The Independent Educational Evaluation Process
When a qualified examiner outside of the school system completes an evaluation, it is referred to as an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE). The IEE occurs after you review the findings of the district’s evaluation of your child. If you review the district’s results and believe that their testing was incorrect or incomplete, you can request an IEE.
For example, you may believe the results were incorrect, because accommodations your child needs were not provided during testing (e.g. testing in native language). Or your child receives incorrect tests (e.g. tests are not current, examiner is not qualified). You may believe the results were incomplete because the testing did not fully look at the areas you are concerned about. For example, there was not enough testing of math or reading to clearly see your child’s difficulties. Or specific types of tests were not part of the assessment (e.g. neuropsychological, speech and language). If your student already has an IEP, perhaps you disagree with the findings of the district’s most recent assessment. For example, the district is no longer finding your student eligible for services, and you still see difficulties that need support. Maybe the district is suggesting a decrease in services, and you do not agree that this will be helpful.
You can think of an Independent Educational Evaluation as a “second opinion” to the school district’s evaluation. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) you can request for the district to pay for an IEE. The phrase often used to describe the district paying is “conducted at public expense.”
Drafting a Request for an Independent Educational Evaluation
Remember to make this request in writing and be sure you get proof of delivery. We know it can sometimes be hard to find the words we want to say. Therefore, here is a SAMPLE REQUEST FOR AN INDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION letter to give you some ideas.
Requesting Special Education Blog Series
This post is part blog series about the evaluation for special education process. For additional information on this process, you may find it helpful to review one or more of our posts in this 4-part series:
- Does My Child Need an IEP? What is an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and does my child need one?
- Request an Evalution for Special Education Services. This post explains how to request an evaluation for special education and includes a sample letter to request a free evaluation from your district.
- The Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) Process. If you disagree with the results of your IEP, you have the right to request a “second opinion” by the examiner of your choice. This post explains that process and provides you with a sample letter to request a free evaluation from your district. If your child attends school within 75-miles of one of our California locations (Bakersfield, Simi Valley, or Woodland Hills), you can select our agency to help your family.
- I Requested an IEE: What Happens Next? The school district may grant or deny your IEE request. Learn more about that process in this post.