on the individual education program (IEP) team a representative of the local educational agency (LEA) and a regular education teacher; and
  • failed to develop appropriate goal statements.

On February 18, 2003, an IEP team meeting was held for the purpose of reviewing and revising the February 3, 2003, IEP for the child who is the subject of this complaint. During interviews MPS staff acknowledged to the department that not all required participants attended the February 18, 2003, IEP team meeting. An LEA representative and a regular education teacher did not attend the IEP team meeting. Since that meeting, the LEA has held three IEP team meetings for the child on April 2, May 21, and May 28, 2003, that included the required participants. No further corrective action is required.

The parent indicates that goals in her child's February 18, 2003, IEP are not measurable, are incomplete, and goals are not included for science and social studies special education services. Annual goals must be measurable and include a level of attainment that the child reasonably can be expected to achieve in 12 months. Annual goal statements must include benchmarks or short-term objectives. An IEP team may use either or both. A minimum of two benchmarks or short-term objectives must be included for each goal. Annual goals, including benchmarks and short-term objectives, must address needs that result from the child's disability to enable the child to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum or address other needs that result from the disability. If a child with a disability needs only modifications or accommodations in order to progress in an area of the general curriculum, the IEP does not need to include a goal for that area; however, the IEP would need to specify those modifications or accommodations.

On April 2, 2003, an IEP team revised the child's instructional/career goal adding additional information. All of the child's annual goals when read with the short-term objectives are measurable and include a level of attainment that the child reasonably can be expected to achieve in 12 months.

The child is involved full-time in the general curriculum receiving daily math instruction as special education services. The child also receives special education services 60 minutes weekly to assist the student with his regular education science and social studies assignments. The child's IEP does not include annual goals for science and social studies. The child's present level of performance does not include information regarding the child's need for these services. If a child with a disability needs only modifications or accommodations in order to progress in an area of the general curriculum, the IEP does not need to include a goal for that area; however, the IEP would need to specify those modifications or accommodations. This child's IEP includes modifications or accommodations for science and social studies.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed 6/20/03
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/jfd
For questions about this information, contact Patricia Williams (608) 267-3720