Throughout your child’s educational career, they will always be under some kind of scrutiny. In this case, scrutiny doesn’t carry a bad connotation, it’s more about monitoring your child to make sure they are progressing through the educational system based on normal guidelines. As a parent, you should appreciate the fact educators and the school system are helping you look after the welfare of your child.
From time to time, your child might have to go through certain evaluations. This would most likely happen if there were indications your child is not developing as expected. Many times, this is indicative of a child having some kind of learning disability.
As the parent, you need to be in the loop when your child is being evaluated. If for any reason you have issues with the results of an evaluation of the process by which it was delivered, you would have certain rights. Chief among those rights would be the right to request an independent education evaluation from an independent educational evaluator.
What is an IEE?
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, you have certain rights in regards to protecting your child. That includes making sure that school evaluations are appropriate and meaningful. After all, the school will use any evaluations they perform to chart the best course for your child’s future education. As we stated above, you do have the right to question school evaluations and to request an independent education evaluation.
Upon making the said request, the school or school system is required by law to furnish you with information about where you can get an independent education evaluation (IEE). Furthermore, the school or school system is required to provide funding to cover the cost of an IEE.
An Independent education evaluation is an educational assessment about the way your child is progressing and whether or not they have a learning disability. Clearly, this kind of information is vital to you as a parent. It’s the kind of information that could result in you spending money and investing time and effort to get your child into a special educational program.
Who Would Provide an Independent Education Evaluation?
While the school is required by law to provide you with information regarding where to get an IEE, the individual who would perform the evaluation must be completely independent of the school or school system. They must also carry any proper credentials and licensing that the state, city, school system, or school might require. The results of their evaluation would go directly to the school and you as the parent.
If you are located in the Phoenix Metro Area, The Serin Center can provide you with an Independent Education Evaluation.
Contact Us to find out more!
Why Not a Private Evaluation?
If you independently suspect your child might have a learning disability, you do have the right to pursue a private evaluation. Of course, you would be required to cover the costs.
After the evaluation has been completed, you can share the results with the school or school system. In such cases, most schools would have to consider the results and enter them in as part of your child’s official educational record. However, they are not required by law to agree with or accept private evaluations.
Reasons to Request an Independent
After reviewing and discussing the results of the school or school systems evaluation of your child, you might not agree with the results or assessment. Before you impulsively request an IEE, you should make sure your reasons for doing so are compelling. After all, testing can be very stressful for a child.
With that said, here are a few reasons why you might want to exercise your right to an IEE:
- The results of the school’s education evaluation do not indicate the presence of a disability, but you believe this assessment is contrary to what you have experienced
- You have legitimate questions about the accuracy or validity of the school’s evaluation
- You feel the evaluation was lacking and not comprehensive enough
What if the School or School System Objects to an IEE?
For the most part, you have every reason to believe the school or school system will be congenial about the evaluation process. If you believe the original evaluation might not be accurate, the school or school system will most likely work with you on getting an IEE. However, some schools don’t like being questioned and might have budget constraints that would lead them to push back on your request.
By law, they cannot simply dismiss your request. If the original education evaluation is in dispute, the school would have to request a due process hearing.
At the hearing, the school would have the burden of presenting evidence that the original evaluation was in fact correct and accurate. They would make their stand based on the premise that an IEE would be unnecessary and would not offer a different result. For your part, you have no burden of any kind. You would not even have to provide an explanation as to why you disagree with the original evaluation. If you do choose to respond as to why you, be prepared to support your contention as clearly as possible.
The hearing officer is not an advocate for either side. Their job is to hear the school or school system’s evidence and make a decision. If the school or school system fails to adequately support the validity of their evaluation, the hearing officer could direct them to pay for an IEE.
For Your Consideration
Since the school or school system is required to consider and pay for an IEE, you are only permitted by law to request one. Also, the results of the IEE may not be used in any future due process hearings. If the results of the IEE are consistent with the original evaluation, you would need to either accept the results or make other plans for your child.
Note: If you feel compelled to contest a school’s education evaluation, you would be well advised to read up on your rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act before moving forward.
Independent Educational Evaluations in Phoenix
Our Peoria, AZ & Scottsdale, AZ offices provide independent educational evaluations for: intelligence, academic abilities, executive functioning, and obtain parent and teacher feedback to integrate our findings. We have built a process that will give concrete solutions and goals that go beyond merely determining if a child should be granted accommodations under section 504 or individualized assistance as part of an Individualized Education Plan. Contact us at your earliest convenience to get started today.
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