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FAQs on Assessment. 2 Overview Assessment Overview The Assessment Report Parent’s Requests for Assessment Independent Educational Evaluations Assessment.

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Presentation on theme: "FAQs on Assessment. 2 Overview Assessment Overview The Assessment Report Parent’s Requests for Assessment Independent Educational Evaluations Assessment."— Presentation transcript:

1 FAQs on Assessment

2 2 Overview Assessment Overview The Assessment Report Parent’s Requests for Assessment Independent Educational Evaluations Assessment Protocols – Release and Retention Manifestation Determinations I.Q. Testing of African American Students

3 3 Assessment Overview

4 4 What qualifies as an “assessment?” Question 1:

5 5 The terms “assessment” and “evaluation” may be used interchangeably Procedures “to determine whether a child has a disability and the nature and extent of the special education and related services the child needs” Answer 1: What qualifies as an “assessment?” (Ed. Code, § )

6 6 When are assessments required? Question 2:

7 7 Before the initial placement in special education Triennial review As part of certain transitions- –Transition from preschool to kindergarten –Individual transition plan (“ITP”) to be in effect by the time a student is 16-years-old Answer 2: When are assessments required?

8 8 Assessments MAY be required when a student is exiting special education –Required if exiting because the student no longer meets eligibility criteria –NOT required if the student graduates with a regular high school diploma; and –NOT required if the student exits because he/she exceeds the age eligibility When are assessments required? Answer 2 (cont.) :

9 9 When are assessments required? For an ITP use a functional vocational assessment to assess student’s prevocational skills Student v. Montebello Unified School District (OAH 2009) Answer 2 (cont.) :

10 10 If a student is aging out of special education at the same time that his/her triennial review is due, is it necessary to reassess, and, if so, what testing is appropriate? Question 3:

11 11 Triennial when student aging out? Consider conducting an early triennial review; or Consider seeking waiver of triennial Remember, students aged consent themselves, unless conserved If testing, review records in order to prepare a summary of academic achievement and functional performance with recommendations for meeting post-secondary goals. Answer 3:

12 12 How much assessment is enough for initial evaluations and triennial evaluations? Question 4:

13 13 How much assessment is enough? Assess in all areas of suspected disability Must use a variety of assessment tools and measures; and No single measure may be used as the sole criterion for an initial determination of eligibility Answer 4:

14 14 Who may conduct an assessment? Question 5:

15 15 Who may conduct an assessment? LEA may select the assessor Parents preferences may be considered All assessments must be performed by persons competent to conduct the particular assessment Answer 5:

16 16 Who may conduct an assessment? Manhattan Beach Unified School District v. Student (OAH 2007) Parents requested female assessor District responsive to request ALJ noted “parent may not interfere with district’s obligations by placing conditions on qualifications of assessors…” Answer 5 (cont.) :

17 17 The Assessment Report

18 18 What are the required components of an assessment report? Question 6:

19 19 Required components of reports? Whether student may need special education Basis for that determination Relevant behavior during observation Relationship between behavior and student’s academic and social functioning Educationally relevant health and development and medical findings Answer 6:

20 20 Required components of reports? For SLD students, whether there is a discrepancy between achievement and ability that cannot be corrected without special education Effects of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage; and Need for specialized services, materials, and equipment for students with low incidence disabilities Answer 6 (cont.) :

21 21 What should be included in a “good” psycho-educational report? Question 7:

22 22 A “good” psycho-educational report? A “good” psycho-educational report is a defensible psycho-educational report Report should be understandable Report should list tests conducted Report should state areas of educational need Answer 7:

23 23 A “good” psycho-educational report? Report should provide summaries of: –Relevant background information –Observations –Interviews –Records reviewed –Assessment results and conclusions –Recommendations for services, strategies, etc. Answer 7 (cont.) :

24 24 When must reports be provided to parents or their representatives? Question 8:

25 25 When to provide reports? Must be reviewed by the IEP team within 60 days of consent to assess No statutory requirement as to when reports must be provided to parents Consider the benefits of providing the reports in advance of the IEP Answer 8:

26 26 Parent’s Requests for Assessment

27 27 How long does an LEA have to consider a parent’s request for an assessment? Question 9:

28 28 Time to consider parent assessment request? LEA response due within 15 days of the request Parent may agree to an extension in writing Answer 9:

29 29 Time to consider parent assessment request? Student v. Los Angeles Unified Sch. Dist. (OAH 2008) The 15 day timeline will not be satisfied if the LEA only calls the parent and asks for additional information or schedules a meeting between the parent and school psychologist but does not provide the parent an assessment plan Answer 9 (cont.) :

30 30 What factors should LEAs review when considering parent’s request for assessment? Question 10:

31 31 Factors when reviewing parent request for assessment? Is there sufficient information for LEA to suspect a disability? Would assessment assist LEA in establishing need or lack thereof? What impact would denial have on parent and district? Is parent likely to obtain a private assessment? Answer 10:

32 32 How should an LEA deny a parent’s request for an assessment? Question 11:

33 33 How to deny parent assessment request? The LEA must provide the parent prior written notice (“PWN”) regarding the denial The PWN must explain the following: –Why the LEA refuses to assess, –The basis for the refusal to assess, and –Meet other PWN requirements Answer 11:

34 34 Independent Educational Evaluations (“IEE”)

35 35 What is an IEE and when is a parent entitled to an IEE? Question 12:

36 36 What is an IEE and when is a parent entitled? An IEE is “an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by” the LEA A parent has a right to an IEE at public expense if the parent disagrees with an LEA evaluation If a parent requests an IEE, the LEA must: –File for due process to show its evaluation is appropriate, OR –Provide the IEE at public expense Answer 12:

37 37 What is an IEE and when is a parent entitled? The LEA may ask but not: –Require an explanation, or –Unreasonably delay the IEE at public expense, or –Unreasonably delay filing a due process complaint to request a due process hearing to defend the public evaluation If ALJ determines assessment appropriate, no IEE required Answer 12 (cont.) :

38 38 Practice Pointer A parent is entitled to only one IEE at public expense each time the LEA conducts an assessment with which the parent disagrees

39 39 What is an IEE and when is a parent entitled? Student v. Los Angeles Unified Sch. Dist. (OAH 2006) Parent did not express disagreement with an LEA assessment and did not request the LEA to provide an IEE prior to the parent obtaining a private report ALJ found parent’s disagreement with student’s placement not sufficient to express disagreement with the LEA’s assessment Answer 12 (cont.) :

40 40 When should an LEA deny a parent’s request for an IEE and how should it do so? Question 13:

41 41 When should LEA deny a parent’s request and how? When LEA is confident in its assessment When LEA wants to support staff who completed assessment When LEA believes it has little to lose in going to hearing against parent Answer 13:

42 42 When should LEA deny a parent’s request and how? To deny parent’s IEE request, LEA must: Notify parent of decision with PWN Request due process hearing If LEA assessment ruled appropriate, no obligation to fund IEE Answer 13 (cont.) :

43 43 What should an LEA do if it agrees to a parent’s request for an IEE? Question 14:

44 44 LEA actions to agree to IEE? Without unnecessary delay, provide the parents with information about an IEE, including agency criteria Agree on an evaluator with the parent Obtain parent consent to an assessment plan Ensure the IEE is reviewed at an IEP meeting within the 60-day statutory time period Answer 14:

45 45 Who is qualified to conduct an IEE? Question 15:

46 46 Qualified to conduct an IEE? Qualifications of the IEE examiner must be the same as the criteria for an LEA examiner LEA may not impose conditions on obtaining an IEE beyond those it imposes for its own assessment Answer 15:

47 47 What is the maximum cost of an IEE? Question 16:

48 48 Maximum cost of an IEE? LEA “not required to bear the cost of unreasonably expensive IEEs” (Comments to Federal Regulations) LEA may establish reasonable cost criteria Parents have opportunity to provide information to LEA explaining unique circumstances which justify high cost IEE evaluator Answer 16:

49 49 Is an LEA required to consider a parent- initiated private report that is not funded by the LEA, and if yes, what does “consider” mean? Question 17:

50 50 Required to consider private reports; what does “consider” mean? Yes, if private report meets agency criteria as identified in LEA policy on IEEs Answer 17:

51 51 Required to consider private reports; what does “consider” mean? In order to have “considered” a private report, an LEA should review the report at an IEP meeting There does not need to be “substantive” discussion of such private reports LEA not implementing recommendations does not show report not considered Answer 17 (cont.) : James and Lee Anne D. v. Board of Education of Aptakisic-Tripp Community Consolidated Sch. Dist. No. 102 (N.D. Ill. 2009)

52 52 Practice Pointer Document the following in the IEP notes: The IEP team’s consideration of a private report The extent that any of the recommendations in the private report were adopted by the IEP team; and The IEP team’s reasons for adopting or not adopting the recommendations

53 53 When is an LEA required to pay for a private report obtained by a parent outside of the IEE process? Question 18:

54 54 When LEA required to pay for private parent report? Even if there is no statutory requirement to fund an IEE, an LEA may be ordered by a judge to pay for a private report if: –LEA did not timely assess the student –LEA did not timely provide an IEE after requested by a parent –LEA did not conduct an appropriate assessment Answer 18:

55 55 When LEA required to pay for private parent report ? Student v. Corona-Norco Unified Sch. Dist. (OAH 2008) ALJ determined LEA conducted appropriate assessments, but did not provide the student with appropriate services based on its own assessments Parents had obtained a private evaluation to determine the appropriate services ALJ ordered the LEA to reimburse the parents for the cost of the private report Answer 18 (cont.) :

56 56 When LEA required to pay for private parent report ? Los Angeles Unified Sch. Dist. v. D.L. (C.D. Cal. 2008) After a few months in kindergarten, student disciplined for “significant and disruptive behavior” LEA denied parent request for assessment No history of general education interventions Limited school experience LEA unaware of ADD diagnosis Answer 18 (cont.) :

57 57 When LEA required to pay for private parent report ? Los Angeles Unified Sch. Dist. v. D.L. (C.D. Cal. 2008) Judge determined the LEA should have known of the ADD diagnosis had the LEA conducted observations of the student Student moved into another school district while litigation was ongoing, which subsequently determined he was eligible for special education Answer 18 (cont.) :

58 58 When LEA required to pay for private parent report ? Los Angeles Unified Sch. Dist. v. D.L. (C.D. Cal. 2008) Judge ordered the LEA to fund a private evaluation report for the student, even though the student now attended another school district Answer 18 (cont.) :

59 59 Sample IEE Policy See the Appendix for a Sample IEE Policy

60 60 Assessment Protocols – Release and Retention

61 61 Is an LEA required to release assessment protocols to parents? Question 19:

62 62 Required to release assessment protocols? Yes. If the protocols are maintained by the LEA and identify the student Newport-Mesa Unified Sch. Dist. v. State of California Dept. of Education (C.D. Cal. 2005): Judge held that allowing parents to view their child’s protocols is a noncommercial use which aids parents in ensuring their children receive an appropriate education Answer 19:

63 63 Is an LEA required to maintain assessment protocols? Question 20:

64 64 Required to maintain assessment protocols? Probably yes If protocols contain the student’s name, writing by the student, and/or are stored in a file with the student’s name and/or other student records, they are likely identifiable to the student and need to be maintained by an LEA as a pupil record Answer 20: (See Letter to Shuster (OSEP 2007); Letter to Scott City Sch. Dist. (FPCO 2007); Letter to Thomas (FPCO 1986).)

65 65 Required to maintain assessment protocols? LEAs are required to maintain mandatory interim pupil records which include records regarding “participation in special education programs including required tests, case studies, authorizations, and actions necessary to establish eligibility for admission or discharge” (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 5, § 437(c).) Answer 20 (cont.) :

66 66 Manifestation Determinations

67 67 Must an LEA conduct an assessment as part of a manifestation determination? Question 21:

68 68 Assessment as part of a manifestation determination? No An assessment as defined by state and and federal laws, is not required as part of a manifestation determination Under previous law an assessment was required but, with the 2007 amendment of the IDEA, the issue was clarified Answer 21:

69 69 Assessment as part of a manifestation determination? Within 10 school days of decision to change placement due to violation of code of student conduct, LEA, parent and relevant member’s of IEP team must review: –All relevant information in student’s file –IEP –All teacher observations –Any relevant information provided by parent Answer 21 (cont.) :

70 70 Assessment as part of a manifestation determination? The manifestation determination team must determine: –If the conduct in question was caused by, or, had a direct and substantial relationship to the child’s disability; or –If the conduct in question was the direct result of the LEA’s failure to implement the IEP Answer 21 (cont.) :

71 71 Assessment as part of a manifestation determination? (Student v. Murrieta Valley Unified Sch. Dist. and San Marcos Unified Sch. Dist., (OAH 2009).) OAH ordered expelled student reinstated and records expunged because at the manifestation determination meeting, the LEA did not: –Fully consider the information in the student’s file –Give copies of current IEP to all members of team Answer 21 (cont.) :

72 72 Assessment as part of a manifestation determination? (Student v. Murrieta Valley Unified Sch. Dist. and San Marcos Unified Sch. Dist., (OAH 2009).) Provide competent oral report that those documents were offered at the meeting Consider teacher observations or parent information Answer 21 (cont.) :

73 73 Who conducts the manifestation determination assessment/review and what does the assessment/review consist of? Question 22:

74 74 Who conducts the manifestation determination and what does it consist of? The LEA, the parent, and relevant members of the child’s IEP team conduct the manifestation determination review The team must review all relevant information in the student’s file, including the IEP, teacher observations, and relevant information provided by the parents Answer 22:

75 75 Who conducts the manifestation determination and what does it consist of? OAH ruled manifestation determination meeting properly conducted the school psychologist obtained and reviewed the student’s educational records, interviewed the student and student’s mother The school’s psychologist also administered the BASC-s to the mother prior to the manifestation determination meeting The ALJ also determined that the parent and her representatives were provided the opportunity to present relevant information during the meeting Answer 22 (cont.) : Student v. Oakley Union Elementary Sch. Dist., Pittsburgh Unified Sch. Dist., and Mt. Diablo Unified Sch. Dist., (OAH 2006)

76 76 IQ Testing of African American Students

77 77 What is the impact of the Larry P. settlement of 1986 on California LEAs? Question 23:

78 78 Impact of the Larry P. Settlement? In Larry P. v. Riles, the federal court permanently enjoined –The use of IQ testing on African American students –To evaluate for placement in Educable Mentally Retarded (“EMR”) classes, or their substantial equivalents Answer 23:

79 79 Impact of the Larry P. Settlement? In 1986 the Larry P. injunction was enlarged to prevent all IQ testing of African American students in special education assessment In 1992 original Larry P. order reinstated Because the original ruling lacked clarity, most LEAs do not use IQ testing when assessing African American students for special education Answer 23 (cont.) :

80 80 Are there acceptable assessment instruments that do not measure IQ that may be used when evaluating African American Students? Question 24:

81 81 Acceptable assessment instruments when evaluating African American Students? Practice guidelines from California Speech, Language and Hearing Association (CASHA) Task Force ask following questions to identify prohibited tests: –Is test standardized; does it purport to measure intelligence? –Are test results reported as IQ or mental age? –Does the evidence of the construct validity of the test rely on correlations with IQ tests? Answer 24:

82 82 Practice Pointer See outline for sample list of instruments that do not violate Larry P.

83 83 Can an LEA conduct IQ testing on bi-racial students? Question 25:

84 84 IQ testing on bi-racial students? Yes. Parents may elect the racial identification of their child. If the parents elect to designate their child as other than African American, the LEA may conduct IQ testing on the student Answer 25:

85 85 What should an LEA do if presented with an assessment of an African American student that contains results of IQ testing? Question 26:

86 86 Receive assessment of an African American student with IQ testing? LEAs may consider private assessments that may contain the results of IQ testing for matters other than intellectual ability such as current abilities and educational needs. IQ testing should be redacted Answer 26:

87 87 Receive assessment of an African American student with IQ testing? Facts: Parents of African American student gave LEA private assessment with IQ test scores School district rejected assessment; stated it violated Larry P. Ruling: School district should have allowed report at IEP meeting School district could have redacted IQ scores and interpretations resulting from IQ measures Answer 26 (cont.) : Student v. New Haven Unified Sch. Dist. (OAH 2007)

88 88 Thank you!


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