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30 J.L. & Educ. 575 (2001)
Johnny Saw My Test Score, So I'm Suing My Teacher: Falvo v. Owasso Independent School District, Peer Grading, and a Student's Right to Privacy under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act

handle is hein.journals/jle30 and id is 585 raw text is: Johnny Saw my Test Score, so I'm Suing my
Teacher: Falvo v. Owasso Independent School
District, Peer Grading, and a Student's Right to
Privacy under the Family Education Rights and
Privacy Act
Daniel R. Dinger*
I. Introduction
For many years it has been common practice for school teachers to have stu-
dents grade one another's work-a practice often referred to as peer grading-
and either call out the grade or write it on the top of a test or assignment which
is then passed forward and collected by the teacher. It has also not been uncom-
mon for teachers to have students grade their own papers and then report their
grades orally as the teacher records those scores in her grade book. While many
schools and teachers in the United States still employ these practices, those in
states residing within the geographical confines of the Tenth Circuit do not.
This is because as of October 2000, the use of such practices was declared ille-
gal by three judges on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. And not only were
the practices made illegal, but the judges also made teachers personally liable
to students whose grades are seen by others. The vehicle used by the Tenth
Circuit to halt the use of these grading practices was the case of Falvo v.
Owasso Independent School District,' in which the court sustained a parent's
complaint that the use of peer grading and the other aforementioned practices
by her children's school violated the students' right to privacy. It did so on the
ground that student papers are education records and are therefore confiden-
tial and cannot be shown to other students. This article examines that decision.
Specifically, Part II of this article provides an introduction to the Family
Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Often referred to as the Buckley
* Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Ada County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Ada County, Idaho; B.A.,
Brigham Young University, 1998; J.D., Brigham Young University, 2001. The author would like to thank
Paige Dinger, a former high school history teacher, for her comments and suggestions. Thanks must also go
to the Family Policy Compliance Office, United States Department of Education, for providing the author
with otherwise unattainable materials used in writing this article.
1. Falvo v. Owasso Independent School District, 233 F.3d 1203 (10th Cir. 2000).

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