An Examination of the Alignment Between Individualized Education Program (IEP) Goals and IEP Progress Reports

Date of Award


Degree Name

Specialist in Education (Ed.S.)


Department of Counselor Education and Human Services


Advisor: Elana Bernstein


Although special education documents of public school districts are often scrutinized in litigation involving the progress of students with disabilities, scant research exists about effective and compliant methods for reporting progress toward IEP goals. This study examined the extent to which IEP progress reports align to the IEP goals they intended to measure. One hundred systematically selected IEP goals and corresponding progress reports from a suburban public school district in southern Ohio were analyzed using a researcher-created rubric; the collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The defined behavior, performance criteria, and overall alignment of each goal was examined by how well progress was reflected in the goal's progress report during the span of the IEP year. Eight percent of the IEP goal progress reports analyzed earned the full points possible in the area of defined behavior, fourteen percent in the area of performance criteria, and three percent earned the full points possible overall. The implications of these low alignment rates for public education stakeholders are discussed.


Special Education, Educational Psychology, Education Policy, Individualized Education Program, IEP, progress report, progress, IEP goals, students with disabilities

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2020, author