TASH’s Endrew F. Initiative

Raising Expectations and Presuming Competence

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The interpretation of the provision of free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District Supreme Court decision states that all students are to be provided with “an appropriately ambitious education with challenging objectives in light of the child’s circumstances.” This is a significant change and a powerful tool for raising expectations and presuming competence for all students with disabilities.  However, the power of the decision will not be realized if we do not educate families, advocates, and educators about this new standard – there is not a mechanism built into the Court’s decision to educate the field. TASH’s Endrew F. Workgroup has taken on this charge!

Ask the Endrew F. Workgroup a Question

The Endrew F. Workgroup is here to help you find answers to your questions about your rights, your school district’s responsibilities and how the Endrew F. Supreme Court decision has changed the landscape of inclusive education. If you have a question you would like to see one of our experts address, pose it here and we will post a response on the website.

Your contact information fields are optional. You must supply them if you would like someone from the Workgroup to contact you, or if you would like to be credited in our public response. But you can omit them if you would like to post your response anonymously.

  • Pose your question for a member of the Workgroup to answer here.

Workgroup Mission Statement

The Endrew F. Workgroup is affiliated with TASH’s Inclusive Education and Policy Committees. The Workgroup was established to promote the best of this U.S. Supreme Court decision and to highlight the importance of a free and appropriate public education (“FAPE”). Denying children with disabilities a FAPE deprives the child of an appropriately ambitious education with challenging objectives in light of the child’s circumstances. Many school districts and Individualized Education Program (IEP) team members, including families, have not learned about how this precedent-setting Court decision can potentially change our understanding of developing IEPs that comply with the substance of IDEA.  

The interpretation of the provision of FAPE in the Endrew F. decision states that all students are to be provided with “an appropriately ambitious education with challenging objectives in light of the child’s circumstances.” This is a significant change and a powerful tool for raising expectations and presuming competence for all students with disabilities.  However, the power of the decision will not be realized if we do not educate families, advocates and educators about this new standard – there is not a mechanism built into the Court’s decision to educate the field. The Endrew F. workgroup has taken on this charge!

Over the next two years, the Workgroup will:

  1. develop tools for self-advocates, parents and advocates to actualize Endrew F.’s mandate;
  2. monitor Endrew F.’s implementation as seen in due process hearings, and state and federal court decisions;
  3. develop grant proposals to assist in this process; and,
  4. serve as a voice to the community, the U.S. Department of Education and the Congress if there are attempts to derail the mandate and reestablish the status quo. 

The Workgroup will develop tools to educate and empower self-advocates, parents, educational professionals and advocates about ways that their input can drive the development of truly individualized education programs that provide educational benefit by:

  1. describing the child’s individual circumstances, capacities and potential,
  2. including data-based goals and a plan to measure progress, and
  3. identifying challenging, ambitious goals and objectives. 

Inclusion is a primary area of focus as we consider the implementation of Endrew F.’s appropriate education, IEP requirements, and the responsibility of school officials and participants in the IEP. The decision makes it clear that the responsibility of school officials and participants in the IEP process must consider this new standard for FAPE in the LRE when making decisions of critical importance to the life of a child with a disability.