"…Experts recognize patterns and consistencies that clarify options in complex situations…and rapidly discern helpful patterns rather than running down lists of rules and procedures…"
In the July 18, 1998, issue of Science News (Vol. 154, pg. 44-46), Bruce Bower states in, "Seeing through Expert Eyes", the following:
"Dr. Kay's 1997 evaluation was thorough and specific and was clearly pitched, even more than to the Parents, to the District educators who could profit from and utilize the material therein. Dr. Kay's evaluation and recommendations, in fact, presented the District with a virtual blueprint for developing an outstanding IEP for Brian if it chose to take advantage of this rich and detailed diagnostic and prescriptive document generated at no cost to itself."
PA Hearing officer B.H. vs. Cumberland Valley District March 2000
Dr. Margaret J. Kay
Margaret J. Kay, Ed.D. Psychologist
Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP)
Licensed Psychologist in PA and DE
Fellow American College of Forensic Examiners in Educational and School Psychology
Lancaster Office Phone: (717) 569-6223
Psychologist experts are able to use tests to determine how a student learns, what the student has learned, and what types of interventions will be effective to insure academic progress. Although the research literature describes these procedures as "scatter analysis," it is well known that cookbook solutions can never replace expert knowledge gained through years of training and experience.
Tests used for psychological and educational purposes must be validated for the purposes for which they are used. Such ethical requirements apply to all psychologists, whether they be engaged in private practice or employed by school districts.
School districts, as well as parents, need to obtain objective evaluations, which are based upon reliable and valid test measures that are administered and interpreted by expert psychologists and educators. Evaluations that are conducted merely to support a parent or school’s position violate a host of State and Federal regulatory standards.
It makes good sense to seek an independent educational evaluation (IEE) in any case where there is reason to question the results of either a school district’s or privately obtained evaluation. It is critical that test data is valid, reliable and expertly interpreted to facilitate an accurate understanding of the student’s strengths and needs and to generate appropriate recommendations for intervention and accommodation.
School psychologists, as well as privately employed psychologists, should also be trained in conducting systematic, behavioral observations in the classroom as well as in other environments. Furthermore, all psychologists should practice only in the areas where they are competent and have attained expertise.
The American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists have published standards for school certified and private practice psychologists, which govern the use and interpretation of psychological and educational tests. It is important that all psychologists, whether employed by school districts or privately, conduct themselves in an ethical manner and within the bounds of their expertise.