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Isakson Amendment Defeated!

10/23/11
by Wrightslaw

On Tuesday, October 17, we sent an email alert to subscribers, and asked you to “Tell Your Senator to Vote NO on the Isakson Amendment.”

We explained that “The Isakson amendment would discriminate against children with disabilities by allowing schools to significantly lower the academic expectations for students, based on their scores in state accountability tests. This use of these tests, for this purpose, would apply only to children with disabilities.” Read full text of alert here.

What happened next?

On Wednesday, October 18, a bipartisan coalition of civil rights groups, business associations, education officials, and education advocates refused to support the bill and issued a news release:  Civil Rights Groups, Business

Groups, State Education Officials, and Education Advocates on ESEA Proposal: “We Cannot Support the Bill at this Time”

“As representatives of the millions of students with disabilities, low-income students, students of color, English-language learners and migrant students who are studying in our nation’s schools … we cannot support the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act of 2011 at this time. The bill’s weak accountability system excludes the vast majority of children we represent, and is a major barrier to our organizations’ support.” Read full text of news release

On Friday, October 20, the Senate HELP Committee defeated the Isakson amendment by a vote of 14-8. * list of Senators’ votes at the end of this post *

Takeaway: When we take action on issues that will negatively affect our children, we can and do influence decisions made by Congress.

This is one battle in a longer war. We should expect to take action on other issues as the reauthorization of the ESEA / NCLB continues.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to contact your Senators!

Voted to defeat Isakson amendment

Tom Harkin (IA)
Barbara A. Mikulski (MD)
Jeff Bingaman (NM)
Patty Murray (WA)
Bernard Sanders (I) (VT)
Robert P. Casey, Jr. (PA)
Kay R. Hagan (NC)
Jeff Merkley (OR)
Al Franken (MN)
Michael F. Bennet (CO)
Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
Richard Blumenthal (CT)
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Mark Kirk (IL)

Voted for the Isakson amendment

Michael B. Enzi (WY)
Lamar Alexander (TN)
Richard Burr (NC)
Johnny Isakson (GA)
Rand Paul (KY)
Orrin G. Hatch (UT)
John McCain (AZ)
Pat Roberts (KS)

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  • 1 elliott 12/06/11 at 1:18 pm

    Thank all of you who voted AGAINST this amendment. For those of us who work in the area of special education, it was a NO-Brainer to oppose. For those of you who don’t understand WHY this was such a bad idea, it’s important that you get educated. But I guess that’s the root of our problem; Some people don’t see the importance of a good education.