Ed_banner_left Ed_banner_right
U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Conduct of evaluation (Sec. 300.304(b))

Comment: One commenter asked whether the "procedure" referred to in Sec. 300.304(b)(2) is the same as the "measure or assessment" referred to in section 614(b)(2)(B) of the Act. Another commenter recommended changing Sec. 300.304(b)(2) to follow the statutory language.

Discussion: Section 300.304(b)(2), as proposed, states that the public agency may not use any single "procedure" as the sole criterion for determining whether a child is a child with a disability and for determining an appropriate educational program for the child. Section 614(b)(2)(B) of the Act states that in conducting an evaluation, the LEA must not use any single "measure or assessment" as the sole criterion for determining whether a child is a child with a disability or determining an appropriate educational program for the child. We agree that the statutory language should be used in Sec. 300.304(b)(2) because use of the term "procedure," rather than "measurement or assessment," could be confusing.

Changes: We have changed "procedure" to "measurement or assessment" in Sec. 300.304(b)(2), consistent with the statutory language.

Comment: One commenter recommended adding the word "always" to Sec. 300.304(b) to state that the public agency must "always" conduct an evaluation in accordance with the requirements in Sec. 300.304(b)(1) through (b)(3).

Discussion: Adding the word "always" to Sec. 300.304(b) would not change the requirements for conducting an evaluation consistent with Sec. 300.304(b). The regulation already requires a public agency to conduct the evaluation in accordance with Sec. 300.304(b)(1) through (b)(3) and there are no exceptions to that requirement. Therefore, we decline to change Sec. 300.304(b) in the manner recommended by the commenter.

Changes: None.

Comment: One commenter recommended that the regulations define "technically sound instruments" and "relative contribution" in Sec. 300.304(b)(3). Another commenter recommended that the instruments used in reevaluations to determine whether the child continues to have a disability should be based on scientific research methods.

Discussion: Section 300.304(b)(3) follows the specific language in section 614(b)(2)(C) of the Act and requires that the evaluation of a child use technically sound instruments that may assess the relative contribution of cognitive and behavioral factors, in addition to physical and developmental factors. "Technically sound instruments" generally refers to assessments that have been shown through research to be valid and reliable. Therefore, it would be redundant to add language requiring that instruments used in reevaluations be based on scientific research methods, as recommended by one commenter. The phrase "relative contribution," as used in Sec. 300.304(b)(3), generally means that assessment instruments that allow the examiner to determine the extent to which a child's behavior is a result of cognitive, behavioral, physical, or developmental factors may be used in evaluating a child in accordance with Sec. 300.304. Because the meaning of "relative contribution" is context specific, we do not believe it should be defined in these regulations.

Changes: None.