COPAA issueda statement of grave concern today regarding the ESEA Discussion draft introduced by Senator Alexander. Chairman Alexander’s ESEA discussion draft completely dismantles accountability for the outcomes and improvement of all students, including students with disabilities. The bill lacks any mechanism for ensuring that students not making gains will be given any targeted intervention and support when they are failing to meet state standards. Furthermore, for the 6.4 million students with disabilities, including those living in poverty, the draft would place their access to a high school diploma at great risk by allowing schools to place students and count their scores as proficient – unchecked - into the alternate assessment on alternate achievement standards. Such decisions often lead to a reduction in or removal of access to the general curriculum in the regular classroom and take students off-track for a regular diploma as early as third grade.
COPAA is committed to ensuring that schools have high expectations for all students, and are held accountable for achievement and outcomes.