An analysis of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court in Owasso v. Falvo
Wilson, Rhonda Leigh
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The question of whether or not peer grading violated the privacy rights of students became an issue for determination by the United States Supreme Court when the Court agreed to hear Owasso v. Falvo (2002). The privacy rights of students in public educational institutions are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) , and this act is administered by the Family Policy Compliance Office of the United States government. Owasso v. Falvo (2002) stands as the first case involving the FERPA to be argued before the United States Supreme Court. The purpose of this study was to provide a thorough review and analysis of Owasso v. Falvo (2002) from its inception to its final dispensation in the United States Supreme Court. By reviewing the relevant legal history and the current status of the law concerning the FERPA, this study will help to clarify significant statutory ambiguities and specific legal parameters of the FERPA as applied to the practice of peer grading in the public schools This study used legal research methodology. The data for this study include a thorough review of the legal history of the FERPA (1974). Information about each of the FERPA’s nine amendments and about the questions and concerns the language of this statute has generated throughout its history was also discussed. Other relevant statutes, court cases, and scholarly commentary provided further data for this study. The current status of the FERPA as it applied to the practice of peer grading in the public schools was provided by a thorough analysis of Owasso v. Falvo (2002). The decision of the United States Supreme Court in Owasso v. Falvo (2002) was that the practice of peer grading does not violate students’ privacy rights under the FERPA (1974), at least during the initial stage until the teacher collects and records the students’ grades.