Tuesday, June 28, 2016

COPAA Files 4th Circuit Brief Involving Case of Student Who is Twice Exceptional

COPAA filed an Amicus brief in support of the parents, Plaintiffs-Appellees in the case of N.P. v. Maxwell. The parents are represented by Michael J. Eig and Paula Rosenstock of Michael J. Eig and Associates.  The parents lost at the Administrative due process hearing, but then prevailed at the District Court level where US Judge F. Motz determined that the compelling evidence presented by the parents mandated placement at the private program designed to address NP’s unique needs as a student who is twice exceptional. Indeed, the ALJ’s decision is neither well-reasoned nor based on the record on this issue.  The parent came forward with compelling evidence that N.P.’s progress in reading, writing and math was less than trivial, demonstrating that N.P. actually lost skills during the years in question.

The IDEA mandates that courts make independent determinations as to whether a school district has complied with the Act based upon the evidence in the record. A child’s IEP must provide meaningful benefit, and be gauged to the Student's potential.  The IEP proposed by the school district must confer meaningful, non-trivial educational benefit on the student.  In this case, the parent provided sound evaluation results indicating that ignoring this expert advice, the school district proposed a continuation of the same program where N.P. failed to make progress and failed to appreciate the nature of this dual exceptionalities: a gifted student and a student with a learning disability.  COPAA urged the Court to affirm the Order of the district court. Selene Almazan and Alice Nelson wrote and filed the brief on behalf of COPAA.
Read COPAA's Brief
Appellant Brief

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