Parents Right to Inspect, Review & Copy Ed Records/Test Protocols

Supporting a parents right to review and inspect child’s education records, test material and answer sheets, is a memorandum from the U. S. Department of Education’s Family Policy Compliance Office relating to parent’s rights to have access to test protocols. On October 2, 1997, LeRoy S. Rooker, Director, Family Policy Compliance Office issued a memorandum titled: “Access to test protocols and test answer sheets.” In part he cited the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) stating: “FERPA is a Federal law which affords parents the right to have access to their children’s education records . . . .” In sum Mr. Rooker noted that a parent has the right under FERPA to examine both the test question booklet and the child’s test answer sheet.

See here for USDE Leroy Booker memo:

Moreover, here is a request for an advisory opinion concerning public access to individual achievement test answers generated by a child – a sixth grade student – father wants COPIES of the test materials “the District has denied access to a manual outlining administration guidelines for the achievement test, and has refused to provide copies of son’s test answer booklets, based on their assertion that the booklets are copyright protected, however, the District has offered to allow him to review the test answer booklets upon appointment.”

COOG says – “In our opinion, due to the similarities between the federal Freedom of Information Act and the New York Freedom of Information Law, the analysis by the Justice Department may properly be applied when making determinations regarding the reproduction of copyrighted materials maintained by entities of government in New York. In sum, if reproduction of copyrighted material would “cause substantial injury to the competitive position of the subject enterprise,” i.e., the holder of the copyright, in conjunction with §87(2)(d) of the Freedom of Information Law, it would appear that an agency could preclude reproduction of the work. Because the manual and test booklets are disclosed to numerous persons, including students, teachers, administrators and others, it is our view that there is no basis for denying a request to inspect or copy these documents.”

This would seem to suggest that parents have a right to inspect their child’s education records, test protocols and copy the same. Look on your districts website for a notice regarding FERPA access to student records and make your request in writing if you wish to examine your child’s ed records.


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