NCLB (ESEA) Reauthorization Update - Cong. briefing on alternate assessments
- This NCLB/ESEA reauthorization update is courtesy of Jess Butler, long time advocate for families - please feel free to share!What the Briefing is About. The briefing will focus on how instruction and assessment of all children with intellectual disabilities must change to have high expectations. Witnesses include representatives of the National Center for Educational Outcomes and National Alternate Assessment Center who will discuss their groundbreaking research on 12,000 students who take assessments based on alternate academic achievement standards. Tom Hehir, a former Director of the US. Office of Special Education Programs and a current member of the NDSS Board of Directors will testify on a number of important educational issues affecting children with Down Syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. The National Down Syndrome Society will also present testimony on behalf of NDSS and NDSC. Information will be presented on assessment, instruction, and Universal Design for Learning.
Why the Briefing is Important! In my opinion, the education establishment has far too often underestimated children with intellectual disabilities, and they often receive educations that do little to prepare them for maximum adult independence. But if Congress doesn’t get the right information, including information like this briefing, the same old stereotypes of kids with intellectual disabilities will be perpetuated when ESEA/NCLB is reauthorized later this year or early next year.
Please ask your Representative to Attend or Send a Staffer! NDSS is asking folks to call or email their Representative and ask them to come to the briefing or send a staff member. Getting someone in the room is half the battle, so they will hear the information and use it in their approach to ESEA/NCLB. Call your Congressional Representative at 202-224-3121 (TTY 202-225-1904). You will need to know your Representative’s name, which you can find at http://www.house.gov by putting your zip code into the box in the upper left corner. (You usually only need your five digit zip code.) When you are connected, ask for the aide who handles Education or Disability and leave a message if you are connected to voicemail. Its okay to tell the voicemail about the briefing and why you want the Representative to attend.
In DC? Please Come to the Briefing to Show Support. NDSS is also asking for parents, advocates, children, and friends and supporters to come to the briefing to demonstrate community support on these issues. So please come out and show your support! Thursday, June 17 from 12:00 pm until 1:30 pm in Room 122 Cannon Office Building.
Please feel free to share and forward this message to others. Thanks to NDSS, NDSC, and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers for the spotlight they are shining on this important issue. Even though the briefing is sponsored by the Down Syndrome Caucus, the focus is on all children with intellectual disabilities. The information and research presented applies to all children who take alternative assessments.
Sandy, Illinois (alpy2@...)
Volunteer Co-Webmaster, Our Children Left Behind (http://www.ourchildrenleftbehind.com) (IDEA & NCLB reauthorization)