conferred upon a child are adequate and that it was limiting its analysis to the facts in Rowley, 458 U.S. at 202, S. Ct. at 3049.
Thus, it seems clear that there is no general rule upon which to test the adequacy of any placement. The key appears to be that the child receive "some educational benefit," but that does not mean that the child is not to advance. Advancement is not necessarily "potential maximizing." In Rowley, it meant that if the child is being educated in a regular classroom, the special education "should be reasonably calculated to enable the child to achieve passing marks and advance from grade to grade." 458 U.S. at 203-204, S. Ct. at 3049 (footnote omitted).
Therefore, while recognizing the unique needs of each child, the school system is to have in mind, not only the placement of the child, but the advancement of the child where possible. And, the desire by the parents to have the child advance, to the extent possible, is not necessarily synonymous with "maximizing." The purpose of the HCA is "that handicapped children be enabled to achieve a reasonable degree of self-sufficiency." 458 U.S. at 201, n. 23, S. Ct. at 3048, n. 23.
This Court attempted to apply the above guidelines in this case. The Court heard the testimony of witnesses called by the parties, reviewed the decisions of the hearing officer, and reviewed the administrative record. As the Court noted, it was most impressed with the "testimony" of Beverly Mattson. Ms. Mattson was familiar with Ann Marie and familiar with the programs at Kennedy and Sharpe. She noted that Kennedy has proven to be an effective program for Ann Marie because "it has higher yet realistic expectations for Ann as reflected in the IEP goals and objectives, classroom placement and classroom emphasis," that it has "identified and is using appropriate curriculum programs to teach Ann functional academics," that it "has identified and is using appropriate instructional and behavioral strategies to maximize Ann's engaged learning," and that it has been able to address Ann's learning style and to effect "significant academic achievement for Ann, particularly in reading." She stated that Sharpe could not provide the learning conditions that Ann requires and that the "repetition of mismatched instruction contributed to Ann learning less and more slowly at Sharpe." She testified that in the four years that Ann Marie attended Sharpe, "she learned very little" and that she "has demonstrated improved attention and work behaviors, is progressing in functional math, and is interacting socially with staff and peers in ways she never demonstrated at Sharpe."
Defendants argue that this Court's reference to Ann Marie's progress at Kennedy is inconsistent with the "some educational benefit" standard of Rowley and "is strongly suggestive of the potential-maximizing standard that Rowley  forbids." Defendants' Supplemental Memorandum at 2-3. This Court disagrees. In Rowley, the Supreme Court found that, although a child is advancing from grade to grade, that does not mean that the child is receiving an appropriate education, but that academic progress by Amy Rowley, when considered with the special services rendered by the school system was dispositive as to whether Amy was receiving a "free appropriate public education." 458 U.S. at 202, n. 25, S. Ct. at 3049, n. 25. "The grading and advancement system thus constitutes an important factor in determining educational benefit." 458 U.S. at 203, S. Ct. at 3049 (emphasis this Court's). As the Supreme Court noted:
When the handicapped child is being educated in the regular classrooms of a public school system, the achievement of passing marks and advancement from grade to grade will be one important factor in determining educational benefit.