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Special Education

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2009-2: Observation of Education Programs by Parents and Their Designees for Evaluation Purposes

To:School Principals, Charter School Leaders and Administrators
From:Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education
Date:January 7, 2009

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Dear Superintendents, Charter Leaders and Administrators,

As many of you already know, a new law goes into effect tomorrow (Thursday) concerning observations of special education programs by parents and designees. It is designed to support effective practice as parents seek to secure the information they may need to make informed decisions on behalf of their children and as schools seek to ensure the integrity of their programs and the safety of all the children they serve.

Passage of the law has raised many questions in the field. To assist you in responding to those questions, Deputy Commissioner Karla Baehr convened a meeting of stakeholders to explore issues surrounding observations. That conversation informed the attached advisory memo (dated January 8, 2009) from State Director of Special Education Marcia Mittnacht (link provided below), which we hope will offer useful guidance as you review your policies and practices regarding parent requests to observe special education classrooms and programs.

We welcome your questions, comments and suggestions over the next several months. We will review all that we receive by June 30 and determine then whether additional guidance or regulation may be required to provide greater clarity and direction.

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2009-2: Observation of Education Programs by Parents and Their Designees for Evaluation Purposes

Last Updated: January 14, 2009

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