2017: The biggest stain in U.S. court interpreting history.

May 7, 2018 § 29 Comments

Dear colleagues:

In the United States we have recently spent many hours debating and researching about the validity and credibility of interpreter certifications in the healthcare sector. We have argued back and forth about accreditation, certification, and professional practice because we care about the profession. The debate left us all with a better understanding of our certification programs and the validity of both.

For many years the gold-standard of interpreter certifications in the United States was undoubtedly the federal court Spanish interpreter certification exam. It was known for its difficulty and low passing rate when compared to all other court and healthcare interpreter certification tests. During all those years we never thought that one day we would be forced to question this “queen of all American court interpreter exams”. Fortunately, we are not doubting the content of the exam. This has not changed. The unfortunate people who took the exam in 2017 was administered the same exam all federally certified Spanish court interpreters had to pass. The administration of the test, and handling its consequences after the fact was the fiasco.

Dear friends and colleagues, certification exams are of extraordinary importance in the United States; they are more relevant in our culture and value system than in other countries. While other systems put their credibility on the academic achievements of the new professional, traditionally, the United States has emphasized practice over theory and formal education. Some of our greatest lawyers never attended Law School, because in the United States it is passing the Attorney Bar Exam that matters. There are plenty of countries where people cannot practice a profession, or sit for a Bar or Board exam unless they first graduate from college.

This situation is even more important for professional interpreters practicing in the United States where most of our colleagues have no formal education, but they have demonstrated, by passing the certification test, that they are ready to practice as professionals. In Europe a university degree is essential; in America a certification is vital.

From all certifications, the federal court interpreter certification has been used to measure the competency level and skills of court interpreters in the United States. It is even used (erroneously in my opinion) by small and mid-size interpreting agencies to pick the interpreters they will hire to work in the booth.

We are all aware of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts’ historical failure in 2017 when they could not guarantee the integrity of the process and created a huge mess that impacts many.

After a deafening silence that went on for many long months, and the letter sent out in February which make the situation even worse, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts’ (AOUSC) sent out a carefully crafted, self-serving letter to those who took the exam in 2017 where they try to appease the interpreters by carefully telling a story on the best possible light for the AOUSC and informing them that, after all these months, they are fair and just, and will give those candidates whose exams were compromised to where no score could be determined, and to those who will be told they failed, a chance to retake the exam for free.

I was saddened by the reaction of some, fortunately a minority, of colleagues who celebrated this communication and praised the AOUSC as had they done something wonderful and worthy of recognition. I do not know how many of you have seen last week’s letter. I did, and I am not impressed:

The first paragraph of the April 27 letter refers to the mistakes on the way the exam was administered as “irregularities” softening the tone and making it more palatable. Then, they portray themselves as the ones who investigated for months what happened to finally conclude there were “irregularities”.

Next, the letter states: “…Over the past several months, the AO has worked with a team of trained raters who reviewed all candidate performances and psychometricians who analyzed the rater materials and examination administration data…” but it does not explain who those “trained raters” and “psychometricians “were. I am not doubting their credentials, and I am not feeling confident with their review of this mess because I just do not know who they were. Are we talking about the same colleagues who rated the exams originally, and if so, how many, who, what additional training they had to take to assess these incomplete exams? Were there independent contractors free to disagree with the findings of the AO, or were these staff interpreters who could be very capable, but could also have a conflict of interest when evaluating something that could affect the reputation and legitimacy of their employer. The letter says nothing about it. It looks like a letter prepared by a legal team, not a friendly communication to a professional group that has suffered the consequences of this poorly-run program for many months.

The self-serving tone of the letter continues when they affirm that based on their (mysteriously obtained) findings, 69 percent of the exams were validly administered and accurately scored (we still do not know how they arrived to the conclusion), and 31 percent suffered “irregularities”. My friends, 69 percent is an awful record. This clearly proves the ineptitude within the AO.

The next paragraph shows us the magnanimous nature of the AO: “…Candidates whose scores cannot be validly determined will be given the opportunity to re-take the oral examination free of charge. Moreover, given the findings of the investigation, the AO will also offer anyone who does not receive a passing score the opportunity to retake the oral examination free of charge…” This clearly tells us that the exam was a terrible mess and basically anybody who wants it, will have a second chance, this time without paying for the test, which is not the same as free of charge as we will discuss below. Do we have to believe that it took all these months to arrive to this decision? This should have been announced right after the multiple mistakes were known, not until now, unless there were other legal considerations we are not been told about, like litigation with Paradigm for example.

The letter ends with a blank apology and a reassurance they will preserve the high standards and fairness of the administration of the exam. Did I miss something? There is no admission of wrongdoing anywhere (typical in all letters prepared by a legal department) and there is a self-serving assurance that everything will be fine because they will preserve high standards and fairness. I would think that when your credibility is already in negative numbers (below zero) you would make a statement you will bring back the high standards and fair administration process that distinguished the exam. Right now nothing is good to preserve. Of course, they cannot say anything like this without admitting fault.

Finally, the 8-page attachment is a pseudo-scientific document with no details that plays down the mistakes that can be directly attributed to the AO, and basically throws Paradigm under the bus. Again, there is talk of irregularities, but there is no data on the scoring units, the specific criteria used to assess the exams, or anything that can reassure us this was a scientific work.

It is incredible how the letter and its attachment avoid naming Paradigm and stay away from words such as fault, responsibility, and negligence. This is because those are legal terms and the AO is getting ready for litigation.

Even though the AO has shared nothing on their relationship with Paradigm, there are strong rumors in social media and federal courthouses’ hallways that the relationship has been terminated. This would explain the delay on the “findings” contained on the April 27 letter, as the federal judiciary gets ready to sue their contractor and Paradigm fights for payment of their fees and other contractual terms.

The 2017 federal court interpreter examination saga leaves the federal judiciary stained, the profession wounded, and court interpreters in the worst situation they have faced in history. Unfortunately, there are others who are affected even more and will not benefit from the “Magnanimous letter of April 27”. We can divide them in three categories:

First, those colleagues who studied hard and will get a letter telling them they passed the test. These individuals have been agonizing for 7 months without knowing if they would have to retest. Many have continued to study for the test. All have been deprived from their earnings as federally certified court interpreters for months. They will never get back these months of their lives, and they will never perceive the professional fees they should have earned as federally certified court interpreters working for court districts, assistant US attorney’s offices, public defender’s offices, and private attorneys that retain federally certified court interpreters for many services from jail visits, to depositions, to witness preparation, to federal civil litigation.  They will never earn that income because of a government agency’s ineptitude and a bottom-feeder contractor’s gross negligence.

The second group includes those interpreters who took the test, and for no fault of their own, will now get the “magnanimous” opportunity to retest “free of charge”.  The problem is, my friends and colleagues, there is not such a thing as a “free exam”. The “luckiest” of this crowd will be able to retake the test in their hometown without paying for it, but they must turn down other assignments to take the test. This means they will lose income and that makes the exam far from “free of charge”. Next, you have the unfortunate unlucky ones whose sin was to leave in a town where the exam will not be offered. We all know colleagues who drove overnight, got on a plane, got a passport and then got on a plane, and then checked into a hotel to take the test. Nobody will reimburse them for those expenses, and many must cough up the money once again if they want to take the exam. Even if they AO expands the locations where the test will be administered, it is doubtful this will include those of our colleagues who traveled from abroad to take the test. Plane tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, gas money, tolls, and lost income will make the retake of the exam a burden to these colleagues. To them, this will not be a “free of charge” exam.

The last group, often forgotten during this fiasco of epic proportions, are the freelance federally certified court interpreters retained by Paradigm, with the blessing of the AO, to rate the original exams. These distinguished colleagues put first the profession and agreed to rate the exams, even if the pay is little for such hard work, they were asked to purchase their plane tickets, book their hotel rooms, and cover their daily expenses while this rating was happening, with the promise of reimbursement when their raters’ fee was paid. It is only now that some of the raters are getting paid; others have not seen a penny yet; and nobody has been reimbursed for travel expenses disbursed 7 or 8 months ago.

Last week, Paradigm sent a letter to the raters explaining why some had not yet been paid, arguing some bureaucratic step that the raters needed to comply with: Sending an email to the individual in charge of this fiasco at Paradigm informing him of this payment.

Regarding reimbursement of expenses, this letter, dated May 4 states: “…Payment for travel and hotel expenses will be released after Paradigm receives verification of your receipt of payment for Rater hours. Meals and incidental expenses will follow…”  They are telling raters that they are not sending their checks quite yet.

Next, the letter includes a self-serving statement that should worry the raters: “…Paradigm is working to get Raters paid in-full within the next few weeks. This is contingent upon Raters providing confirmation of receipt of payments received and the AOC continuing to approve the invoiced items for payment…”

In other words, there is no hard date for these payments, and reimbursement is contingent to AOC’s approval. This would make me very nervous if there is litigation pending between the AO and Paradigm.

As you can see, the “magnanimous letter” is far from a happy ending to this fiasco. The future is uncertain. Nobody knows if the AO will ever share the real data behind what happened and a detailed scientific explanation of the exam assessment process, including those who did it.

The biggest problem and reason to be concerned is the lack of transparency. Interpreters must know who retained Paradigm to administer the test. How was the bidding process; who were the other bidders, how low was the winning bid; who decided in the AO that Paradigm was qualified to administer an exam like the federal court interpreter certification test for Spanish interpreters? Why the credentials of a testing entity like Paradigm, which mainly proctors high school tests to monolingual students were appropriate for this bilingual professional test? There was ineptitude and negligence during this decision making process, and there was gross incompetence when dealing with the aftermath.

Those responsible should pay the consequences. Only then trust will be restored and people will believe the AO once again. In sports, when a team is not performing the coach is fired.

It is doubtful that the AO will come clean and provide all these records to the public. They have no legal obligation to disclose everything, but their moral duty compels them to do so. Without good faith, trust will continue to erode, and interpreters will be left with fewer and more distasteful options such as a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA) to see how the process happened; even though the process would be lengthy and the information released will be tittle more than the documents they already published. Those with standing can also sue the AO, but they must do it quickly, since the Federal Tort Act gives only 2 years to do so, and the process must start through an administrative channel. Also, the result of this legal action, even if successful, is limited by legislation and case law.

Perhaps a better option would be to sue Paradigm, its employees, and the AO’s officers as individuals (which is permitted) for damages under the contributory negligence by all defendants’ theory. This way, interpreters would learn more about the steps that lead to this fiasco from the discovery that the parties would have to turn over to the plaintiff. Also, damages awarded can include punitive damages.

I could not end this post without mentioning how the candidates who took the test, the raters who have not been paid, and the court interpreter profession were abandoned by their professional organizations during this struggle. It is sad to see how the current Board of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT) abandoned its members by sitting on their hands and remain silent. It was until May 2, after the “Magnanimous letter” was made public, that the Board issued a self-serving harmless statement indicating that they were “…very much aware of the issue surrounding the federal exam…” and how they “are continuing to monitor the events as they unfold in June…” In other words, the national association with the most members directly affected, issues a communication after the fact even more sanitized than the AO’s. The latter called the fiasco “irregularities”; NAJIT could not even say that and called it an “issue”. Without any investigation, they have concluded that in their “opinion” “the AO is acting in good faith in what is an unfortunate set of circumstances”.  Again, this Board sided with the establishment instead of the profession and its own members. Nobody has suggested bad faith from anyone at the AO; the issue (correctly used in this context) is negligence. NAJIT is also telling those attending its annual conference that the AO will address court interpreters but not for a session “…geared toward the federal oral exam and its administration…” They want the AO there, but they will not pursue the federal exam fiasco as the topic to be discussed. That should not be because it could be uncomfortable to the AO, but because it will probably benefit the members more to talk about how many cases were interpreted last year, an interpreter directory, or other vital issues no doubt more important than the biggest stain in court interpreting history. We can only vote and hope to elect a NAJIT Board that will write position papers, hold round tables on the most pressing issues that impact the profession, as it had been the tradition before. It was just 2 years ago, under another Board, that we held a panel on immigration court interpreting that helped to change things to a better situation today. NAJIT is not a labor union and we do not expect it to act like one. We hope it goes back to its role representing the professional interests of its membership while defending the integrity of the profession.

It is time for all court interpreters to think and question those things that go wrong to change them. Treating interpreters as ignorant people, who should be grateful to the AO for letting everyone retest after 7 months of agony following a test that will go down in history as a monument to ineptitude and negligence, with no transparency and accountability is just unacceptable. I now invite you to comment, in the understanding that comments defending the AO or Paradigm will not be posted unless they come from an official source.

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§ 29 Responses to 2017: The biggest stain in U.S. court interpreting history.

  • Maribel Alonso says:

    Muchas gracias Tony, una vez más, por sacar a la luz estas “cosas”. Igual que l@s intérpretes tenemos que hacer una valoración honesta de qué casos podemos o no podemos aceptar, las compañías que ofrecen exámenes y entrenamientos tienen que hacer una valoración honesta de qué proyectos pueden acometer o no. Porque de lo contrario es más que “negligencia”, es “faltal de honestidad” es un fraude! Y eso es “mala fé”.

  • I want to thank you for the time you spent on this one post. Your analysis and summary brings home the gravity of the situation. The silence of those involved as well as the silence of the NAJIT Board is of equally grave concern. I for one will be in San Francisco attending the AO session. I intend to ask questions and get answers. Thanks again for a thorough presentation of the issue. I hope to hear from the other 426 interpreters who took the exam.

  • Arias says:

    I too want to thank you for your post. I am glad someone call it like it is. I stopped taking the test 10 years ago because I suffered ‘ irregularities’ during the test and when I recorded the issue at the end of the test, the supervisor blew her top off (in the most unprofessional manner) after she was told by the proctor. I was the victim not the perpetrator. The handling thereafter made me lose faith on the whole certification even though I had been growing ever more professional with every test session. Every time scoring closer and closer but, I knew it wasn’t worth it.

    As years passed I don’t have the faith I used to have because I am old enough now to understand where that lack of transparency and impossibility to ever admit errors comes from and I don’t need to feed that beast. Besides, we know that a great number of interpreters in the ranks, especially those who came from the Department of State in the 80’s were not measured with the same rule as test takers are today, nor is the system as ‘ honorable’ as we would like it to be and cheating on the test is well known. Not that it is very helpful but, at a certain level any thing helps. I have never wanted to be part of that because it is stressful enough to do our work without having to question our own professional capability when we are up on a witness stand or, trying to catch up with a speaker. It is hard enough to keep the stamina for the job at hand. Don’t need to doubt myself as well.

    I am not surprised about this big mess. It has probably been brewing for a long time at least in my experience this was a coming deal.

    Thanks again for your post.

  • Jennifer Clowery says:

    Thank you for this important post, Tony. I have been completely perplexed and dismayed by NAJIT’s silence during the past several months and found their letter to be woefully inadequate. I am considering withdrawing my membership. Sadly, most of its members do not seem to either notice or care that the professional organization that they pay dues to did not lift a finger to defend the profession.

  • Doralisa Pilarte says:

    Amid the 2017 FCICE oral exam disaster, a colleague who also took the exam last September recounted to me how years ago NAJIT itself had a court interpreting certification program, supposedly as prestigious as the FCICE, but that a series of missteps marred its reputation, to the extent that people lost faith, stopped taking it, and the program collapsed. Does anyone have institutional memories of this event from long ago?

    • Dear Doralisa, thank you for your comment. NAJIT offered a court interpreter certification in the past. The program ended years ago, but it was for different reasons we may discuss in a future post.

      • Judith Kenigson Kristy says:

        Tony, this is Judith Kenigson Kristy, and as a former member of the NAJIT Board and Chair of the NAJIT Certification Commission I can provide some light on this subject. To my knowledge there was no problem of “missteps” or a “marred reputation” at all – the administration of the NAJIT exam was ended due to a simple cost-benefit analysis. From its very inception, people were reluctant to take the exam because it was expensive, was very difficult to pass, and, apart from prestige, provided no additional benefits (like federal and state exams do) in terms of employment. NAJIT stopped offering the exam because administering it was costly (especially with so few candidates – in fact, the original administrating entity preferred not to continue administering the exam under original contract conditions since they were losing money on it); because all valid and reliable exams must be regularly replaced by new versions and psychometric analyses – also very, very costly (the original three versions alone cost close to $200,000); and because there was too little interest among the membership (as evidenced by the paucity of candidates) to justify the continued use of NAJIT’s limited funds for this purpose. If anyone has questions or wants to further discuss this matter, they are welcome to contact me by private message.

      • Dear Judith, thank you for your comments regarding the NAJIT certification exam. That is exactly as I recall it, and I appreciate your willingness to clarify it for our younger friends and colleagues who were not around in those days. The fact that you were Chair of the Certification Commission adds authority and credibility to your comment. Thank you for putting the issue to rest.

  • Mariana Boatwright says:

    Thank you Tony for shedding some light on this, I can only feel frustrated and extremely disappointed, given the fact I was one of those interpreters that flew from abroad to take the exam. I saw the whole process a an investment on my career, but ultimately ended up spending a fortune in exchange for nothing.

  • Tony, thank you for taking the time to describe the situation, emphasize the importance of certifications in the US, and suggest options to request transparency in this disgraceful process. It is indeed unacceptable that professional interpreters be treated with so much disregard and disrespect and that no association would side with “us”, as I am one of the test takers as well. Everything has in fact been treated with much secrecy and negligence, but since everybody’s intention is to just get a passing score and put it all behind , no one seems to dare raising their voices perhaps for fear of being singled out… since we do not know how these tests are scored or by whom. As you clearly and correctly point out, if this is not straightened out by demanding all the information be disclosed to the testers and the community of linguists at large, this test and credential will have lost its good reputation and ability to set test takers apart. We should act collectively, and I hope for, and appreciate your guidance, since I am willing to proceed with a claim for transparency. As to NAJIT it does not surprise me in the last that they would not offer solutions or contact AO on out behalf since they have never done much for the professional other than post academic essays but there is material enough on that topic for another post. Thanks again and let’s join forces to set the record straight.

    • sorry about the typos, writing from my phone was definitely not a good idea but I felt compelled to leave my comments without delay in the hopes we can do something about this.

    • Amen to that Marcela. We are having our own moment. As a colleague just shared with me, I feel like wearing the I survived the 2017 FCICE Oral Exam t-shirt. Although I’m sure that another great one for our families would be, My Mom/Dad/Spouse went to the 2017 FCICE Oral Exam and all she/he brought back is this lousy t-shirt. Something to pack for the San Francisco Conference.

  • Yvette says:

    Does Paradigm consist of 2 guys in a garage? This is ridiculous and outrageous!!

  • André Csihás, FCCI says:

    The results of this huge and extremely embarrasing fiasco, are the product of the lowballing attitude that pretty much all organizations exercise nowadays, including the federal government, so it’s not surprising that the maxim “You get what you pay for” surfaces in its full bloom and glory.

    Unfortunately, there seems to be a total lack of seriousness about the federal exam, and I personally regret having to read about it, as I know how much effort and sacrifice took me to pass it. I feel demeaned and offended by this careless approach from the administering entities, and that goes without saying a word about the effort of my colleagues nationwide who also sacrificed as much, and by whom I firmly stand.

    Parasitic and incompetent companies who seek only self-serving, self-enriching and self-aggrandizing goals by attempting to pass off as legitimate, need to be carefully scrutinized by the agencies contemplating on hiring them because they dole out a great deal of harm and perhaps irreparable damage. Clearly, they are part of the problem and not part of the solution. Additionally, they need to be penalized with a very hefty fine for having mislead not only their employers, but also their clients. Perhaps the pain felt in their pocket —which obviously is the only language they understand— will shake them back into reality.

  • Elena S. says:

    Agree 100%

  • Maricarmen says:

    Thank you. For this precise analysis. I wonder if the same is happening with the State Court Interpreter Oral Examination. Have you seen the percentage of passed? Significant

  • Milagros Pepple says:

    The same thing happened to me, only this was from the State of Ohio.
    First they sent me a letter with someone else’s name and last name and of course that person did not pass the oral exam. I called immediately to report the mistake…. I was told that the letter was mine…. ok a mistake I thought and I took the exam again…. only to receive an identical score.
    What would the odds be that an improperly addressed envelope would have the same score in grammar, antonyms and synonyms etc. I have been an interpreter for over 20 years, I passed my written exam with over 90%.They keep sending me invitations for” Introduction to Interpretation ” no more.
    Reading this article brought back bad memories of taking the test.
    I also had expenses, hotels etc.

    • Dear Milagros, thank you for your comment. I am sorry you had that experience. It sounds like the State agency or contractor in charge of administering the exam may have made a mistake in your case. I do not know enough facts to give an opinion. The 2017 federal court interpreter certification exam for Spanish language interpreters is different: We are not talking about a handful of mistakes, which can happen anywhere, we are facing a mismanaged exam plagued with omissions and poor decisions impacting many people.

  • Erik Camayd-Freixas says:

    Thank you, Tony, for this post and service to the profession. I have to say that even though I am extremely disappointed at this fiasco, I am not at all surprised. Ever since I saw they had outsourced the exam to some private firm, I have been bracing for something like this to happen. Unfortunately, there seems to be in our field a misconception that any non-academic outfit can administer such a specialized test. And frankly, there even seems to be a disdain for academia. But folks from my generation (I am federal certification no.116 –so I can almost be carbon-dated) will remember that nothing like this ever happened in all the years that the University of Arizona ran the show. The exam was given over to the Nat’l Ctr. for State Courts to administer, and it worked fine. I recently conducted a statistical and historical review of the NCSC state exam in Florida since inception in 1998, and I found the NCSC to be very lacking. They promised to do a first followup review of the state exam in 2004 but never bothered to do it. And now the system in many states is in crisis. In academia we call this gross negligence. Yet, if that was the NCSC, a private firm would be 10 times worse. They are opaque, secretive institutions. In academia, on the contrary, everything is peer-reviewed for validation and rigor. Therefore these outfits have lost our respect long ago. But this present fiasco is much, much worse, because if the profession loses confidence in the FCICE, the credential itself is devalued, and that affects us all. So this is not something to be brushed under the rug. We can’t just drop it. We need to follow up on it. Thanks again for bringing it forth.

    • André Csihás, FCCI says:

      Thank you, Erik, you’ve taken the words right out of my mouth!

      Precisely the other day I was thinking that this type of blunder was unheard of within the purview of the federal certification exam and yes, you’re spot on regarding U of A running the show, because I attended that institution in Tucson, AZ precisely for that purpose.

      The NCSC administered my exam in front of three live individuals who acted as members of the court and who fired their volley of questions at me, while I sat the in the hot seat of the interpreter, taking notes, writing numbers and dates. There were no buttons to push, there was no hardware malfunction, there were no software flaws and most definitely, there were no misunderstandings of any kind: What you said was recorded before that trio of experienced individuals—no excuses— and at the conclusion of the event, you returned the pencil and the scratch paper they’d furnished you at the beginning for note-taking.

      I personally feel that that type of examination is the correct one, because it closely resembles the actual situation not only in the court, but also that of the interpreter while in court.
      I concur wholeheartedly: Gross negligence, indeed!

  • Tim Slater says:

    1) This sounds like a typical example of the common results of privatization. How many of you who were affected, or are concerned about the affair, support that ideology in the voting booth and elsewhere?

    2) Mr. Milagros is mistaken about the situation in Europe. For example, in Germany, the leading European country with a formal certification procedure, passing an official examination, usually administered by a Ministry of the State concerned (since certification is done at the State, not Federal, level) is the principal route to certification — although a university degree in the subject is often accepted as an alternative qualification.

    Tim Slater
    (officially certified and appointed as German-English interpreter and translator for the courts of Bavaria)

  • Alina Salvat says:

    Thank you for your post Tony. I am a state certified court Interpreter in the states of DE, IA, PA and soon to be placed on the roster in MN. I had seriously been thinking of taking the Federal test, beginning by taking the written test this fall and then the oral in 2019. However, I’m seriously beginning to re – think this. In my humble opinion the AOUSCA should DUMP Paradigm have the NCSC provide the raters as they did in the past. Enough with this privatization crap. These companies are ALL bottom feeders and don’t give a damn how they get their money and who they hang out to dry in the process.

    • Thank you, Alina. Paradigm was retained to administer the exam. They did not provide the raters, only the proctors.

    • André Csihás, FCCi says:

      ¡Hola Alina!
      I’ve read you posts for a very long time on Tony’s blog, and I am very glad to see that you continue with your contributions to it.
      Please allow me to suggest to you, that you MUST strive at all costs, to become a Federal Interpreter. I realize that the present PR info about it is demeaning, discouraging and disrespectful, but please don’t allow yourself to be dissuaded by that incompetent agency that by pure chance of lowballing, has gotten the contract to administer it.

      The Federally Certified Court Interpreter’s certification still enjoys the prestige it did in the past. Thanks to the federal certification, I’ve had opportunities that are LIGHT YEARS away from the usual five and dime, run-of-the mill court interpreter jobs that make you fight for what the courts feel like paying for them.
      I tell them that my daily fee is set by the Federal Government, take it or leave it: You’ll be surprised how many TAKE IT, without questioning it!

  • Patricia Michelsen king says:

    Thank you for writing this and doing it in such an eloquent way. Patricia michelsen King

  • Jose M Perez says:

    Thanks for your post. I went through the ordeal you relate and completely identify with what you are saying. The proctor who administered my exam was a very nice lady (Paradigm) but when I had problems with the computer she was not able to do much.

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