Independent Educational Evaluations
In Iowa, evaluations for special education eligibility are usually done by Area Education Agency (AEA) personnel, together with the educators at your child’s school. An Educational Evaluation Report (EER) summarizes the information collected. Teams use the EER to decide if a student is eligible for Special Education services, and if they do, what services will meet their needs.
If parents feel that the information described in the EER is incorrect or incomplete they have two options:
- Request a Second Opinion Evaluation which would be completed by an AEA evaluator who wasn’t involved in the first evaluation, or
- Request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) by a private provider at the school’s expense
What is an IEE?
An Independent Educational Evaluation is “an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the public agency responsible for the education of the child” as defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA provides safeguards for parents, one is the right to have one IEE of their child for each evaluation conducted by AEA/school. Parents can choose at any time to pay for a private evaluation by a qualified professional.
Why an IEE?
Sometimes having more information helps IEP teams better understand or get a different perspective about the student’s needs and how to meet them.
How to get an IEE
In order to receive an IEE paid by AEA/school for their child parents must be ready to do the following:
- Answer questions from the team of why they disagree with the results of the AEA’s evaluation
- Explain what new or different information the independent evaluation will bring to the IEP team
- Share the results of IEE with the IEP team and work together to include the new information in the child’s educational program
- Get permission in writing from the AEA director for the IEE to be paid for
- Choose the qualified professional to use to do the IEE once it is approved
If the AEA denies a parent’s request for an IEE, they must file a legal action showing how their evaluation covers all areas of concern for the student.
After receiving the independent evaluation IEP teams must give the same consideration to the IEE results that they do other evaluation information. IEE results do not replace the other evaluation information.
ASK ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS
- Do I agree with the evaluation results?
- Does the information from my child’s evaluation cover all of the our concerns skills and needs?
- How does the AEA’s evaluation compare to other evaluations that have been done regarding my child’s disability?