Wrightslaw l No Child Left Behind l IDEA 2004 l Fetaweb l Yellow Pages for Kids l Harbor House Law Press
 Home > News > Are Grades Education Records? U. S. Supreme Court to Decide (October 24, 2001)


The Special Ed Advocate
It's Unique ... and Free!

Enter your email address below:

 

2014 - 2015 Training Programs

Nov. 1 - Grand Rapids, MI

Nov 6 - McAllen, TX

Nov 18 - DesMoines, IA

Nov 21 - Temecula, CA

Dec 4 - OKC, OK

Full Schedule

Be a Hero ...

 Jason at Ft. Benning
... to a Hero
Learn more

Wrightslaw

Home
Topics from A-Z
Free Newsletter
Seminars & Training
Consultations
Yellow Pages for Kids
Press Room
FAQs
Sitemap

Books & Training

Wrightslaw Books & DVDs
Wrightslaw Storesecure store lock
  Advocate's Store
  Student Bookstore
  Exam Copies
Training Center
Bulk Discounts
New! Military Discounts
Mail & Fax Orders

Advocacy Library

Articles
Doing Your Homework
Ask the Advocate
FAQs
Newsletter Archives
Summer School Series
Success Stories
Tips

Law Library

Articles
Caselaw
IDEA 2004
No Child Left Behind
McKinney-Vento Homeless
FERPA
Section 504
Fed Court Complaints

Topics

Advocacy
ADD/ADHD
Allergy/Anaphylaxis
Assistive Technology
Autism Spectrum
Behavior & Discipline
Bullying
College/Continuing Ed
Damages
Discrimination
Due Process
Early Intervention (Part C)
Eligibility
ESY
Evaluations
FAPE
Flyers
Future Planning
Harassment
High-Stakes Tests
Homeless Children
IDEA 2004
Identification & Child Find
IEPs
ISEA
Juvenile Justice
Law School & Clinics
Letters & Paper Trails
LRE/Inclusion
Mediation
Military / DOD
No Child Left Behind
NCLB Directories
NCLB Law & Regs
Parental Protections
PE and Adapted PE
Privacy & Records
Procedural Safeguards
Progress Monitoring
Reading
Related Services
Research Based Instruction
Response to Intervention (RTI)
Restraints/Abuse
Retention
Retaliation
School Report Cards
Section 504
Self-Advocacy
Teachers & Principals
Transition
Twice Exceptional (2e)
VA Special Education

Resources & Directories

Advocate's Bookstore
Advocacy Resources
Directories
  Disability Groups
  International
  State DOEs
  State PTIs
Free Flyers
Free Pubs
Free Newsletters
Legal & Advocacy
Glossaries
   Legal Terms
   Assessment Terms
Best School Websites

 

Are Grades Education Records? U. S. Supreme Court Will Decide

In Falvo v. Owasso Indep. School District, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit was asked to decide if allowing students to grade one another's papers and call grades out in class violated the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Background

Kristja Falvo is the mother of three children who attended school in Owasso Independent School District. In this district, the teachers had students grade one another's assignments and tests and call out these grades out to the teacher.

Ms. Falvo complained that her children were embarrassed when other students learned their grades. She felt the practice violated their rights to privacy. The district continued to use this grading practice.

When the court examined the practice of having students grade one another's tests and other work and call out their grades in class, the court found that this practice violates FERPA:

"The plain language of the relevant provision of FERPA . . . reveals that it is intended to protect the privacy of students and their parents . . . an educational agency or institution is absolutely precluded from receiving federal funds if it maintains a policy or practice of allowing disclosure of education records to unauthorized individuals or entities without parental consent."

Can Parents Challenge Grades?

According to FERPA, schools must provide parents an opportunity to challenge the content of education records.

Does this include grades? The Court of Appeals found:

"The School District asserts that Congress could not have reasonably intended to allow parents to challenge in a hearing the accuracy of a grade placed on a student's homework or test by another student."

"To the contrary, Congress could have sensibly intended to provide parents a means to challenge the accuracy of grades on individual homework and test papers. Indeed, a challenge to "institutional records" such as a semester grade might necessarily require an investigation into the accuracy of the individual homework and test grades used to calculate the final semester grade."

"Imagine a student who . . . records grades on another student's papers which are lower than that which the student actually earned. Such inaccurate student grading could significantly impact the slighted student's more permanent grades. In such a situation, a parent has a definite and strong need to challenge the accuracy of the student-recorded
grades."

Read the 10th Circuit's decision and learn more about rights under FERPA.

URL: http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/caselaw/2001/10th_falvo_owasso.htm

The district appealed this decision to the U. S. Supreme Court. The Court heard oral argument on November 27, 2001.

REVERSED: On February 19, 2002, the U. S. Supreme Court reversed the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and held that peer grading does not violate FERPA. (534 U. S. ____ (2002))


Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon The Special Ed Advocate: It's Free!

 

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
About the DVD Video

 

Copyright 1998-2014, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.

Contact Us | Press Mission l Our Awards l Privacy Policy l Disclaimer l Site Map