Friday, July 17, 2015

Certifications / Qualifications of Service Providers

Often, Parents (rightfully) want to know the qualifications of the service providers educating their children. I have experienced two responses to requests for qualifications: 1) The school district simply provides parents with a copy of the service provider's resume / CV to review, and that is the end of the quandry; or 2) The school district refuses to provide the qualifications, simply stating that the service provider is qualified to do whatever they are doing.

This second approach is problematic for a number of reasons. While the law entitles parents to review their child's scholastic records, it is curiously silent regarding qualifications of service providers. Attempts to litigate the matter directly are scarce, and generally speaking a school district will provide qualifications to avoid a pending litigation, but why have to go that far? 

Recently, I have been provided with information regarding several "Autism Specialist" programs, which amount to little more than paying a fee and getting a certificate. Aside from being abhorrent in nature, these simply add fuel to the fire of concerns regarding certifications and qualifications of educators working with children. 

I recommend making a written request to a school and school district to review the qualifications of any personnel you feel (as a parent) are questionable that are working with your child. Sign and date the request, and keep a copy for your records. If, within a reasonable time, you don't receive a response, a compliance complaint with the CA Department of Education may be filed to involve a higher authority. While the law on this matter is not conclusive, providing CDE with a number of concerns may make it to where this has to be directly addressed. 

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