Menu Close

(2.19) What are the procedures and standards for assessment tests and tools?

(2.19) What are the procedures and standards for assessment tests and tools?

A test and other evaluation material must be selected and administered so as not to be racially, culturally, or sexually discriminatory and must be administered in the student’s primary language or other mode of communication. The test must also be validated for the specific purpose for which it is used. In addition, testing must assess specific areas of educational need and not merely produce a single general intelligence quotient. No single procedure can be used as the sole criterion for determining an appropriate educational program for the student. Finally, for a student with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, the testing must ensure that the results accurately reflect the student’s aptitude or achievement level, and not the student’s impaired skills, unless those skills are to be measured by the testing. [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1414(b); 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.304; Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56320.]

Federal regulations state that the evaluation must be “sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child’s special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the child has been classified.” [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.304(c)(6).]

The school district must use technically sound testing instruments that demonstrate the effect that cognitive, behavioral, physical, and developmental factors have on the functioning of the child. In general, the school district must use “assessment tools and strategies that provide

relevant information that directly assists persons in determining the educational needs of the child.” [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.304(c)(7).]

In addition, the school district must use a variety of assessment tools and strategies to gather both relevant functional and developmental information about the child, including information provided by the parent. The evaluation must also gather information related to enabling the child to be involved and progress in the general curriculum or for a preschool child to participate in appropriate activities. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.304(b)(1).]