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Minority Students in Special and Gifted Education
not changed since first published in 1977. All of the PEP regulations were incorporated into PEDE, along with several new regulations that reflect increasing concerns with the quality and usefulness of the information gathered during the full and individual evaluation related to eligibility determination and program development.
In Appendix 6-A, the changes and additions that are new in the 1999 PEDE regulations appear in bold type. All of the regulations represent important decisions by Congress regarding the characteristics of the evaluation and decision making provided by schools to children and youth with disabilities. All have the force of law. Moreover, the boldface content represents recent efforts to improve the nature of the evaluation and decision making provided to students considered for disability classification and special education services.
In this section, the IDEA PEDE regulations that were continued from the EHA (1977) regulations are discussed. Like EHA, IDEA 1997 continues to place responsibility on states to ensure that the PEDE regulations are implemented by local educational agencies.
Full and Individual Evaluation
The EHA regulations regarding assessment, eligibility, and placement provide the essential background for consideration of the new IDEA PEDE regulations. Perhaps the most important provision is the continuing requirement that every child must receive a full and individual evaluation prior to the provision of special education and related services (for a description of related services, see 34 CFR 300.24). The implication of this regulation continues to be that a thorough evaluation, tailored to the individual child, is needed prior to decisions about determination of disability or the development of an individualized education program (IEP).
Best practice requires the individualization of the evaluation, which involves matching it carefully and precisely to referral concerns and the student’s learning and behavior patterns. These requirements imply the avoidance of standard batteries of tests or the use of a common set of procedures for all children, such as an IQ test, a test of visual-motor perception, and a brief screening test of achievement. Recent survey data suggest that a standard battery is still prominent in schools, although perhaps less common in the 1990s than in previous decades (Hosp and Reschly, 2002a). Such standard evaluation approaches do not adequately implement the ideas of a full and individualized evaluation.