The efforts at the local, state, and federal levels to create sound policies are important to improve accessibility to high-quality education. National legislation such as the 1997 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 97) has evolved to shape the direction of special education around the country. State and local policies establish funding formulas, standards, and assessment programs. National data, such as those from SEELS and other studies related to the National Assessment, are particularly useful for policymakers in their efforts to develop new policies and refine existing ones.

Federal Level. SEELS will offer input in the reauthorization process of IDEA with information that pertains to the nation as a whole. In addition, SEELS findings will highlight areas of concern or promising practices that could be used in setting an agenda for additional research or implementation.

State and Local Levels. Education is primarily the responsibility of states and local education agencies. SEELS will provide a national comparison against which states and local education officials can assess the characteristics of their schools, student populations, and achievements in comparison with the nation as a whole.

Reformer and Practitioner Level. There are many efforts around the country seeking to implement innovations in various areas of the curriculum to effect better learning outcomes. Independent evaluations of such efforts allow for comparisons and assessment of change among project participants. In many cases, the national perspective that allows for the consideration of how promising practices could be more widely adapted is lacking. Data from SEELS can fill this need.


Last Updated 03/02