IEPs and Legal Issues

outside evaluation not honored by school

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Joined: Dec 17, 2010
Posts: 3
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Posted Dec 17, 2010 at 6:50:23 PM
Subject: outside evaluation not honored by school

What do I do if the school will not accept the findings of an outside evaluation? I had an eval done privately by a neuropsychologist who found a definite learning disability with my son. The school evaluated him at the same time, found definite visual processing delays and other significant issues, but is unwilling to state that he has a SLD because his IQ was high avg. They refuse to honor the outside eval because they state it is a "Medical" report, not an "educational" report. Therefore, I cannot get him the supports he needs. I have not signed the IEP but I don't know where to go from here. Any thoughts?

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Joined Apr 29, 2008
Posts: 135

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Posted:Dec 25, 2010 12:29:32 PM


I wish to respond to your recent post. From the information you provded, please note the following:

1) A parent may submit and provide an independent evaluation to school personnel and I presume in this instance to the IP Team.

2) All independent evaluations provided by parents are required to be accepted, reviewed, and considered. The local school division does not have the luxury to say it will not be considered or refuse to do so.

3) If the local school division in fact refuses to accept, review, or consider the avaluation information, they must provide you with Prior Written Notice (PWN) within ten (10) business days of the refusal. This is within the regulatory standard. This is also one of your procedural safeguard rights.

4) Finally, a local school division does not have to accept the recommendations made from the independent evaluation. As stated before, they are only required to accept, review, and consider the report.

5) As a parent, you always have a right to disagree with the local school division and request a mediation conference, file a formal complaint with the State Education Agency, or a formal due process hearing. My advice is to attempt to address your concerns with the Director/Supervisor of Special Education first and if not successful, then proceed to exercise your procedural safeguard rights.


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Dr. LD
Joined Aug 06, 2010
Posts: 13

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Posted:Dec 29, 2010 12:26:15 PM

It isn't clear if the school is rejecting the outside report data or just rejecting the outside LD diagnosis. As DRHD noted, the school is required to consider the outside evaluation data but is ultimately required to reach its own conclusions according to your State's special education rules. It is very common for a student to be diagnosed with some form of learning disability outside of the school only to find that the obtained test scores actually do not meet State special education criteria. I have also seen cases in which the data from an outside evaluation does support special education eligibility within the category of LD while the school's own data does not. In those cases it is the school's responsibility to determine which data appeared to be the most valid in terms of accurately describing the student's skills and abilities. In general, schools are highly motivated to identify and serve all students with special education needs. It is unlikely that they would have rejected the outside report or its findings unless they had a very good reason for doing so. My advice would be to ask the school for a clearer explanation of the data it used to determine that your son was not eligible for services.

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Joined Apr 05, 2011
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Posted:Apr 05, 2011 9:33:34 PM

From my experience it is in fact very common for schools to simply reject outside testing because they don't want to accept it. You need to write a letter stating the disgnosis and ask that it be placed in your child's cumulative file. You can remove it later if you want, even years down the road. Then you need to research your schools testing criteria. Every school has testing criteria for the people that administer the tests. Each school division has lists of local testers that they use outside of the school system. If the school system tests him and you disagree with it you then request an outside independent evaluation. They might or might not have to pay for it. If they do not want to pay for it, the school has to file a due process hearing and they have the burden of proving that their testing was good enough. You can work on finding an argument for why it was not good enough if it comes to that point later. You can then choose whichever tester from that list that you want. They have to accept those results then. Second, you can research how an educational person tests for that ability and compare it to how a medical person tests for it. Third, compare the medical person's credentials to the credentials of the other testers from the schools.

I have a daughter who is 6 and dyslexic. The school does not want to accept our outside testing either. Same battle. It is inherited. My husband is dyslexic. His brother is dyslexic. Our son is not dyslexic at all and neither am I. The school tried to say it was not proper, they were not true evaluations, etc. Fighting the good battle right now.

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Joined Jan 25, 2008
Posts: 269

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Posted:Apr 06, 2011 12:28:42 AM

Just wanted to welcome Stacy to LDOnline.

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