Date Published: Oct 14, 2017
Exceptional Children
Zirkel, P.A. & Hetrick, A.
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[Abstract] To provide a missing piece to the legal foundation of professional development and practice for the individualized education program (IEP) process, the authors report the results of a comprehensive systematic analysis of court decisions specific to IEP-related procedural violations after the 2004 amendments of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. Research questions focused on the frequency and outcomes of alleged procedural violations in the following categories: (a) IEP components, (b) IEP team, (c) parent participation, and (d) IEP development. Procedural violations in the parent participation category were the most frequently adjudicated; the outcomes ratio in court averaged approximately 3:1 in favor of school districts for cases across all four categories. Implications for practice include reconsideration of current policies and practices to whatever extent that they were based on case law rather than proactive priorities, per the lack of differentiation in prevailing publications and presentations in special education.