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Civil Rights Groups: Beef Up Accountability in NCLB Rewrite


No Child Left Behind conference negotiations are expected to kick off in earnest this fall. And accountability, particularly for poor students, students of color, and special populations of children (think English-language learners) will likely be a really big issue.

Neither the Republican-only House bill, nor the Senate's bipartisan bill goes far enough in calling for states to hold schools accountable for the progress of long-overlooked students, according to the Obama administration.

And that sentiment goes double for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of civil rights groups.

In fact, LCCR has teamed up with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) on radio ads running in key districts.

You can listen to one of the ads here.

The ads, which feature everyone from a local NAACP president to a public school teacher and a parent, are running in:

  • Memphis, where voters are urged to contact Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., one of the conferees);
  • Miami, where folks are directed to Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Republican elected to Congress last year;
  • The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, where listeners are asked to call the whole congressional delegation, which includes Rep. John Kline, a Republican, and another member of the conference committee; and
  • Denver, where voters are urged to get in touch with Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat and administration ally, who expressed qualms about the lack of accountability in the bill. Bennet still voted for it anyway (unlike three other Democrats—Sens. Corey Booker of New Jersey, Chris Murphy  of Connecticut, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who had similar misgivings and didn't support the measure.)

And the civil rights groups are bringing this message to Capitol Hill October 1. 

Image: Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., is one of the lawmakers being pushed to strengthen accountability measures in the NCLB rewrite. —Evan Vucci/AP-File

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