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Peer Grading:

True or False: Is "peer grading" allowed under the "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act" (FERPA)?

Topic: Peer grading

How this relates to this group: The learning and teaching of ASL can be expedited via an increase in feedback provided to students. It is not uncommon for an ASL teacher to have 120 students or more per semester. (For example, four classes with 30 students in each class totals to 120 students).

Large student to teacher ratios makes it challenging for individual ASL instructors to provide timely, meaningful feedback.

Student to student review and feedback (also known as "peer review") can be informative and helpful even though it is often of a lower quality than teacher to student feedback.  One form peer review consists of "peer grading" wherein students review and grade the work of other students.

The "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act" (FERPA) is a law passed to protect the privacy of students.

True or False: Is "peer grading" allowed under the "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act" (FERPA)?

Answer: True.
 

According to the U.S. Supreme Court, students grading the work of other students and even announcing the scores is not a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
 

"Peer-grading (Owasso Indep. Sch. Dist. No. I-011 v. Falvo, 534 U.S. 426 (2002)). Under FERPA a school may not disclose a student’s grades to another student without the prior written consent of the parent or eligible student. “Peer-grading” is a common educational practice in which teachers require students to exchange homework assignments, tests, and other papers, grade one another’s work, and then either call out the grade or turn in the work to the teacher for recordation. Even though peer-grading results in students finding out each other’s grades, the U.S. Supreme Court in 2002 issued a narrow holding in Owasso that this practice does not violate FERPA because grades on students’ papers are not “maintained” under the definition of “education records” and, therefore, would not be covered under FERPA at least until the teacher has collected and recorded them in the teacher’s grade book, a decision consistent with the Department’s longstanding position on peer-grading. The Court rejected assertions that students were “parties acting for” an institution when they scored each other’s work and that the student papers were, at that stage, “maintained” within the meaning of FERPA. Among other considerations, the Court expressed doubt that Congress intended to intervene in such a drastic fashion with traditional State functions or that the “federal power would exercise minute control over specific teaching methods and instructional dynamics in classrooms throughout the country.” The final regulations create a new exception to the definition of “education records” that excludes grades on peer-graded papers before they are collected and recorded by a teacher. This change clarifies that peer-grading does not violate FERPA. No changes from the NPRM"
(Source: FERPA (December 2008) Section-by-Section Analysis, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Final Rule 34 CFR Part 99, page 3, retrieved 5/17/2020 from: https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/pdf/ht12-17-08-att.pdf ) 
 

 



 

Notes: 

Also see:
Using Peer Review in ASL Classes

Additional sources on this topic:


(Source: FERPA (December 2008) Section-by-Section Analysis, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Final Rule 34 CFR Part 99, page 3, retrieved 5/17/2020 from: https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/pdf/ht12-17-08-att.pdf ) 
 



https://books.google.com/books?id=irnJsfcrOd0C&pg=PA718&lpg=PA718&dq=call+out+the+scores+is+not+a+violation+of+the+Family+Educational+Rights+and+Privacy+Act+(FERPA)&source=bl&ots=MX8RkJ-_Bj&sig=ACfU3U3tWnvzFilViTzL7yxR71jF15m4FQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwir4q73w7vpAhUDQawKHcpqArQQ6AEwD3oECDEQAQ#v=onepage&q=call%20out%20the%20scores%20is%20not%20a%20violation%20of%20the%20Family%20Educational%20Rights%20and%20Privacy%20Act%20(FERPA)&f=false
 


 

The Supreme Court decision, written by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, states that the "Court of Appeals erred in concluding that an assignment satisfies the definition of education records as soon as it is graded by another student." At that stage, the papers are not "maintained" within the meaning of FERPA, the opinion states. The Court also rejected the appeals court conclusion that each student grader is "a person acting for" an educational institution, as determined by FERPA.

"The phrase ‘acting for’ connotes agents of the school, such as teachers, administrators, and other school employees. Just as it does not accord with our usual understanding to say students are "acting for" an educational institution when they follow their teacher’s direction to take a quiz, it is equally awkward to say students are ‘acting for’ an educational institution when they follow their teacher’s direction to score it," the Supreme Court decision states. "Correcting a classmate’s work can be as much a part of the assignment as taking the test itself. It is a way to teach material again in a new context, and it helps show students how to assist and respect fellow pupils. By explaining the answers to the class as the students correct the papers, the teacher not only reinforces the lesson but also discovers whether the students have understood the material and are ready to move on."

Source:
https://tcta.org/node/12000



Additional notes:
A lot of people mistakenly think that FERPA covers a student's name, address, phone number, email address, dates of attendance, and major.
Newsflash:  It doesn't.  As of this writing, (2020) The FERPA does not cover "directory information" -- as long as the school has given public notice of what kind of information it considers to be "director y information."  
If a student doesn't like it the student has the right to restrict the disclosure of their information (as long as they inform the school within the timeframe announced by the school).




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