Personal Explanationby Representative Alan S. Lowenthal
Posted on 2015-12-08
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Mr. LOWENTHAL. Mr. Speaker, I wish to clarify my position on Roll
Call vote 665. On agreeing to the Conference Report to reauthorize the
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, I voted Aye. I
wish to explain further why I voted in favor of this reauthorization.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is a good fix to the monolithic standards of No Child Left Behind. Now we have an environment that lets teachers teach and students learn, while maintaining and enhancing the original civil rights intent of the original ESEA.
While ESSA is a significant improvement over current elementary and secondary education standards, I will not claim ESSA is a perfect bill--no bill can ever claim that title. In particular, I was disappointed that all AAPI students will continue to be categorized together as one group when student performance data is aggregated and reported. The [[Page E1737]] data on AAPI students does not reveal the intricacies of the disparate ethnic groups and at worst, it will mask the hard truth of low- performing subgroups. I am cautiously optimistic that report language included in the accompanying conference report to provide for technical assistance to states who do wish to disaggregate AAPI data will be made a reality.
With ESSA in on its way to becoming the law of the land, it is now the responsibility of the states to hold their schools accountable. I firmly believe the state of California will rise to the occasion and develop the standards which work for our state and our institutions of higher education. I look forward to successful implementation of ESSA which emphasizes equal opportunities for all students.