8.30.20: Article first published.
6.8.23: Article republished in light of United States Department of Education's (USDOE) statement that it will continue to monitor Virginia Department of Education's (VDOE) state complaint policies, procedures, and practices, and that USDOE is opening new areas of monitoring. Almost three years to the date of this republication, USDOE advised VDOE that it would be monitoring the agency and that state complaints were areas of concern. Three years later, VDOE has yet to fully address problems plaguing its state complaint policies, procedures, and practices.
Last week I shared comments from a Virginia Department of Education staff member, which appear in a Letter of Findings (LOF) to which she contributed. (See: "Dear VDOE: Is it Okay for Compliance Specialist to Judge, Joke at the Expense of Parent Advocating for Her Child?" and "Dear VDOE: How Can a Prior Written Notice Be Both “Skimpy” and “Compliant”?")
Here’s another curious comment that appears in the same document: "I'm winging it here".
These are the words of a compliance specialist writing a Letter of Findings in response to a state complaint investigation.
They also are the words that no parent wants to see written by a compliance specialist.
Parents submit state complaints for a reason. They have the right to a thorough, unbiased investigation, and an "independent determination". "I'm winging it" is not part of that expectation.
Perhaps VDOE can explain?