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Vigilance in the Defense of Liberty and Freedom
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
By:Rep. George Miller
Opposition to Committee Republicans' draft education proposals continues to mount. Nearly 40 organizations – representing a broad cross section of civil rights, disability, business and education organizations – today come out against the draft bills, calling them a “rollback” that “undermines the core American value of equal opportunity of education.”
Referring to the set of Republican proposals, the groups write:
… it abandons accountability for the achievement and learning gains of subgroups of disadvantaged students who for generations have been harmed by low academic expectations...As a result, the draft would thrust us back to an earlier time when states could choose to ignore disparities for children of color, low-income students, ELLs, and students with disabilities. The results, for these groups of students and for our nation as a whole, were devastating.
...The students we represent cannot withstand the risk of Congress allowing states to return to old habits – aiming low and abandoning children deemed too difficult or inconsequential to educate. The draft, as written, would invite such a result.
This draft bill also would allow federal dollars to flow but require virtually nothing in return. This is bad for students and bad for taxpayers. Federal funding must be attached to firm, ambitious, and unequivocal demands for higher achievement, improved high school graduation rates, and progress in closing both achievement and opportunity gaps. Any reauthorization of ESEA must, at minimum, require states to set clear goals and provide instructional support so that all students receive an education that prepares them for success in college and careers.