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5 Minute Advocacy: Oppose bill amendment that would exclude students with disabilities from accountability - please share!

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  • Alpy2@aol.com
    This action alert is courtesy of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA - www.copaa.org). Please distribute widely, and please take a few minutes
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 15, 2011
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      This action alert is courtesy of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA - www.copaa.org). Please distribute widely, and please take a few minutes to contact your senator to OPPOSE the bill amendment that would pave the way for removing all special education students from taking the regular assessments and therefore lower expectations for this group of students as early as 3rd grade!
       
      SENATOR ISAKSON PROPOSAL WOULD DISCRIMINATE AGAINST CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
      It is expected that Senator Isakson (R-GA) will offer an amendment during Senate Committee consideration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act of 2011 on October 18th. The amendment would allow schools to discriminate against student with disabilities by significantly lowering the academic expectations for students with disabilities.
      COPAA opposes S 1571 which was introduced by Senator Isakson in September, and we strongly oppose this amendment. More information on both is attached.
      We need your help today! Tell your Senator to vote NO on the Isakson Amendment because students with disabilities deserve access to the same education as other students! It is especially important to contact the Senate HELP Committee, which has members from NM, IA, MD, WA, VT, PA, NC, OR, MN, CO, RI, CT, WY, TN, NC, GA, KY, UT, AZ, KS, AK, IL.
      The Isakson amendment would remove the limits on how many students with disabilities can be counted as making adequate results or sufficient progress using less challenging systems of standards and assessments. This amendment would allow schools to take millions of students with disabilities off track for a regular high school diploma as early as 3rd grade when assessment decisions are made in schools, relegating them to lower career and college expectations—simply because they receive special education services.

      · The Isakson amendment INCORRECTLY promotes that most students with disabilities can’t learn or achieve when most students with disabilities are able to learn and achieve, just like all other students, when provided appropriate services and supports.
      · The Isakson amendment promotes abuse and overuse of alternate assessments by allowing any student with a disability to be tested through these assessments.
      · The Isakson amendment will turn back the clock on the advances made in educating students with disabilities over the past 10 years.
      CALL TODAY!!. Call your Senators 202-224-3121 (TTY 202-225-1904). If you do not know who they are, you can look them up at www.senate.gov. Ask for the staff member who handles education or disability. Tell them to vote NO on the Isakson Amendment
      Send an email - You can email your Senators through a Web Form available on the Senate website, http://1.usa.gov/Senat

      Want to make a bigger impact? Personalize your message.

      Members of Congress pay particular attention to personalized messages from their constituents. Include a personal story about how your child has had academic success and has achieved in the regular classroom with his/her peers due to high expectations and appropriate services and support.
      Message:
      Vote NO on Isakson amendment to lift caps on alternate assessments for students with disabilities
      Dear Senator (on HELP Committee)
      Under current law and regulations, States have established a set of assessments and modified (lower) standards for children with disabilities who are supposedly not able to achieve based on regular assessments and standards. This is commonly referred to as the 2% regulation. Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, States presently are permitted to only use a limited amount of these assessment results in their accountability systems, the results of approximately 20% of students with disabilities. There is also a similar regulation for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities which also limits the number of results for accountability purposes to approximately 10% of students with disabilities. This is commonly referred to as the 1% regulation.
      The Isakson amendment would remove the limits on how many students with disabilities can be counted as making sufficient progress using less challenging systems of standards and assessments. This amendment would allow schools to take millions of students with disabilities off track for a regular high school diploma as early as 3rd grade when assessment decisions are made in schools, relegating them to lower career and college expectations—simply because they receive special education services.
      Please vote NO on this amendment so that students with disabilities can have the same opportunities to achieve college and career ready standards as all other students.


       
      Sandy, Illinois
      Volunteer Co-Webmaster, http://www.ourchildrenleftbehind.com (IDEA reauthorization)
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