Access to Professional Testing and Data

Access by a student or a parent will include access to all files and testing performed by consultants such as psychologists or speech therapists.

Professionals are often reluctant to release such information to untrained persons; however, under LAFOIP the individual has full access to the entire file, including the raw data on which test scores are based.

An exception will be cases where a third party (such as the company that produces the test) has a commercial interest in the materials or where release of the information would interfere with the integrity of the test in the future. In such cases the board of education (board) can refuse disclosure based upon section 18(1)(a)of LAFOIP which provides that the board must refuse to give access to a record that contains trade secrets of a third party.

In addition, section 19 of LAFOIP allows the board to refuse access to a record that contains information relating to testing or auditing procedures or techniques or details of specific tests to be given or audits to be conducted if disclosure could reasonably be expected to prejudice the use or results of particular tests or audits.

In many cases it may be advisable to spend some time with the person making the request to determine exactly what concerns they have. For example, it may be possible that a discussion with the professional who performed the tests will address the concerns of the applicant.