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Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson School District vs

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Marissa Parrish

on 28 August 2013

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Transcript of Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson School District vs

Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson School District vs.

The case that put the "A" in FAPE
Who is Amy Rowley?

The basics:

Ten year old deaf student at time of case

Amy had progressed well through Kindergarten on an IEP that did not include an interpreter*

Described as "a delight" and in the top 1/3 of her competive class by her teachers

Amy could only comprehend 60% of her teachers' communication, though

Parents requested an interpreter again to address the discrepancy

Rowley family took case to Federal District Court
District Court Case
In District Court, Judge looked to the standard of FAPE set by the Education of All Handicapped Children Act and the IDEA Act*

He ruled measurable difference between Amy's potential and her academic record did not meet FAPE

School would need to reinstate interpreter to maximize Amy's potential

District Appealed to Second Circuit Court--The Rowley's won again
Amy's Kindergarten IEP
Mainstream Classroom with hearing aid

Teachers would be trained in sign language

Teletype machine to aid in communication

Sign language interpreter in classroom*
The Education of All Handicapped Children Act


(A) have been provided at public expenses, under public supervision and direction, and without charge,
(B) meet the standards of the State educational agency,
(C) include an appropriate preschool, elementary, or secondary school education in the State involved, and
(D) are provided in conformity with the individualized education program required under section 1414(a)(5) of this title." 1401(18) (emphasis added).

The Supreme Court
Court ruled 6-3 against the Rowley family

Judge Rehnquist wrote majority opinion, cited the lack of specificity in the law

...if personalized instruction is being provided with sufficient supportive services to permit the child to benefit from the instruction, and the other items on the definitional checklist are satisfied, the child is receiving a "free appropriate public education" as defined by the Act

“Noticeably absent from the language of the statue is any substantive standard prescribing the level of education to be accorded handicapped children. Certainly the language of the statute contains no requirement like the one imposed by the lower courts-that States maximize the potential of handicapped children "commensurate with the opportunity provided to other children”

The Two-Part Test

1. Has the state has complied with the procedures set forth in the EAHCA and IDEA? (The Individuals with Disability Act that outlined IEP procedures)

2. Is the IEP “reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive educational benefits.

Rowley Family's Reaction
"I really think having the interpreter was a big help. I wish I didn't lose the interpreter. I don't want to go to school anymore. The kids in school may make fun of me because I lost in the Supreme Court"-- Amy Rowley

"What's next? Are they going to take away Braille books for the blind and ramps for people in wheelchairs?"--Nancy Rowley, Amy's mother
What does Amy's case mean?
The most important take away from the Rowley case
is that it set the standard that "some benefit" should
be gained from a child's education

The "some benefit" standard would define policy for years to come

Is designed to meet the unique needs of that one student
Provides access to the general curriculum to meet the challenging expectations established for all children” (that is, it meets the approximate grade-level standards of the state educational agency)

Is provided in accordance with the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) as defined in 1414(d)(3).[18]
Results in educational benefit to the child.[18]
Works Cited

“Case Law: Rowley v. Hendrick Hudson School District, (1984),” Steele, Melanie and Emma Sinclair, Max Weinberg, Jeremy Blaylock, Indiana University.

“Rowley Educational Benefit Standard Still Applies In Individuals With Disabilities Education Act Cases,” Krosnick, Moskovitze, Tiedemann & Girard: A Law Corporation, http://www.kmtg.com/node/1017#sthash.0T7zhiwZ.dpuf

Rowley v. Hendrick Hudson School District, 458 U.S. 176

“Though Deaf, Amy Rowley Is a Good Student—Too Good, Says the Supreme Court,” Walker, Lisa. People Magazine. Vol. 18, No. 3. July 19, 1982.
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