The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Press Release - The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Civil Rights Groups, Business Groups, State Education Officials, and Education Advocates on ESEA Proposal: “We Cannot Support the Bill at this Time”
Groups Stress Federal Accountability
For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Westbrook Simpson, 202.466.2061, email@example.com
October 19, 2011
Washington, DC – In an unprecedented show of unity in advance of today’s Senate mark-up of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2011, a bipartisan coalition of civil rights groups, business associations, statewide education officials, and education advocates are declining to support the bill proposed by HELP Committee Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Enzi due in large part to the absence of accountability measures that narrow the achievement gaps for low-income students, students of color, English language learners, and students with disabilities. Their joint statement is as follows (click here for a PDF):
“As representatives of the millions of students with disabilities, low-income students, students of color, English-language learners and migrant students who are studying in our nation’s schools, both boys and girls, we cannot support the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act of 2011 at this time. The bill’s weak accountability system excludes the vast majority of children we represent, and is a major barrier to our organizations’ support.
We applaud the inclusion of much-needed reforms on college and career ready standards and assessments; accountability for dropout factories, more equitable funding within districts, a focus on access to high-level STEM courses for underrepresented groups, and improvements in limiting alternate assessments for students with disabilities and recognize the benefits that these provisions could yield for students.
In its current form, however, states would not have to set any measurable achievement and progress targets or even graduation rate goals. They would be required to take action to improve only a small number of low-performing schools. In schools which aren’t among the states’ very worst performing, huge numbers of low-achieving students will slip through the cracks.
Federal funding must be attached to firm, ambitious and unequivocal demands for higher achievement, high school graduation rates and gap closing. We know that states, school districts, and schools needed a more modern and focused law. However, we respectfully believe that the bill goes too far in providing flexibility by marginalizing the focus on the achievement of disadvantaged students.
Although we are unable to support the legislation in its current form, we hope to work with Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Enzi to address our concerns as the process moves forward.”
American Civil Liberties Union - Press Contact: Sandhya Bathija - firstname.lastname@example.org – 202.675.2312
Business Coalition for Student Achievement - Press Contact: Kathy Payne, State Farm - email@example.com - 309.766.9274
Chiefs for Change - Press Contact: Jaryn Emhof - 850.391.3072
Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. - Press Contact: Denise Marshall - firstname.lastname@example.org - 410.372.0208
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund - Press Contact: Susan Henderson - email@example.com - 510-644-2555
Democrats for Education Reform - Press Contact: Charles Barone - CharlesBarone@dfer.org - 202.674.3020
The Education Trust - Press Contact: Stephanie Germeraad - firstname.lastname@example.org - 202.293.1217 x354
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights* - Press Contact: Scott Westbrook Simpson – Simpson@civilrights.org – 202.466.2061
League of United Latin American Citizens - Press Contact: Paloma Zuleta - email@example.com – 202.833.6130
MALDEF (the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) - Press Contact: Laura Rodriguez - firstname.lastname@example.org - 310.956.2425
NAACP - Press Contact: Ben Wrobel – Bwrobel@naacpnet.org – 202.463.2940
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.- Press Contact: Mel Gagarin - email@example.com – 212.965.2783
National Center for Learning Disabilities - Press Contact: Laura W. Kaloi - LKaloi@ncld.org – 703.476.4894
National Council of La Raza - Press Contact: Julian Teixeira - firstname.lastname@example.org - 202.776.1812
National Down Syndrome Society - Press Contact: Ricki Sabia - email@example.com – 301.452.0811
National Urban League
National Women’s Law Center - Press Contact: Maria Patrick – firstname.lastname@example.org
The New Teachers Project - Press Contact: Andy Jacob - 347.987.0749
Poverty & Race Research Action Council - Press Contact: Saba Bireda - email@example.com
Southeast Asia Research and Action Center - Press Contact: Pang Houa Moua - firstname.lastname@example.org – 202.667.4690
U.S. Chamber of Commerce - Press Contact: Dave Natonski - 202.463.5682