Asking for an Independent Educational Evaluation


[MUSIC PLAYING] We understand you have
some concerns. Yes, we’re asking for an
outside evaluation. Well be specific. What’s wrong with
our evaluation? When a parent asks for an
independent educational evaluation, the school district
may ask the parent why they disagree with the
school district’s testing. But the school district cannot
require an explanation. And they cannot delay the
process just because the parent doesn’t give them
an explanation. Well as you know, technically
I don’t have to explain why. But because I have concerns,
I’ll be happy to share them with you. We’re worried about
his attention. This evaluation didn’t say
anything about attention. Well, he would have had
to be paying attention to take these tests. Yes, but that was one-on-one
in testing. I’m talking about the classroom
environment. Let’s ask the Special
Ed teacher. Do you see a lack of focus
in the classroom? In the resource room,
he’s very attentive. But that’s another small
class environment. I’m talking about in
the mainstream. His Special Ed teacher
knows him the best. So how is he doing
in your class? Don’t you remember? We talked about this at the
parent teacher conference. You told me you have to repeat
yourself constantly to him. Yeah, but he’s getting
a lot better. But that was only
two weeks ago. But it’s improved. If you’re really concerned,
I suppose I could do some attention rating scales. So let’s pause here. The whole purpose of getting
an independent educational evaluation is for the
parent to get an independent second opinion. It’s not designed for the
school district to have another opportunity
at testing. While I appreciate that, it’s
my understanding that I’m entitled to disagree with your
evaluation and ask for an independent educational
evaluation. How can you disagree with our
attention testing if we haven’t done it yet? You did a psych eval, I disagree
with it, and now I’m asking for independent
psych eval. What if we use the psychologist from the high school? Let me be clear, because
this is important. An independent educational
evaluation, as defined by federal law, is one that is
performed by someone who is not an employee of the
school district. So having a different employee
of the school district do the testing is not an independent
educational evaluation. I thought an IEE couldn’t be
done by a school employee. Well who do you want to use? Let’s pause for a moment. Before deciding upon who does
the independent evaluation, a parent should get an answer
to their request. Is it yes, or no? So are you approving the
independent eval? Well that depends on who
you want to use. We have an approved list that
you can choose from. Now this can get a
little tricky. When a parent’s request for
an independent educational evaluation is approved by a
school district, the school district should have a list of
evaluators who meet the school district’s criteria to do
independent educational evaluations. But here’s what you need
to understand. The parent is not limited
to that list. The parent is entitled to choose
whomever they want to do the evaluation, as long as
that person meets the school district’s criteria. So as a parent, if you have
someone in mind who you’d like to evaluate your child, make
sure you ask the team for their criteria for independent
evaluators– just to make sure that the
person you have in mind actually meets their criteria. Well if you’re agreeing to the
evaluation, I’d be happy to look at your list and
get back to you. But I’ve heard some really good
things about Dr. Jones. Absolutely not. I do not agree with Dr. Jones. If that’s who you want,
I won’t approve it. But I thought you were agreeing
to the IEE and giving me your list? I’m agreeing to the IEE,
but not with Dr. Jones. Why? We’ve had some bad experiences
with him, and we don’t like him. Remember this– the whole point of a parent’s
right to an independent educational evaluation is that
they can get a second opinion that’s unbiased about
their child. For that reason, school
districts cannot impose conditions upon the evaluator
that would prevent the parent from getting a truly independent
educational evaluation. You mentioned your criteria. Can I get a copy of
that, please? We don’t actually have
that written down. We decide that on a case-by-case
basis, like we’re doing here. As a matter of fact, the federal
law does require that when a parent requests an IEE,
the school district must give that parent their criteria. So are you agreeing
or disagreeing? I’m not hearing a need for an
independent evaluation. But let’s ask the team. Team, do you need an outside
evaluation to work with him? No. I don’t need any help. I’m doing just fine. While it’s valuable to get the
team’s opinion, the right to an independent educational
evaluation is for the parents, not the school district. So I’m not hearing a need. So the answer is no. Well, it’s my understanding that
if you deny my request for an IEE, you have
to initiate a hearing without delay. Is that something you’re
going to do? We don’t have to initiate
a hearing. The statute couldn’t really
couldn’t be more clear. If a parent requests an
independent educational evaluation, and the school
district denies that request, the school district
must initiate a due process hearing. Unfortunately, this
bears repeating. The denial of a request for
an independent educational evaluation must trigger
a due process hearing by the school district. This is a commonly overlooked
area of the statute. I’m pretty sure you do. No, we don’t. I’m pretty sure you do. No, we don’t. [THROAT CLEARING] OK, we’ll do the evaluation. We’ll use Dr. Smith,
he’s very good. I’ll call him right now. And can I please have
a consent form? It’s important for everyone to
remember that an independent educational evaluation is
the parent’s right. The choice of the evaluator
is the parent’s– as long as it meets
district criteria. I’d be happy to consider
Dr. Smith, if you can get me his resume. And I’ll let you know who
I choose by next week. [MUSIC PLAYING]

3 thoughts on “Asking for an Independent Educational Evaluation”

  1. As an ESE teacher/parent I find most parents do not have the time or inclination to fight the school system. When challenging a school or health care system the simplest method is to dig deep into your own pocket and have the independent testing done on your own. Yes, this does cost but it saves a lot of red tape, time waiting on the school/health care system, and parent sanity. Bring the report to your child's ESE meeting. The independent tester will give you recommendations.

  2. Super helpful in writing my letter to the school that I sent today. They took writing goals off his IEP because he didn't have a disability in writing but they didn't even test him and he has dyslexia and expressive language delay. The eval was a year ago so I hope it's not too late. I have found many of your video helpful in pointing me in the right direction. I share them a lot. Thank you so much!

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