Statement by James Wendorf on Proposed Title I Regulations for the Every Student Succeeds Act

May 26, 2016

Lindsay Jones, Vice President, Chief Policy & Advocacy Officer

Statement by James H. Wendorf, Executive Director Emeritus of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, on the release of proposed Title I regulations for the Every Student Succeeds Act

On behalf of the 1 in 5 children with learning and attention issues and their families, I commend the U.S. Department of Education for releasing proposed regulations on critical aspects of Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for the public to review, analyze and provide feedback. This is an important step in transitioning from No Child Left Behind to ESSA.

NCLD will closely review the proposed regulations and work with our constituents and partners to provide formal comments by the August 1 deadline.

During the legislative process to craft the Every Student Succeeds Act, NCLD – together with our parent community and coalition partners – have actively advocated for strong stakeholder engagement to ensure that community members have a seat at the table and a voice in the process.  I am pleased that these proposed regulations appear to strongly integrate stakeholder engagement, because when communities, educators and policymakers collaborate, our children benefit.

Few issues are more important to families than making sure their children receive a high quality education that will set them on a path for future success.  In fact last year, in a survey NCLD conducted with more than 1,200 parents, we heard in no uncertain terms that parents expect schools to set goals for the academic performance of students with disabilities and take action when students fall behind.

Over the last decade, when students with disabilities were fully included in accountability systems and their performance was measured, outcomes improved. As ESSA allows for more State and local control, NCLD will continue to advocate to protect civil rights for all students and ensure they remain an integral part of accountability systems. Therefore, NCLD will closely evaluate whether the proposed regulations include strong federal guardrails for new State accountability systems.

The issuance of these proposed regulations is a critical opportunity for stakeholders to provide the Department with guidance and direction on issues that will impact students across the country. We thank the Department for their continued work in this area and for creating opportunities for meaningful feedback and collaboration, which will be vital to the successful implementation of ESSA for all students, including those with disabilities.

The mission of NCLD is to improve the lives of the one in five children and adults nationwide with learning and attention issues—by empowering parents and young adults, transforming schools and advocating for equal rights and opportunities. We’re working to create a society in which every individual possesses the academic, social and emotional skills needed to succeed in school, at work and in life.