Guidance Related to Evaluations: Review of Existing Evaluation Data
Previously, the local educational agencies (LEAs) were required to reevaluate students who received special education and related services every three years. In 2004 the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) was reauthorized and the evaluation provisions in the law were modified. One important change was adding the language that permits the parent of the student and the LEA to agree that a reevaluation of a student with a disability is unnecessary, unless the LEA determines that a change in the student’s educational needs warrant a reevaluation or if the student’s parent or teacher requests a reevaluation.
IDEA 2004 retained the language in the law requiring a review existing evaluation data (REED) on the student as part of an initial evaluation, if appropriate, or as part of a reevaluation. This means, before any evaluation a REED must be completed to help determine which specific evaluations, if any, are needed.
The REED must be conducted by the members of the student’s admission, review and dismissal committee (ARDC) and other qualified professionals. The members review the student’s existing evaluation data to determine the scope of the evaluation or reevaluation. This review process does not have to take place in an ARDC meeting. A review of the student’s existing evaluation data must include the following:
- Previous evaluations
- Evaluations and information provided by the parents
- Teacher information and observations
- Classroom based, local, and state assessments
The committee members must ensure that information obtained from these sources is documented and carefully considered.
Based on the review of existing evaluation data, the group of qualified professionals must determine what additional data, if any, are needed to determine whether the student is a student with a disability and the educational needs of the student, or in the case of a reevaluation of a student, whether the student continues to be a student with a disability and whether the student continues to need special educations services.