Open letter to Kirsten Gillibrand re: USDOE and students with disabilities.

Senator Kirsten Gillebrand
Washington DC Office
478 Russell
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Gillibrand:

I am writing to you to express my continued disappointment in your support of Common Core over all, and recently, in your silence regarding Arne Duncan’s latest policies for students with disabilities.

Arne Duncan’s latest policy revolves around the following, quoted from an article on NPR’s website:

School officials must show that these children are getting instructional support in a timely manner and that they have full access to the curriculum and everything else that goes on in school.

Under the new guidelines, Duncan says he’ll require proof that these kids aren’t just being served but are actually making academic progress.

“We know that when students with disabilities are held to high expectations and have access to a robust curriculum, they excel,” Duncan said.

Arne Duncan once again proves that he has no idea what he is talking about.  This policy will be harmful to many special needs students.  Forcing students to handle more than they are capable is an abusive policy.  How does Arne Duncan know that students with disabilities can achieve when held to high expectations? Which students? What disabilities?

I am tired of Congress sitting idly by while Arne Duncan and the USDOE ruins public education in this country.

Congress should revise 20 U.S. Code § 7861 – Waivers of statutory and regulatory requirements to put control of NCLB waivers under Congressional authority and not the Secretary of Education.  Next, Congress needs to repeal NCLB completely.



Christine Zirkelbach


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