Too often have racial subgroups, including Arab Americans as part of the larger English Language Learner (ELL) students, been overlooked and allowed to fail to meet achievement standards. We cannot allow our children to fall behind. We must make sure our children are ready for college and prepared to enter the workforce. This is precisely why identification and intervention is so important.
As House Representatives and Senators engage in informal and formal conversations for the Every Child Achieves Act conference, we need you to call your representatives and tell them that the House bill draft is not even an option. The House draft directly contradicts the Civil Rights Principles.
Although the Senate bill draft is the lesser of two evils in comparison to the House bill, there is still much needed improvements to the Senate bill to address the Four Fixes: accountability, resource equity, transparency, and the federal role.
The Senate bill draft:
- Fails to require states to identify and intervene in schools where students and racial subgroups of students are not meeting the curriculum and achievement state standards
- Fails to require states to identify and remedy disparities in fair and equal access, particularly reporting on how low income students and students of color, and reporting on school quality and safety, discipline, suspensions, bullying and harassment
- Fails to require disaggregation data of all students, to measure student achievement and graduation rates. Only legislative defined major racial and ethnic groups are disaggregated, excluding Arab Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders
- Stagnant limitations placed on the Secretary of Education amounting to insufficient federal oversight to ensure that the law is faithfully executed as Congress intends.
States must be required to make assessments of racial subgroups and ELL students. Racial subgroups and ELL students could make little to no progress toward meeting the standards for college readiness without triggering attention, support or intervention from their school and/or school district. This is the only way for ELL students and racial subgroups to receive the appropriate services and for states to be held accountable. States must be required to report data collection of students so that schools can track the progress, and discipline and treatment of all students’ especially vulnerable groups.