WASHINGTON (June 19, 2013) The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is an important step toward putting the lessons learned over the past decade to work for the benefit of students, particularly low-income students, students of color, students with disabilities and English-language learners. We know when they are provided quality instruction, interventions and support by effective teachers and school leaders committed to their achievement, these students can succeed in school. Today’s House Education and Workforce Committee markup of legislation proposed by Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) and Subcommittee Chairman Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) is welcome as it moves us forward in updating this landmark legislation for K-12 students. Unfortunately, we believe the legislation falls short of the lessons learned and the need to ensure all students, especially those most in need, are college and career ready.
Every year, the federal government provides about $36 billion dollars to districts and schools to provide extra help to poor children, those learning English, and students with disabilities. To make sure that those dollars are actually used to help these children achieve at higher levels, it is incumbent upon Congress to hold schools accountable for improved results. Unfortunately, the Student Success Act being considered by the House committee is not markedly different from what was put forth last year - and like that proposal does not help meet this critical federal obligation.
We are disappointed that the legislation does not demand targeted support and real improvement for students stuck in low-performing schools or for students whose schools are not teaching them the basics in reading and math. These students, their communities, and our nation have no time to lose. They need Congress to consider a law that will ensure all students, especially those who need the most help, get a high-quality education. As the reauthorization of ESEA moves ahead, we look forward to working with Reps. Kline and Rokita to strengthen the Student Success Act and improve America’s schools for all its students.
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