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  • Writer's pictureAdam Dayan, Esq.

Misrepresentation by Schools Regarding Child Progress

What is with schools misrepresenting that a child is making progress when all indicators suggest that the child clearly is not? This issue came up recently in a NYC case handled by this office where the school told the parents of a child with autism that the boy was making progress, not knowing that the boy's parents had spoken to the classroom teacher who said that the child was lost in the classroom and, actually, not doing well at all. The progress reports (when the school bothered to fill them out) did not reflect progress nor was the school able to offer anything in support of their position, yet they maintained that the student was receiving the full level of support that he required.

In Pennsylvania, parents of a 12-year old child with autism recently filed a class action lawsuit against the Gateway School District, accusing the district of "pervasive misrepresentation of students' educational progress." This type of problem comes up all the time where there's an issue of systemic wrongful conduct. The parents, in this case, have requested that the Court order the district to retrain its personnel on progress monitoring, re-evaluate the IEP's, and provide independent evaluations of all the district's autistic students. That's certainly a good start and seems to be a reasonable remedy but, unfortunately, courts have shown a reluctance to order this type of across-the-board action where there are allegations of systemic problems.


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