Here is an interesting question that was presented to the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO). FPCO is the federal agency that deals with interpretation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act—FERPA. Last December, FPCO addressed a parent complaint over a student who was scored as zero on the state assessment because he refused to take the test. The parent sought to amend the student’s records so as to reflect that the student did not take the test. The zero score, without explanation, makes it look as if the student answered every question incorrectly. The district declined to change the student’s score, or the record of it. Is that OK?
According to FPCO, it is. Their letter states that “a school is not required by FERPA to afford a parent the right to change substantive decisions made by school officials, such as grades or other evaluations of a student.” The rights that parents have under FERPA “cannot be used to challenge a grade, an individual’s opinion, or to clarify a substantive decision.” The letter encourages the parent to “continue to try to work your concerns out at the local level.” No doubt.
We will likely see more complaints like this as the “opt out” movement advances.
The FPCO letter was dated December 15, 2015. We found it at 116 LRP 17292.
DAWG BONE: YOU CAN’T USE FERPA TO CHANGE A GRADE.
File this one under: FERPA
TOMORROW: THROWBACK THURSDAY LOOKS AT OUR GOLDEN OLDIE REGARDING PRAYER IN SCHOOLS.