IEEs: Do You Have to Explain Why You Disagree?

Published on February 14, 2011 by Jennifer Laviano


As I have covered on several occasions in the past, a parent's right to an Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) under the IDEA is, in my view, one of the strongest available under the special education laws.  This opportunity to get a “second opinion” on the school district's evaluations is, in many cases, the difference between positive outcomes and disaster.

The first step towards obtaining an IEE is to disagree with the school district's testing. 

However, what if you disagree with the testing, but you're not quite sure why?  Or perhaps there are several things with which you disagree?  Or maybe you have a sense of what you disagree with, but you don't have the “proper” terminology to explain it. 

Do you have to be able to articulate WHY you disagree with the school's evaluation in order to trigger your right to an IEE?  In a word, no.


The school district is legally permitted to ask you why you disagree, but they can not require an answer.  Nor can they delay a response if you don't provide a reason.  Please read this important provision of the statute.

I suggest you print that provision out and take it with you to the IEP meeting at which you intend to ask for an IEE.  Heck, maybe even laminate it!


2 Responses to IEEs: Do You Have to Explain Why You Disagree?

  1. Jennifer Laviano
    February 15th, 2011 | 6:57 pm

    Hey Liz…not sure I understand your question. Do you mean under what circumstances or how soon before or if it’s a good idea?