There is a very deceptive petition now being circulated by Care2, which customarily promotes worthy causes. This petition asks you to sign if you support education as a civil right.

When you open it, it asks you to support the punitive accountability measures of NCLB, and criticizes the Senate ESEA bill for not including the mandated tough accountability that closed public schools in poor communities, but did not close opportunity gaps.

It says:

“Keep Education Bill’s Civil Rights Promise

23,101 SIGNATURES BY:Loron HaysTARGET:Senate Majority and Minority Leadership and Education Committee Chairs

“The US Senate has passed Every Child Achieves without the equity provisions that are so central to equitable education opportunities for ALL children.

“Without access to educational resources and much needed Title 1 funding, many of America’s children will continue to slip through the cracks. This Ed Week article articulates the concern being raised by some advocacy groups that, without meaningful federal accountability, educational opportunities for every student are not properly protected.

“According to The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ letter to Congress, ESEA, in its current form, promises that the opportunity gap for minorities, ESL students, and students receiving special education services will remain in place due to a push from the House for less federal involvement with providing equal services for disadvantaged students.

“Differences between the House bill and the Senate bill must be reconciled before it is placed on the President’s desk which means THERE IS STILL TIME TO ACT. It is our duty to remind the Leadership that the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) is civil rights legislation. We must act NOW as their summer break – beginning July 30 and lasting until September – is quickly approaching.

“Sign the petition today. Let your voice be heard. Tell congress to strengthen the accountability in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and provide the necessary support to close the opportunity gap for underserved student populations in underperforming schools.

“We MUST invest in ALL of our students, not just the privileged.”