U.S. District Court Rules Endrew’s IEP Must Be Appropriately Ambitious Under New Standard
On February 12, 2018, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado applied the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Endrew F. setting a higher standard for all children with disabilities. While many school districts have attempted to assert the new standard articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court was in fact not a setting a new standard for the delivery of special education, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado has determined otherwise.
“The district court affirmed that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Endrew F. does in fact require a ‘new standard’ for determining progress on a child’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP) goals and that such goals that must be appropriately ambitious and challenging. COPAA has long-advocated that every child’s IEP is developed and implemented to ensure educational progress is both the goal and the outcome.” Almazan concluded, “Every child with a disability should have the opportunity to achieve commensurate with their non-disabled peers and this new standard requires every state, district and school to do what it takes to make that happen.”
From the decision: “The District’s inability to develop a formal plan or properly address Plaintiff’s behaviors that had clearly disrupted his access to educational progress starting in his second grade year does, under the new standard articulated by the Supreme Court in this case, impact the assessment of whether the educational program it offered to Petitioner was or was not reasonably calculated to enable him to make progress appropriate in light of his circumstances…. The IEP was not appropriately ambitious because it did not give [the] Petitioner the chance to meet challenging objectives under his particular circumstances.”