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Don’t Weaken Law, Advocates Urge

Their concern, reports Education Week blogger Alyson Klein, comes amid debate about revisions to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act granting greater leeway to schools and districts in boosting achievement for minorities, special education students, English-language learners, and other subgroups. The same day, members of the Congressional Black, Hispanic, and Asian Pacific American Caucuses released a six-page letterRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader to members of Congress working on the reauthorization of the ESEA, emphasizing “the federal responsibility to require strong accountability through performance goals for all schools and students.” The letter also emphasized research-based methods for closing achievement gaps, plus such perennial issues as graduation rates, discipline, and equitable distribution of effective teachers.

Subgroup accountability is one feature of the widely criticized NCLB law that has drawn praise from across the policy and political spectrum for shining a spotlight on students whose performance was often largely ignored in the past. Advocates worry that a push in Congress to reduce the federal role in education threatens to ratchet down the pressure on states and districts to make such students a priority.

The administration, however, doesn’t see its proposals as walking away from that accountability. Instead, officials believe that the blueprint’s approach—particularly, allowing states to decide the right interventions for most schools—will allow for a more nuanced system that will ultimately benefit the students in the targeted groups.

One Response to “Don’t Weaken Law, Advocates Urge”

  1. […] 04/03/11 Don’t Weaken Law, Civil Rights Leaders Urge Congress […]

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