Today's Date: August 5, 2021
Best Buy Commits up to $10M Investment in Brown Venture Group's Inaugural Fund   •   The Better Being Co. Announces Sponsorship of Forever Young Foundation’s Wellness Initiative   •   Eiger Announces FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Avexitide for Treatment of Congenital Hyperinsulinism   •   Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization Supports Advancement of Women in the Business of Health Science With Six-Day Bootcamp   •   HanesBrands Announces Strong Second-Quarter 2021 Results   •   Virios Therapeutics to Report Second Quarter 2021 Financial Results and Provide Corporate Update on Thursday, August 12, 2021   •   FOX Rehabilitation Acquires Taylored Rehab   •   Double nomination for Star Refrigeration at the RAC Cooling Industry Awards   •   AEO Inc. to Report Second Quarter 2021 Results on Sept. 2nd   •   2022 Lexus GX, GX Black Line Special Edition   •   CCRM Fertility Announces New Satellite Office in Fargo   •   EBY Survey Reveals America Needs to Update Its Underwear Drawer   •   C-Sweet Event: Uncorked- A Virtual Wine & DEIB Experience   •   European Wax Center, Inc. Announces Pricing of Initial Public Offering   •   HempFusion’s New Gummy Line Ships to Food, Drug and Mass Convenience Stores This Month, Available Now Via Ecommerce   •   Constellation HomeBuilder Systems Builds a New Partnership with Epcon Franchising Through BuildTopia   •   Nature's Bakery Helps Families Transition Back To School With Snack Sized Adventures: Field Trip Edition   •   SCAN Health Plan Successfully Reduces Vaccine Disparities Among Black, Latinx and Low-Income Members   •   Catholics for Choice Condemns U.S. Bishops for Urging Supreme Court to Restrict Abortion Rights   •   Easterseals National Board of Directors Elects New Chair, Dr. Catherine "Alicia" Georges
Bookmark and Share

Coalition for Student Achievement Letter to Secretary Duncan




April 16, 2009



The Honorable Arne Duncan

Secretary of Education

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20202


Dear Mr. Secretary:


The Coalition for Student Achievement, representing organizations committed to dramatically improving student achievement, believes that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) is an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen our economy by improving our schools. If implemented well, these reforms will pay dividends for decades to come in the form of stronger schools, more effective teachers, and a better-educated citizenry and workforce.


The need for reform is clear and urgent. Nearly a third of all American
students—approximately 1.2 million each year—do not graduate from high school on time and another third are not prepared for college.  Among minority students the problem is even more severe, with nearly 50 percent of African-American and Hispanic students failing to complete high school on time. Only half of all Americans earn some kind of postsecondary degree or credential. The consequences of leaving high school or graduating unprepared for college have never been greater. Today, those without a high school diploma are three times more likely to be unemployed and as much as five times more likely to live in poverty than those with a bachelor’s degree. Simply put, long-term economic recovery depends on greater educational attainment.


While the problem is daunting, solutions are at hand. Evidence from across the country shows that with high expectations, clear standards, robust data systems, and

effective teachers and principals who appropriately use data, all students can succeed. That is why we believe the most promising ARRA provisions to promote education

reform are the “assurances” to which Governors must commit in exchange for their portion of the $48.6 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF). These assurances are focused on research-based reform and apply to every single state, district (including public charter schools), and public school. As you know, the assurances include:


Ø Creating a robust P-16 data system that tracks individual student performance and fosters continuous improvement;


Ø Developing college and career-ready standards;


Ø Designing and implementing high-quality assessments of student learning;


Ø Improving teacher effectiveness and placing our best teachers in our most challenging schools;


Ø Intervening effectively in chronically low-performing schools.


Ensuring that states and districts make significant progress on these reforms is a top priority for our Coalition. With this in mind, we have reviewed the guidance for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund which you released April 1.


We applaud your bold vision of reform and understand the economic imperative of getting the first phase (two-thirds) of funding out to the states quickly. With the remaining third of funding, plus the competitive “Race to the Top” dollars, we encourage you and the Department to embrace your authority to persuade, incentivize, and assist states and districts to use these funds to fundamentally change the system so all young people receive an excellent education. We urge you to develop mechanisms that provide transparency about how the assurances at both state and local levels are pursued. Simply put, while we appreciate the speed and efficiency by which the Department is delivering these much-needed funds, we want to be on record expressing our view that speed and efficiency must not trump reform and improvement.


With respect to the “Race to the Top” initiative, we believe it is essential to encourage collaboration between the states and the districts to leverage the new funds to scale best practices more broadly. We are pleased that the Department has stated that it will support coalitions of states who pledge to work together. To this end, for example, the Department could encourage states to share the costs of adopting common college and career-ready standards and developing aligned assessments.


Further, while the initial guidance provided states with broad suggestions on ways to achieve reform, we urge that future directives regarding these funds give much stronger, clearer direction to states and local education leaders about how to meet the assurances and demonstrate measurable outcomes. States need workable models and technical assistance to implement these changes effectively within the stimulus funding guidelines. Ultimately, it is critical that states and districts have the ability to measure outcomes and demonstrate student achievement.


The Coalition for Student Achievement, made up of reform-oriented stakeholders—parents, teachers, administrators, civil rights organizations, business professionals, and opinion leaders across the country—will be carefully tracking the progress of the ARRA as it relates to education reform. We will strongly support the efforts of those policymakers at all levels of government who work with educators to seize this historic opportunity to reform our education system. If we fail, we undercut the momentum for bold changes and jeopardize future increases in education funding.


To this end, the Coalition for Student Achievement looks forward to working with you and your Department in the weeks and months ahead.




Signatories on the following page


cc: Governors

     Chief State School Officers

     Members of Congress


America’s Promise Alliance

American Youth Policy Forum

Business Roundtable

The Center for Reinventing Public Education

The Commission on No Child Left Behind


Hope Street Group

The James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy

Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

National Council of La Raza

Partnership for Learning

The Policy Innovation Education Network

The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence

The Rodel Foundation of Delaware

Texas Institute for Education Reform

United States Chamber of Commerce




Jorge Sanz 
Vanguard Communications
2121 K St. NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20037
202.331.4323, ext. 1045 (phone)
202.331.9420 (fax)

Vanguard Communications—Communicating for Social Change 
Confidentiality Notice:
This e-mail transmission may contain confidential or privileged information that is intended only for the individual or entity named in the e-mail address. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or reliance upon the contents of this e-mail is strictly prohibited. If you have received this e-mail transmission in error, please reply to the sender, so that we can arrange for proper delivery, and then please delete the message. Thank you.


Back to top
| Back to home page

White House Live Stream
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Sounds Make the News ®
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News