CADRE Continuum

The CADRE Continuum offers a searchable database of dispute resolution practices in special education. Users are able to move from broad process descriptions to specific practice details and can learn information related to program design and oversight, professional standards, public awareness and outreach, and evaluation.

CADRE Continuum of Dispute Resolution Processes & Practices
Levels of Intervention Prevention Disagreement Conflict Procedural Safeguards Legal Review
Assistance/ Intervention Options
Dimensions that help clarify placement of the options along the Continuum
Third-Party Assistance Third-Party Intervention
Decision Making by Parties Decision Making by Third-Party
Interest-Based Focus Rights-Based Focus
Informal & Flexible Formal & Fixed

At the “Process” level, users will find broad categories that mirror five stages of conflict (prevention, early disagreement resolution, conflict management, formal procedural safeguards, legal review), with degrees of intervention suggested for each stage. On this Continuum, the earliest stage of conflict management is prevention, where conflicts may be avoided through parent engagement, building communications skills or other dispute preemption practices. After this first stage, disagreements or conflicts may be resolved through third-party assistance, or, if needed, through more formal procedural or legal actions.

Under each of the “process” levels are several “sub-processes,” clusters of like dispute resolution practices offered by state or local education agencies or, in some cases, by another entity. For example, many different facilitation models are offered throughout the United States. You will find detailed information about some of these programs under the “Facilitation” sub-process. Similarly, there are several examples in which parents help other parents. These can be found under the sub-process, “Parent-to-Parent Assistance.”

CADRE has done its best to confirm the accuracy of this information. Programs and the personnel responsible for them may change without our knowledge. Inclusion in the CADRE Continuum of Processes and Practices does not constitute endorsement by CADRE or the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education.