IAIEP Rubric

 Expanded Standard header image

Navigating the Rubric

Click the "Rubric Explanation" card below for an explanation of this rubric, and explore the various components of the rubric with the cards below it. 

An instructionally appropriate individual education program (IAIEP) is an individualized plan for a student with an educational disability, which is developed, reviewed, and revised annually by the individual education program (IEP) team. Federal and state laws and regulations specify the information that must be documented in each student’s IEP. Generally, the IEP identifies the student’s individual needs based on his/her specific area(s) of exceptionality (deficit) and how the school will strategically address those needs. It also identifies how providers will provide specially-designed instruction, support students in the general education curriculum, and provide access to the same grade-level learning standards as the student’s nondisabled peers, all within the student’s least restrictive environment.

The department is committed to creating practical resources to support districts in the creation of high-quality IAIEPs that will improve student outcomes. This rubric provides important information for IEP teams on developing IAIEPs that will not only meet compliance, but also set students up for success in their K–12 academic careers and open pathways for postsecondary and career options. It is intended to be a tool for Tennessee educators as they continually strive to improve student outcomes through the IEP process. A teacher can self-assess using a holistic approach where the assessor looks at each area of an IEP he/she/they writes and determines an overall performance level. The performance levels allow the assessor (i.e., special education teacher, supervisor, case manager, etc.) to identify compliance concerns separately from IEP monitoring, identify areas of strengths, and identify areas in need of additional support. Since the rubric is written as a continuum, the assessor will be able to identify actionable steps towards improvement, so that the IEP supports improved student outcomes.

The rubric is divided by each area of the IEP and each area includes three performance levels:

  • Written to improve student outcomes (4) – This performance level reflects best practice and includes indicators that will lead to increased parent involvement and a thoroughly developed plan that will guide the IEP team in helping the student ultimately meet his or her postsecondary goals.
  • May meet compliance indicators (2) – This performance level generally meets the IEP Monitoring Protocol compliance expectations. However, this performance level reflects the minimum expectation, and IEPs written to this level may not include the detail and planning necessary to improve student outcomes.
  • Likely does not meet compliance indicators and lacks quality to improve student outcomes (0) – This performance level does not meet the minimum compliance and/or legal expectations, nor does it reflect the quality necessary to improve student outcomes. When assessing an area of the IEP, look at each bulleted section from 0-4 to determine the best fit. Looking over all bulleted sections, there may be a variance of scores within an IEP area. When this happens, remember that scores of 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 may be given.

Example: When self-assessing the IEP area of “narrative”, two of the bullets under a (4), three of the bullets under (2), and one bullet under (3) apply to the IEP that is being scored. The narrative score would likely be a (3) because some of the narrative elements were written to improve student outcomes while others just met minimum compliance.

 

Written to improve student outcomes

(4)

May meet minimum compliance indicators

(2)

Likely does not meet compliance indicators and lacks quality to improve student outcomes

(0)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Narratives

 

______________

Score

  • Strengths include academic and non-academic areas, are written in positive terms, pertain to specific academic skills, are true strengths (not “relative strengths”), and help you see “who” the student is.
  • Adverse impact statement is clear, tells how the disability affects access/involvement and progress in the general curriculum, and contains all areas of exceptionality noted in IEP.
  • Medical information is comprehensive and supported by documentation, or states, “No medical concerns at this time.”
  • All special factors are addressed and aligned with other information in the IEP; comprehensive information is provided when appropriate; or there are no special factors identified and these items are documented.
  • Narrative sections include information for consideration, not predetermination, of supports and services.
  • Strengths include academic areas, are written in positive terms, and help you see “who” the student is.
  • Parent concerns are documented using a paraphrase.
  • Adverse impact statement is clear and tells how the disability affects access/involvement and progress in the general curriculum.
  • Medical information is included; states, “No medical concerns at this time;” or says, “None.”
  • Consideration of Special Factors questions are identified and appropriately addressed or there are no special factors identified and these items are documented.
  • Strengths do not contain academic learning or do not allow you to know “who” the student is.
  • Parent concern section is blank or states, “TBD at meeting,” “parents have no concerns,” or “parents not present.”
  • Adverse impact statement says there is an impact but does not tell how the disability affects access/involvement and progress in the general curriculum.
  • Medical information is left blank or says “n/a.”
  • Consideration of Special Factors questions are incomplete, incorrect, or misaligned with other information in the IEP.
  • Narrative sections predetermine what supports and services are recommended.

 

Written to improve student outcomes

(4)

May meet minimum compliance indicators

(2)

Likely does not meet compliance indicators and lacks quality to improve student outcomes

(0)

 

 

 

 

Present Levels of Educational Performance (PLEPs)

  • Numbers
  • Can-do’s
  • Deficits/Needs
  • Educational Impact

 

                           

Score

Data-

  • The PLEP includes current formal data (e.g., diagnostic, criterion-referenced, norm referenced, etc.), informal data, and narrative information.
  • Data sources and context (e.g., modality, method, content, setting, etc.) are indicated.

 

What the data shows-

  • The PLEP indicates what the student “can do” in the area(s) of exceptionality and is detailed, specific, and based off the data included.
  • The PLEP states how student is performing compared to typical peers.
  • The PLEP gives clear direction for goal writing that includes ample details on specific needs.

 

Educational Impact-

  • The PLEP clearly outlines specific needs within the area of exceptionality, how they will impact mastery of grade level content, and what academic areas are impacted.
  • The PLEP includes impact for consideration, not predetermination, of goals/accommodations/ services

Data-

  • Data is current (reviewed/updated at each annual IEP).
  • The PLEP includes formal data (e.g., diagnostic, criterion-referenced, norm referenced, etc.), informal data, or narrative.
  • The PLEP includes at least one data source in at least one setting.
  • Data sources referenced are aligned to the assessment area.

Data-

  • Much of the data is irrelevant to the student’s current needs.
  • There is no evidence of annual review of data.
  • Data sources and context (modality, method, content, setting, etc.) are not indicated.

 

What the data shows-

  • The PLEP does not provide understanding of the student’s present performance in the area and/or may contain misinformation about assessment data.

Educational Impact-

  • The impact of mastery of standards does not give any understanding of how the student’s exceptionality affects his/her general education.

 

  • The impact statement determines goals/accommodations/services (i.e., predetermination).

 

Written to improve student outcomes

(4)

May meet minimum compliance indicators

(2)

Likely does not meet compliance indicators and lacks quality to improve student outcomes

(0)

 

 

Measurable Annual Goals (MAGs)

  • Short-term objectives required for students taking the Alternate Assessment

 

                           

 

Score

  • Skills addressed by goals are directly linked to a specific skill exceptionality described in the PLEPs.
  • Goals include the following: condition, clearly- defined behavior, and performance criteria (how well, how consistently, how often, how measured).
  • The “given” (condition/materials/setting/ accommodation) provides specific, clear direction for goal monitoring.
  • Goals are easy to understand and coherent (i.e., all components make sense together).
  • If goals address general outcome measures (e.g. words per minute), there are also goals/objectives that address specific skill needs.
  • Goals provide clear direction for instruction, and goal attainment will provide greater access to grade level standards.
  • Goals change annually by building on progress from previous year, or goals have been revised to be more appropriate and reasonable given the student’s deficits and past progress.
  • One or more goals are written for each exceptional PLEP area.
  • Goals are measurable.
  • There are no goals for exceptional areas, or goals are written for areas that were determined to be “Not Exceptional.”
  • Goals/goal measurement are standards-based, (not exceptionality-based), course-based, or at grade level.
  • Goals are not measurable (i.e., they lack measurable criteria or attempt to measure multiple, separate skills)
  • One or more of the following are incomplete: condition, clearly defined behavior, and/or performance criteria (how well, how consistently, how often, how measured).
  • Goals do not provide a clear direction for instruction.

 

Written to improve student outcomes

(4)

May meet minimum compliance indicators

(2)

Likely does not meet compliance indicators and lacks quality to improve student outcomes

(0)

Classroom Accommodations and/or Modifications

 

                           

Score

  • All classroom instructional accommodations are aligned with classroom assessment accommodations.
  • All classroom accommodations and/or modifications are based on documented need that is directly and specifically linked to PLEPs, adverse impact statement, special factors, and/or cognitive processing deficits.
  • Classroom accommodations and/or modifications vary across subject areas as appropriate for each student.
  • Program participation is addressed in all area of student need.
  • Classroom instructional accommodations are aligned with classroom assessment accommodations.
  • Classroom instructional accommodations are not aligned with classroom assessment accommodations.
  • Classroom accommodations and/or modifications are missing or not aligned to need.

 

Written to improve student outcomes

(4)

May meet minimum compliance indicators

(2)

Likely does not meet compliance indicators and lacks quality to improve student outcomes

(0)

 

 

 

 

State and District Testing Accommodations

 

 

____________

Score

  • All testing accommodations are based on needs that are directly linked to PLEP, adverse impact statement, special factors, and/or cognitive process deficits.
  • Read aloud accommodation is aligned with a clear need outlined in the IEP (e.g., documented deficit in basic reading or reading fluency, or physical need) and is also received for classroom assessments.
  • The appropriate mandated assessments are indicated.

o Students participating in the alternate assessment or WIDA ACCESS Alternate will not have accommodations noted as they are a part of the assessment design.

  • Accommodations for district/state assessments align with accommodations for classroom assessments.
  • For students taking the TN Alternate Assessment, participation requirements are completed and there is evidence that the student has a significant cognitive disability.
  • The appropriate mandated assessments are not indicated.

o Students participating in the alternate assessment or WIDA ACCESS Alternate will not have accommodations noted as they are a part of the assessment design.

  • Accommodations for district/state assessments are not aligned with accommodations for classroom assessments.
  • Testing accommodations are not aligned to PLEPs, adverse impact statement, special factors, and/or cognitive processing deficits.
  • Read aloud accommodation is not aligned with a clear need outlined in the IEP.
  • For students taking the TN Alternate Assessment, participation requirements are complete and/or documented, but it is unclear if the student meets the eligibility criteria.

 

Written to improve student outcomes

(4)

May meet minimum compliance indicators

(2)

Likely does not meet compliance indicators and lacks quality to improve student outcomes

(0)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Services

(includes related services)

 

                           

Score

  • Services align with PLEPs, and goals and include all of the following with enough detail to see what specific services the student is receiving: type, provider, sessions, time per session, dates, and location (e.g., “reading intervention” rather than “academic intervention”).
  • If student has goals addressed by both speech and language therapy, service times are allocated separately.

Least Restrictive Environment and General Education

  • The explanation of the extent, if any, that the student will not be participating in the regular education classroom (i.e., LRE statement) includes detailed information that aligns with service hours.
  • If the student is not attending his/her home school, a detailed explanation, including the data used to determine necessity of an alternate placement, is included.

Extended School Year (ESY)

  • ESY Services were addressed and comprehensive supporting data is included.
  • Services align with PLEPs and goals and include all of the following: type, provider, sessions, time per session, dates, and location.

Least Restrictive Environment and General Education

  • The explanation of the extent, if any,  to  which the student will not be  participating  in the regular education classroom (i.e., LRE statement) is aligned with special education and related services.
  • If the student is not attending his/her home school, an explanation for the alternate placement is included.

Special Transportation

  • Special Transportation was addressed.

Extended School Year (ESY)

    • ESY services were addressed and supported by determination data.
  • One or more of the following areas is missing or incorrect: type, provider, sessions, time per session, dates, and/or location.
  • Services are not aligned with PLEPs and goals.
  • A student has separate exceptionalities and goals in speech and language, but there is only one area addressed in services.

Least Restrictive Environment and General Education

  • Services are provided outside of the regular education classroom, but no explanation is provided or the explanation does not align with service hours.
  • Student is not attending his/her home school, but there is no explanation for this determination or the line is left blank.

Special Transportation

  • Special Transportation was not addressed.

Extended School Year (ESY)

  • ESY services were not addressed, or ESY was determined without supporting data.

 

Written to improve student outcomes

(4)

May meet minimum compliance indicators

(2)

Likely does not meet compliance indicators and lacks quality to improve student outcomes

(0)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transition

 

 

____________

Score

  • Student is invited to and has meaningful participation in their IEP meeting, beginning at age 14.
  • Age-appropriate transition assessments include student’s strengths, needs, interests, and preferences and are based on multiple assessments.
  • Postsecondary goals are outcome-oriented and indicate they occur after high school.
  • The course of study is developed prior to 9th grade or by age 14 and is written as a four-year plan of purposeful and specific high school courses that will lead to attainment of postsecondary goals.
  • Student is invited to their IEP meeting, beginning at age 14 and transition is indicated as the purpose of the meeting.
  • Age-appropriate transition assessments are documented.
  • Measurable postsecondary goals cover education or training, employment, and as needed, independent living, and/or community involvement.
  • Postsecondary goals are written prior to 9th grade or by age 14
  • There is a connection between the student’s annual goals and postsecondary goals.
  • Course of study is developed and written as a four- year plan of purposeful high school study prior to 9th grade or by age 14.
  • Transition services focus on improving the academic and functional achievement of the student to facilitate his/her movement from school to post-school.
  • Transition services address a student’s needs, strengths, interests, and preferences.
  • Transition services begin no later than age 16.
  • Parental consent was obtained before inviting any outside agencies to the IEP team meeting (if applicable).
  • Student was not invited to their IEP meeting and the student is 14+ years old.
  • Postsecondary goals were not based on age- appropriate transition assessments; transition assessments only included teacher observation; or assessments were not in the current year.
  • No measurable postsecondary goals prior to 9th grade or by age 14, or goals worded to indicate that the student will not work or attend further education or training.
  • There is not a clear connection between the student’s annual goals and postsecondary goals.
  • The course of study is not developed prior to 9th grade or by age 14.
  • Transition services are not developed, begin later than age 16, or just have high school services listed.

 

Written to improve student outcomes

(4)

May meet minimum compliance indicators

(2)

Likely does not meet compliance indicators and lacks quality to improve student outcomes

(0)

 

 

 

 

 

Overall IEP and Procedures

 

____________

Score

  • “Documentation of IEP Review” has been signed by those not in attendance, ensuring that all staff members are adequately informed of, and prepared to implement, the student’s plan.
  • Appropriate documents, including signature pages, are uploaded into EasyIEP, ensuring access to all documents for cohesive student programming.

Overall IEP

  • The IEP was well thought out and well planned for, passes the stranger test, and has minimal clerical errors ensuring readability/meaning.
  • Student services and assessment participation/modifications/accommodations are clearly supported by specific evidence of need (e.g., For students taking the alt assessment, there is clear evidence of a significant cognitive disability including adaptive behavior, evidence that the student is participating in instruction aligned to or derived from standards, and evidence that the student requires extensive, substantial individualized supports and services).
  • There is documentation that the legal parent (or student at age 18) has been informed of procedural safeguards.
  • There is documentation that all required IEP team members were present.
  • There is no documentation that the legal parent (or student at age 18) has been informed of procedural safeguards.
  • Few/no required documents are uploaded into EasyIEP.
  • Not all required IEP team members present or the documentation that team members attended is missing.
  • “Documentation of IEP Review” has not been completed.

Overall IEP

  • The IEP does not pass the stranger test, making it unclear.
  • There is no evidence that IEP was well thought out or well planned for.
  • There are multiple clerical errors that interfere with readability/meaning.
  • Student services and assessment are not supported by specific data in the present levels and appropriate goals (e.g., For students taking the TN Alternate Assessment, participation requirements are complete and/or documented, but it is unclear if the student meets the eligibility criteria).