Supreme Court Decision on Grading of Papers

Techniques, April 2002 | Go to article overview

Supreme Court Decision on Grading of Papers


In a 9-0 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a lower-court decision on the practice of students grading the papers of other students. The respondent in the case, Kristja J. Falvo, has three children enrolled in the Owasso Independent School District in Oklahoma, where the teachers use peer grading-a common practice among the nation's teachers. She asked the school district to adopt a uniform policy banning peer grading, and when the district refused, she brought a class action suit against the Owasso ISD.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma found in favor of the school district, but that decision was reversed by the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

On February 19, the Supreme Court issued its decision, saying that the peer grading practice does not violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy delivered the court's opinion.

"Correcting a classmate's work can be as much a part of the assignment as taking the test itself," Kennedy wrote. …

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