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Supreme Court ruling


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Feb 20, 2002 at 10:35:55 AM
Subject: Supreme Court ruling


Court OKs Kids Grading Kids in Class

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court's ruling that lets schools continue allowing pupils to grade each other's work is a small victory for teachers, but some parents might not consider it such good news.

``I could see where there might be problems with it,'' said Jon Ozment, whose three young children attend public schools in the District of Columbia.

On Tuesday, the high court ruled that the long-standing practice of teachers asking students to swap papers and grade them in class does not violate federal privacy law. The ruling came in the case of a learning-disabled Oklahoma boy whose classmates ridiculed his scores.

Ozment said one of his children was once in a class in which students graded each other's work. Unlike the case in question, his child wasn't embarrassed by the practice - but like many parents, Ozment questioned why students, not the teacher, graded the papers.

``I didn't think it was such a good idea,'' he said.

Teachers' and administrators' groups welcomed the ruling, saying it keeps such decisions local, as they should be.

``Schools and teachers and families can work these issues out,'' said David Strom, counsel for the American Federation of Teachers. ``There's always a way for a parent to request special handling for their children.''

The National PTA didn't take a position on the topic.

The 9-0 ruling upheld the common practice, in which teachers sometimes have students call out the results for recording in a grade book.

``Correcting a classmate's work can be as much a part of the assignment as taking the test itself,'' Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for himself and seven colleagues.

``It is a way to teach material again in a new context, and it helps show students how to assist and respect fellow pupils,'' wrote Kennedy, a former law professor who still teaches several classes a year.

Justice Antonin Scalia filed a separate concurring opinion, but took issue with part of the ruling's ``incurably confusing'' reasoning about what constitutes an education record.

The boy's mother challenged the practice as embarrassing and a violation of a federal law protecting the privacy of student education records, such as a transcript.

Kristja Falvo's case became a battle between the education establishment and conservative groups interested in promoting parental rights in schools.

Students and teachers should not have the power to reveal another student's record - in this case a grade or teacher's note - without a parent's permission, Falvo and her supporters argued.

Her children's school, joined by other school districts and the Bush administration, argued that the 1974 privacy law was not meant to be read that way. In passing the law, Congress was concerned about preserving the privacy of the final, institutional records of a school, not the results of one day's class work, the Bush administration argued.

The Supreme Court agreed, noting that ruling the other way would invite the federal government to make minute decisions about how a classroom is run.

On Tuesday, Kennedy noted that Falvo's lawyer had seemed to argue ``that if a teacher in any of the thousands of covered classrooms in the nation puts a happy face, a gold star or a disapproving remark on a classroom assignment, federal law does not allow other students to see it.''

``We doubt Congress meant to intervene in this drastic fashion,'' Kennedy wrote.

Falvo said Tuesday she has been contacted by parents throughout the country who object to the grading practice, and she still hopes to see it end. Congress could ban the practice, or schools could discontinue it on their own, she said.

``Maybe they won't use it, because sometimes something legal isn't healthy,'' she said.

National School Boards Association counsel Julie Underwood praised the ruling as a commonsense reading of the federal law.

``A contrary ruling could have been fraught with problems and would have turned a widely used practice into a legal nightmare,'' she said.

The current case is Owasso Independent School District v. Falvo, 00-1073.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 26, 2014
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Posted:Feb 20, 2002 12:22:53 PM

Children with disabilities are frequently humiliatred and teased do to there inability to produce work equal to their peers.

If your child finds haveing others grade his papers humiliating you can write on the IEP that other students are not to grade papers.
You can also write in other things that children find humiliating and embarrising. If a child has difficulty reading then you could write in that the child will not be called on to read unless he raises his hand. If your child has trouble writeing you can write in that his work is not to be displayed without his permission. ect ect.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 26, 2014
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Posted:Feb 20, 2002 2:55:36 PM

The Supreme Court ruling basically means that it's not *unconstitutional* to have peer grading. It does *not* mean that it's been ruled as "the right thing to do." (It's not unconstitutional to decide there will be no traffic lights in a town, either.)

Lots of LD kids have writing that another student simply should not be called upon to interpret. So it makes sense that having a teacher, rather than student, interpret the work would be a cmopletely reasonable accommodation. The student can simply "trade papers" with the teacher... or hold it 'til later and just say "my writing's too hard to read" (I suppose it would take more creativity to come up w/ a no-big-deal answer for multiple guess.)

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 26, 2014
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Posted:Feb 20, 2002 4:58:49 PM


So far I've just had to ask the teacher to move the trouble maker
behind my son.

(the *darling* boy mismarks the papers and then decorates them
with an F-......... the school is SO lucky that I am an easy parent
to work with - or soon I'll have a cow named after me.....)

What interested me about the Surpreme Court case was:
~ that a teacher would not immediately be sensitive to the
parents request - how could you NOT realize the hurtfulness
in this situation.
~ that realations between the parents and the school got so out
of hand they made it all the way to the Supreme Court.
~ some of the insensitive and stupid remarks some of the Justices
made.
~ how often the child is forgotten in these power struggles.

Anne

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 26, 2014
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Posted:Feb 21, 2002 6:30:33 PM

My whole problem with this issue is why are children grading papers? Isn't this the teachers job? I'm sure teachers are covered up with papers, but I also have an opinion on this, if they would spend more time teaching and not assigning worksheets...aka....busy work, they wouldn't have all those papers to grade. Gives me an idea though, I work with patients everyday, and while I'm working they are sitting in the waiting room waiting to see the doctor, hey maybe I could just pass off some of my work to them to do while they wait.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 26, 2014
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Posted:Feb 23, 2002 3:20:03 PM

I can't believe only ld kids find this stressful. Too bad some of the other parents didn't support this kids parents. And where do they get off saying this is a time honored practice. I'm not that old and it would have been unheard of when I was at school. The only logic for this is to save teachers haivng to grade all tess-but that's why I thought they had those little grading sheets that you put over the test sheet that gives the answers. Unless these are subjective answers and then how can another student possibly interpret??? And when's the last time some of these old farts were around kids???? Gives children a chance to learn compassion or whatever.... PUlEEEZE!!!!!! My first thought is there's going to be 2 or 3 in every class who're going to deliberately misgrade, not to mention others lie my son who probably wouldn't be able to do it accurately to save his soul and would be mortified and shamed when he couldn't .

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