CAPE March 2012 Meeting

For Immediate Release

Contact: Marcy K. Krever, Senior Director of Communications & Public Relations
Phone: No calls please.

American Montessori Society
116 East 16th Street, New York, NY 10003-2163

April 12, 2012

Catherine Maresca, a member of the AMS Public Policy Committee, attends the monthly meetings of the Council for American Private Education in Washington, DC. We thank her for filing this report with us:

The March 26 meeting of the Council for American Private Education began with a discussion about the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA), first introduced in and last authorized by Congress in 2002, when it became known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). More protection for equitable services is present in the current bill, but there is still little optimism that the bill will pass this year.

There was a general sense that the Student Success Act (H.R. 3989) is going nowhere. The Student Success Act is an accountability system that replaces the NCLB federal accountability system by (among other things) giving states and school districts the authority to measure student performance.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative, a state-led effort to establish a shared set of clear educational standards for English language arts and mathematics, is gaining in popularity. Almost every state in the country has voluntarily adopted the standards, either through its state board of education or state legislature, and textbook providers (including for Catholic schools) are increasingly using them as guidelines.

The common core standards have the backing of several prominent education organizations including the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices. However, the National Association for Independent Schools (NAIS) is not pressing independent schools to adopt them.

A limit to deductable donations is being considered with current tax reforms. Many big donors to education rely on these deductions and so there may be a negative impact on private schools. The general perspective voiced at the meeting was that Congress needs to hear from schools about this.

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