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Independent Monitor


Dr. David Rostetter

Dr. David Rostetter was appointed the Independent Monitor with the Modified Consent Decree on May 12, 2014. He has served as a monitor and special master in special education court orders.

Dr. Rostetter has been a consultant to local educational agencies, state educational agencies, the U. S. Departments of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services since leaving the U. S. Department of Education in 1986. While at the U.S. Department of Education, he carried out a number of assignments including: Director of the Division of Assistance to States with responsibility for the administration of IDEA-B and relevant EDGAR requirements through review of state education plans, awarding of funds, monitoring and the provision of technical assistance to states.

Dr. Rostetter served as the Special Assistant to Madeleine Will, Assistant Secretary, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) and was responsible for preparation of congressional testimony, liaison with OSERS organizational units, and external affairs. He was also an Associate Professor of Education at the Ralph C. Wilson School of Education at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York.

Of particular importance is his direct involvement in the review of over sixteen thousand IEPs and participation in over three hundred IEP meetings. His experiences provide a broad base upon which to assess the relative uniqueness and appropriateness of a school districts’ efforts to serve students.

Monitoring Activities and Responsibilities

As mandated by the Modified Consent Decree, one of the central tasks of the Office is monitoring the District’s progress with the agreed-upon outcomes. This requires our office to monitor the District’s data systems to verify the accuracy of the District’s data. Through accurate data we are able to monitor the progress of individual outcomes.

As part of our monitoring efforts, we periodically meet with the Parents’ Council, District representatives and counsel for the Plaintiffs. The Parent Council meeting is held one evening a month, on the second Monday of every month, to discuss progress and ongoing activities related to the Modified Consent Decree.

Our office also engages in conducting scientific studies to contribute to the development of new outcomes and to verify existing outcomes. We also conduct school site visits, and meet with local school staff and interested members of the community.

Additional responsibilities and activities include:


  • Monitoring the District’s commitment to improve facility accessibility for students with special needs.
  • Approval of the District’s Annual Plan which outlines short-term objectives and action steps designed to achieve the outcomes by June 30, 2006.
  • Conducting an Annual Hearing to hear from parents and other interested persons about the District’s compliance with special education laws.
  • Providing a written report to the Superintendent and Board of Education concerning the progress and effectiveness of the implementation of the terms and conditions of the Modified Consent Decree. the Modified Consent Decree.


Office of the Independent Monitor, 2019



About the Independent Monitor


The Los Angeles Unified School District’s special education program has been under federal court oversight since 1996 for systemic non-compliance of special education law. The Independent Monitor was appointed in May, 2003 after a modification of the original consent decree, Chanda Smith v. LAUSD. The Independent Monitor is responsible for determining whether LAUSD meets compliance with the Modified Consent Decree and special education law, by June 30, 2006.