Disagreeing with a School Evaluation and Requesting an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) for Your Child

Disagreeing with a School Evaluation and Requesting an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) for Your Child

As a parent, you always want the best for your child, especially regarding their education. So, when a school evaluation does not accurately reflect your child's needs or abilities, it can be frustrating and worrisome. If you are in this situation, knowing your rights and the steps you can take to ensure your child receives the support they need and is appropriate is essential. One of the most powerful tools at your disposal is requesting an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE). In this post, we'll discuss why you disagree with a school evaluation, how to request an IEE, and what new data you might obtain in the process.

Reasons You Might Disagree with a School Evaluation

There are several reasons why you might disagree with a school evaluation. These can include:

Inadequate assessment: The evaluation may not have sufficiently assessed your child's needs or overlooked certain areas of concern or suspected disability. For example, the evaluation may not have considered your child's learning style or failed to identify a specific learning disability.

Bias or discrimination: Sometimes, a school evaluation may be influenced by bias or discrimination, leading to an inaccurate assessment. This bias can occur if the evaluator has preconceived notions about your child's abilities based on race, gender, socioeconomic status, or reputation.

Inaccurate interpretation of results: The evaluator may have misinterpreted the assessment results or drawn incorrect conclusions from the data.

Inconsistency with your observations: As a parent, you have unique insight into your child's abilities and struggles. If the school evaluation doesn't align with what you see at home or in other settings, it may be worth exploring further.

Inconsistency with teacher-provided data: Sometimes, the data or observations provided by the classroom teacher, homework or tests that come home, or standardized tests might conflict with the testing completed by the school psychologist.

Incomplete testing: It is not your job to know what tests the school should provide, but they are often not completing a FULL AND COMPREHENSIVE evaluation. If they have not provided a psychological evaluation, it is not complete. It is incomplete if they have not included suggestions for support and accommodations. If they have not done academic or behavioral testing, if that is a concern, it is incomplete.

Requesting an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)

If you disagree with the school evaluation, you have the right to request an IEE. An IEE is an evaluation conducted by a qualified professional not employed by the school district. It serves as an impartial assessment of your child's needs and abilities. Here are some steps to follow when requesting an IEE:

Review the school evaluation: Before requesting an IEE, it's crucial to thoroughly review the evaluation and ask questions to ensure you understand the results.

Research your rights: Familiarize yourself with the procedural safeguards under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which guarantees your right to request an IEE at public expense if you disagree with the school's evaluation.

Write a formal letter: Write a formal letter to the school district stating your disagreement with the school evaluation and your request for an IEE. This should be a simple letter and not overly specific. For example, your disagreement could simply be that the testing results do not reflect or address the suspected disability.

Keep records: Keep copies of all correspondence with the school district, including your letter requesting the IEE and any responses you receive.

Be prepared to negotiate: In some cases, the school district may want to discuss your concerns and try to resolve the disagreement without proceeding to an IEE. Negotiation is a good collaborative step, but don't agree to anything in the meeting. Request time to do the research and ensure that what they offer is the right move for your child and will provide the data you are looking for.

Know your options: If the school district denies your request for an IEE, you have the right to file a complaint with your state's Department of Education or request a due process hearing.

Do I have to use the providers on the district list?

No, you do not. If you choose a provider not on the district list let the district know who you have chosen. Cost may be a factor if the provider you choose is more costly than others, so have that conversation up front with the provider and district.

What New Data You Might Get from an IEE

An IEE can provide valuable new information and insights into your child's needs and abilities. Some of the new data you might obtain from an IEE include:

Identification of previously undiagnosed learning disabilities or conditions: The IEE may uncover specific learning disabilities, attention issues, or other needs or disabilities that the school evaluation did not identify.

Updated or more comprehensive testing: The IEE may involve more thorough or up-to-date testing that can provide a deeper understanding of your child's strengths and weaknesses.

Recommendations for accommodations or interventions: The IEE may provide specific recommendations for accommodations or interventions that can help your child succeed in school. These recommendations can be used to advocate for the support your child needs.

Is it too late to get an IEE?

Is it too late to get an IEE? No, suppose you feel like your child's IEP is not working. In that case, you can request the school conduct a new evaluation for added information (if it has been more than a year) or ask for an IEE for additional data points.

You may want to start with an IEP team conversation about what is and isn't working to address your concerns. But an IEE is a great way to collect more data.

In conclusion, if you disagree with a school evaluation, it's essential to know your rights and the steps you can take to ensure your child receives the support they require. Requesting an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) can be an invaluable tool in obtaining new data and insights into your child's needs, ultimately helping them thrive in their educational journey.

If you need support with eligibility for your child, undersanding test results, or addressing their specific needs outlined in the data in your child's IEP, and are looking to add an advocate or educational constulant to your team, make an appointment to talk to me and let's see if I can help.