Please see the below message that I received today from the Council Of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA):
Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc.
TELL SENATE : VOTE NO ON ISAKSON AMENDMENT WHICH WOULD DISCRIMINATE AGAINST CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, a national membership whose primary goal is to secure high quality educational services for children with disabilities, urges a NO vote on the Isakson Amendment because students with disabilities deserve access to the same education as other students! (see letter attached to Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Enzi)
Senator Isakson (R-GA) today offered an amendment that seeks to lift the cap on the 1% and 2% regulations respectively. As a result, states would be allowed to administer different assessments - either an alternate assessment based on alternate academic achievement standards or an alternate assessment based on modified academic achievement standards - to any number of, or possibly all, students with disabilities. Neither the data, which indicates that the students who benefit from an alternate assessment are far less than one percent, nor best practice would support placing more students into alternate assessments.
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.
Too many parents and students are not told, or may not fully understand, thatwhen a student with a disability takes a different assessment than a student without a disability, there is no way to compare their performance, no way to accurately measure achievement gaps, and no way to know how well they have grasped the grade-level content. They are no longer on track for a high school diploma.
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
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Vote NO on Isakson amendment to lift caps on alternate assessments for students with disabilities