WASHINGTON – Broad support is lining up for an amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act which was introduced yesterday by U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), along with U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). The senators’ amendment would close the achievement gap and enable our most vulnerable students to succeed by ensuring that local schools with low graduation rates, low-performing subgroups, or well-below average achievement are identified, made eligible for funding, and receive additional support through accountability and improvement systems set up by the states.
The amendment has already received strong endorsements from 44 organizations. Here’s what the stakeholders are saying:
In a joint letter addressed to all U.S. Senators, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, National Center for Learning Disabilities, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Teach For America, Alliance for Excellent Education, American Association of University Women (AAUW), American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), Association of University Centers on Disabilities, Center for American Progress, Children's Defense Fund, Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Democrats for Education Reform, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, Easter Seals, Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, League of United Latin American Citizens, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS), National Center on Time & Learning, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), National Disability Rights Network, National Down Syndrome Congress, National Indian Education Association, National Urban League, National Women's Law Center, New Leaders, PolicyLink, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, Southern Education Foundation, Southern Poverty Law Center, Stand for Children, Teach Plus, The Education Trust, The New Teacher Project, and United Negro College Fund, wrote:
“On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the 37 undersigned organizations, we write to express our support for the Murphy-Booker-Warren-Coons-Durbin Accountability Amendment #2241 to the Every Child Achieves Act, S.1177, as a step forward in resolving weaknesses with the underlying bill. This amendment makes clearer that when all students or any group of students are struggling in a school, action must be taken. We urge you to demonstrate your support for the achievement of every child in every school by voting “yes” on the Murphy-Booker-Warren-Coons-Durbin Accountability Amendment #2241 and to continue pressing for strengthened accountability as the bill moves forward.”
In a letter signed by Connecticut stakeholders, representatives from the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, The Connecticut Association of Schools, the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, Connecticut Council for Education Reform, and Connecticut Business and Industry Association wrote:
“Accountability is the backbone of ESEA. As you know, this landmark education law – long overdue for a rewrite – was enacted 50 years ago to protect the needs of America’s most vulnerable children. It ensures their fundamental right to a high-quality public education, and equips our workforce with talented, skilled leaders. This amendment will ensure that all kids matter by ensuring reporting on and accountability for the performance of all student subgroups and action to improve our lowest performing schools.”