LULAC Disappointed Over ESEA Lack of State Accountability
October 19, 2011
Contact: Paloma Zuleta, email@example.com, (202) 812-4477
LULAC Committed to Work with Leadership in Congress to Ensure Flexibility Does Not Come at the Expense of the Achievement of Disadvantaged Students
Washington, DC – Today, LULAC, as part of a coalition of leading civil rights and education advocates, representing low-income students, students of color, English-language learners and migrant students, issued a letter expressing lack of support for a bill introduced by HELP Committee Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Enzi citing the bill’s failure to include full accountability measures that are critical to turn around low performing schools and closing the achievement gap. The legislation, without any consequences, releases states from any responsibility of establishing measurable, quantifiable goals for making student progress or goals for graduating students on time.
“In order to maximize a student’s capacity for learning, a school system should establish ambitious but achievable performance targets,” said National LULAC President, Margaret Moran. “Under the current proposal, a state is no longer responsible for insisting that all poor and minority students make measureable progress. We cannot support the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act of 2011 until the federal government recognizes that accountability isn’t achieved by focusing on only the bottom 5% that merely leaves millions of ELLs, low income students and students with disabilities to fall between the cracks.”
LULAC wasn’t opposed to all of the bill’s provisions and noted support for reforms on college and career ready standards and assessments; accountability for dropout factories, access to high-level STEM courses for underrepresented groups, and improvements in limiting alternate assessments for students with disabilities. Other provisions LULAC supported included equitable federal funding that ensured districts provided low-income schools necessary funds; the authorizations of both the Promise Neighborhoods program and programs focused on innovation that including the Teacher Incentive Fund, Teacher Pathways program, the Investing in Innovation Fund, and Race to the Top.
About LULAC: The League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating through 900 LULAC councils nationwide. For more information, visit www.lulac.org