Foxboro Proposes Changes to Comply with State Observation Law – But Do They Comply?

The Foxboro school committee has proposed some changes to its policies on classroom observations.  These changes are intended to comply with a new law providing much more liberal access for parents and their representatives to observe special education classrooms.  Actually, the law is not so new – it was passed nearly two years ago.  The proposed changes, as reported by The Sun Chronicle, include the following:

  1. A requirement that the observer not interfere with classroom proceedings.
  2. A requirement that the observer be there to observe the suitability of a program given the child’s needs, and not to be there to evaluate a teacher’s ability.
  3. A parent must sign a release for a representative to observe.
  4. A request may be denied for specified reasons.

For the complete article, go to this URL: http://www.thesunchronicle.com/articles/2010/04/20/news/7216730.txt

What I find interesting in this article is its pro-school and anti-parent slant.  The actual law is much more parent-friendly. It was passed because of unreasonable observation restrictions that were placed by schools on parents and their representatives.  The actual wording of Chapter 363 of the Acts of 2008 is as follows:

“To insure that parents can participate fully and effectively with school personnel in the consideration and development of appropriate educational programs for their child, a school committee shall, upon request by a parent, provide timely access to parents and parent-designated independent evaluators and educational consultants for observations of a child’s current program and of any program proposed for the child, including both academic and non-academic components of any such program. Parents and their designees shall be afforded access of sufficient duration and extent to enable them to evaluate a child’s performance in a current program and the ability of a proposed program to enable such child to make effective progress. School committees shall impose no conditions or restrictions on such observations except those necessary to ensure the safety of children in a program or the integrity of the program while under observation or to protect children in the program from disclosure by an observer of confidential and personally identifiable information in the event such information is obtained in the course of an observation by a parent or a designee.”

Please visit my web site for more information about the Law Office of James M. Baron: http://www.lawbaron.com.

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