Monday, October 24, 2016

Does Black Success Matter?

Jewish World Review


By Thomas Sowell
Published August 16, 2016
Does Black Success Matter?

"We have heard a lot about black students failing to meet academic standards. So you might think that it would be front-page news when some whole ghetto schools not only meet, but exceed, the academic standards of schools in more upscale communities."

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Supreme Court to Decide Level of “Benefit” Special Education Must Provide

On September 29th, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review in a case about the level of education benefit a school district must provide to students with disabilities in order to provide student with a free appropriate public education. The case, Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1 raises an important question that has divided federal appeals courts: What level of educational benefit must a child receive under his or her individualized education program (IEP) to satisfy the demands of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)? 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, in Denver, ruled last year in the case of a Colorado child with autism that because the child's public school IEP had provided him with "some educational benefit," the Douglas County district had provided a "free, appropriate public education" under the IDEA. However, the 10th Circuit court panel acknowledged that several other federal courts of appeals have adopted a higher standard that requires an IEP to result in a "meaningful educational benefit," a point that was echoed in the appeal filed by the parents of Endrew F. and the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School. The petition argued that "[t]his court should use this case—which cleanly presents the legal issue on a well-developed set of facts—to resolve the conflict over this important question." 

In May, the U.S. Supreme Court invited the U.S. solicitor general to file a brief expressing the views of the Obama administration. On Aug. 18, Acting Solicitor General Ian H. Gershengorn filed a brief that urged the justices to take up the appeal, stating that the Supreme Court “should grant certiorari and overturn the 10th Circuit's erroneous holding that states must provide children with disabilities educational benefits that are 'merely ... more than de minimis' in order to comply with the IDEA …the 10th Circuit's approach is not consistent with the text, structure, or purpose of the IDEA.” Thus, the Supreme Court has granted review – one of eight cases the justices added to their docket just before the formal start of their new term on October 3rd. The Endrew F. case is likely to be argued sometime early next year.