U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the senior Democrat on the Education and the Workforce Committee, today issued the following statement after U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced publication of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal register to terminate the use of the "2 percent assessment" for students with disabilities under Title I of ESEA after the 2013-2014 school year. Under the existing regulations, States have been allowed to develop alternate assessments aligned to modified academic achievement standards (AA-MAAS) for some students with disabilities and use the results of those assessments for accountability purposes, resulting in a lowering of educational opportunity for students with disabilities not taught to college- and career-ready standards. States receiving ESEA flexibility as well as the California CORE Districts have already agreed to eliminating the use of the "2 percent assessment".
"I applaud Secretary Duncan's decision to terminate the "2% assessment'. Under the existing harmful regulation, thousands of students with disabilities have been denied the opportunity to reach their full academic potential thanks to reliance on less rigorous standards and instruction. Misuse of this regulation has also led to over identification of students as having a disability to allow administration of less rigorous assessments; disproportionately impacting minority students. We know that when students are held to high expectations they can achieve at high levels. That's why the Democratic approach to rewriting the Elementary and Secondary Education Act eliminates the use of "2 percent assessments' and ensures students with disabilities are fully included in accountability systems. Students with disabilities shouldn't be hidden by the system. Instead, we must encourage all students to excel and to thrive in the classroom. I look forward to working with Secretary Duncan and my colleagues to ensure that students with disabilities achieve their full potential and graduate college- and career-ready."