Senate May Begin Debate on ESEA This Week

The Senate may take up the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) of 2015 (S. 1177) as soon as this week.  The ECAA renews the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, also known as the No Child Left Behind Act) and provides greater autonomy to states.  The Arc supports numerous provision in the bill, such as the 1% cap on the number of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who can take an Alternative Assessment based on Alternative Achievement Standards (AA-AAS); ensuring that students who take an AA-AAS will not be prevented from earning a regular diploma; and requiring school systems to describe their plans for limiting the use of restraint and seclusion.  However, The Arc remains particularly concerned about the bill’s limited accountability provisions.  Presently, the ECAA only requires intervention and support for schools that fail to meet state performance standards overall, rather than for schools where any subgroups of students (including those with disabilities) fail to meet those standards.  Stay tuned for an action alert.

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