From Beverley Holden Johns:
CALL D.C. ON PAY FOR SUCCESS
NOW IN S. 1177, the new No Child Left Behind law (ESEA):
You may be able to leave a message at any time, but to talk to
a live person just stay on the phone ignoring any prompts.
PLEASE SAY: S. 1177 will harm
special education. In Utah, Pay for Success (which is authorized
in the bill), funded by Goldman Sachs, resulted in over 99 percent
of children NOT being identified for special education.
(New York Times article of November 3, 2015: “Success Metrics
Questioned in School Program Funded by Goldman”).
PLEASE BE POLITE, BUT VERY FIRM AND INSISTENT –
YOU ARE TRYING TO DO A MOST DIFFICULT THING.
Call your U.S. Representative at their Washington, D.C. office.
Call House Speaker Paul Ryan at 202-225-0600
Call Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi at 202-225-0100
Call House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy at 202-225-4000
(each of above telephone numbers are for their leadership
office within the U.S. Capitol Building)
Call the top Democrat for S. 1177, Rep. Bobby Scott at 202-225-8351
(his office opens at 7:30 AM CST)
THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE REPORT ON S. 1177:
The House amendment, but not the Senate bill, includes a definition for
‘‘Pay For Success Initiatives’’.
Amendment to strike the definition and insert the following:
PAY FOR SUCCESS INITIATIVE.
—The term ‘‘pay for success initiative’’ means a performance-based grant, contract, or cooperative agreement awarded by a public entity in which a commitment is made to pay for improved outcomes that result in social benefit and direct cost savings or cost avoidance to the public sector.
Such an initiative must include—
(1) a feasibility study on the initiative describing how the proposed intervention is based on evidence of effectiveness;
(2) a rigorous, third party evaluation that uses experimental or quasi-experimental design or other research methodologies that allow for the strongest possible causal inferences to determine whether the initiative has met its proposed outcomes;
(3) an annual, publicly available report on the progress of the initiative; and
(4) except as provided as under paragraph (2), a requirement that payments are made to the recipient of a grant contactor or cooperative agreement only when agreed upon outcomes are achieved.
Unfortunately NOTHING in this definition would have stopped
what is happening in Utah and in Chicago.
As we just passed its 40th birthday, special education
faces perhaps its greatest threat since the Education
of the Handicapped Act (EHA), now the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), was signed into law.
The new No Child Left Behind bill, S. 1177, as reported
by the Conference Committee between the U.S. Senate
and the U.S. House includes the permissive use of Federal
funds by States AND by local school districts FOR
Pay for Success.
Funded by Goldman Sachs, Pay for Success in Utah
denied special education to over 99 percent of the
students that were in the early childhood Pay for Success
Goldman Sachs has received a first payment of over
$250,000 based on over 99 percent of students NOT
being identified for special education.
Based on these results, Goldman Sachs may receive
an over 100 percent return on its investment as it
will receive yearly payments based on students
continuing to NOT be identified for special education
(multiple yearly payments for one student).
If special education is reduced to less than 1 percent
of students, for all practical purposes it will cease to
Goldman Sachs has also funded a Pay for Success
program for the Chicago Public Schools based on
paying Goldman $9,100 for each student, each year, NOT
identified for special education, but results for Chicago
from that program are not yet available.
Success is not the elimination of special education.
Success is not failing to identify students as needing
the specialized and individualized instruction required
We simply cannot expect the general education teacher
to do it all, to know it all, and to achieve academic
excellence for each and every student.
Pretending we can eliminate disability, pretending
that almost every student with a disability and their
parents will benefit WITHOUT the legal rights of IDEA
which are only granted when a student is identified
for special education, is to turn us back over 40 years
to the time before we had State laws and then the
Federal law requiring special education for each and
every student with a disability.