Tomorrow in Washington DC, there will be a briefing on Capital Hill to address the need for public schools to expect higher standards for students with intellectual disabilities. This session will be hosted by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) of the House Education and Labor Committee. Rodgers represents Washington State’s 5th Congressional district and is also the mother of Cole, a 3-year-old with Down syndrome. She is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus whose mission is to educate members of congress and to support legislation that advances research, education and public policies that enhance the quality of life of persons with Down syndrome. The goal of tomorrow’s briefing is to amend to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (formally known as NCLB) a section on higher expectations for students with intellectual disabilities.
For far too long, the public educational system has grossly underestimated the abilities of children with intellectual disabilities. As a result of meaningless stereotyping, disabled students are denied the necessary education that fully prepares them for maximum adult independence. This is not fair and it’s not right. Hopefully, the efforts of our leaders in public service such as Congresswoman Rodgers and others will be able to communicate the right information and pass or amend meaningful legislation to serve those whose voices cannot be heard loud enough.
More information on Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers can be found here.
More information on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act can be found here.