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Owasso Independent School District No. I-011 v. Falvo

United States Supreme Court
534 U.S. 426 (2002)


Facts

Several teachers in the Owasso Independent School District No. I-011 (the district) (defendant) use peer grading to grade student assignments. Usually, this involves the students’ exchanging papers and scoring them as the teacher goes over the correct answers. The students then return the papers to the students who prepared the assignment. Sometimes, the students are asked to announce their scores so that the teacher can record the grade. Kristja Falvo (plaintiff) had three children enrolled in the district. Falvo’s children were in classes in which the teachers used peer grading. Falvo requested that the district ban the practice, because peer grading embarrassed her children. The district declined to ban the practice. Falvo sued the district, claiming that peer grading violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. § 1232(g). The district court ruled in favor of the school district, finding that grades put onto papers by another student are not educational records. Favlo appealed, and the court of appeals reversed the decision, finding the grading of a student’s paper by other students to be a release of educational records in violation of FERPA.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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