The Second Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed both the district court and the State Review Officer in A.M. v. New York City Department of Education. The decision states that “when the reports and evaluative materials present at the [IEP] meeting yield a clear consensus, an IEP formulated for the child that fails to provide services consistent with that consensus is not ‘reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive educational benefits,’ [quoting Rowley] and the state’s determination to the contrary is thus entitled to no deference because it is unsupported by a preponderance of the evidence…. This remains true whether the issue relates to the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction in a child’s IEP.”
This case rejects the notion that methodology is in the sole discretion of the school district.
COPAA filed an amicus brief and participated in oral argument making precisely this argument. The underlying case was brought and handled by the Cuddy Law Firm. Andrew Feinstein filed the amicus brief and argued in the Second Circuit; Selene Almazan and Alexis Casillas drafted and edited the amicus brief.