Teach For America Endorses The Empowering Parents And Students Through Information Act

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Washington, March 5, 2015—Teach For America announced today that the organization endorses the Empowering Parents and Students Through Information Act, sponsored by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), because we believe that parents have the right to make decisions about what is best for their children’s education.

“As an organization that believes that every student has the potential to succeed, we urge Congress to pass this bill since we know firsthand that when parents are empowered, a child’s chances for success improve,” said Elisa Villanueva Beard, co-CEO of Teach For America.  “And, as an organization that provides a source of dedicated teachers for students with disabilities across the country, we know that all students are capable of achieving when they get the support they deserve, including educators who hold high expectations and classroom instruction that is tailored to meet their needs.”

This piece of legislation will help ensure that parents and educators have the tools they need to determine whether a child should take an Alternate Assessment based on Alternate Achievement Standards (AA-AAS) and that the AA-AAS is appropriately given only to students with the most significant cognitive disabilities as decided by parents and educators.   Passage of this bill is critical to ensure that all students are held to high expectations and that policymakers and educators are held accountable, in a transparent way, for how they treat students with disabilities.

“Through Teach For America’s Diverse Learners Initiative, we are working to help strengthen and expand quality instruction for students in low-income communities who receive special education services, and to equip all educators with the differentiation mindsets and skills needed to embrace all learners,” said Matt Kramer, co-CEO of Teach For America.  “Currently, nearly 13% of Teach for America teachers work in special education settings.  We are proud to work with an exceptional group of students, particularly in light of the shortage of qualified teachers in special education  in 46 states, and as students of color continue to be overrepresented in receiving special education services nationwide.”

About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Today, 10,600 corps members are teaching in 50 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 37,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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