The Blackman-Jones case, first filed in 1997 by parents who said the District of Columbia was failing to provide appropriate special education services to students with disabilities, has been dismissed by U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman, bringing to an end 18 years of court oversight.
Blackman-Jones represented two combined cases, both contending that the 45,000-student district had systemically failed in its obligations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Part of the class action was dismissed in 2011, with the school system successfully making the case that it had improved its performance.
The District of Columbia is still under increased oversight from the federal office of special education programs, which gave the school system a “needs intervention” rating in its latest evaluation of special education performance, for the eighth consecutive year.
A version of this article appeared in the January 07, 2015 edition of Education Week as Judge Dismisses Suit Over Special Ed. in D.C.