Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility The Arc Testifies in Support of Ensuring Equitable Access to Education - The Arc of Massachusetts Skip to main content
Kathleen Amaral, Policy and Community Relations Officer, recently testified at a public hearing on behalf of The Arc to the Joint Committee on Education for bills S249/H454, “An Act to ensure equitable access to education, including special education services, for all students in Massachusetts.”
a screen shot of the joint committee on educationThis bill would require the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to publish the data it already collects so that it can be easily cross-tabulated by race, sex, economic status, high needs status, English learner status, and category of disability. DESE displays discipline data separately for Black students, male students, and students with disabilities. Under the proposed legislation, DESE would be required to display discipline data across these categories (e.g., for Black boys with disabilities).
The committee heard incredibly impactful stories from several people who testified to the urgent need to address the inequity in communities of color and for those most significantly impacted. Kathleen concurred with other testimony and added a personal perspective, as a school committee member, and how being able to pull out and cross-tabulate the valuable data would improve practice and outcomes for the most vulnerable learners, a step in the right direction to fulfill DESE’s educational vision for all students in the commonwealth, “particularly students from historically underserved groups and communities, will have equitable opportunities to excel in all content areas across all grades.”

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