Avoiding Substantive Errors in Individualized Education Program Development

Academic Article


  • Shannon was a seventh-grade student with serious difficulties in reading and math. When she entered middle school, her parents referred her for evaluation for special education services. After assessing Shannon for a learning disability in reading and math, the school psychologist decided that although Shannon was below average in reading and math, she did not qualify for special education services. The school’s multidisciplinary team (MDT) was convened, and the psychologist informed the team that Shannon did not qualify for special education. Unfortunately, Shannon continued to perform poorly in school, and when she entered high school in ninth grade, her parents again requested she be evaluated. This time after assessment, the MDT decided that she qualified for services as a student with a learning disability in both reading and math. Shannon’s scores on standardized assessments were at a 5.4 grade level in reading and a 6.4 grade level in math. Shannon’s IEP team was convened, and developed IEP goals that called for 4 months of growth in both reading and math in 1 school year (to 5.8 and 6.8 grade levels, respectively). In addition, the IEP included an itinerant teacher who was to provide Shannon with 3 hours per week of instruction in both subjects. Shannon’s parents disagreed with the school’s decision and requested that Shannon be placed in a self-contained classroom. The school refused to implement these suggestions; therefore, Shannon’s parents placed her in a private school for students with learning problems and later sued for tuition reimbursement and attorneys’ fees.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Yell ML; Katsiyannis A; Ennis RP; Losinski M; Christle CA
  • Start Page

  • 31
  • End Page

  • 40
  • Volume

  • 49
  • Issue

  • 1