WASHINGTON, March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), the senior Democratic appropriator for the National Science Foundation and the leading Congressional advocate for educational equity, has added two activities to his schedule for today.
This morning, Fattah attends the NSF budget hearing before the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies, which oversees NSF funding. Fattah is Ranking Member for the subcommittee, and is taking the lead in Congress on neuroscience research, a major activity of the National Science Foundation. Fattah's initiative, written into law last fall, raises neuroscience as a national research priority and directs the White House to coordinate all federal research efforts into brain science, including Alzheimer's disease, concussions, learning disabilities and others.
Fattah, who has long been identified as a Congressional leader in education reform, will join U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali at Howard University for a news conference at 1:30 p.m. today to highlight the findings of the Department's Civil Rights Data Collection Report. According to the report, students of color across America face harsher discipline, have less access to rigorous high school curricula, and are more often taught by lower-paid and less experienced teachers.
Fattah has issued this statement in advance of the announcement:
"When President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan said they wanted each child to have an equitable and excellent educational opportunity, they were serious and this report shows how much work there is to do. Our economic future rests on the extent to which all students, especially those who represent America's growing majority, have access to rigorous, college-preparatory classes and excellent teachers. To see, once again, that African American students are more likely to have a limited math curriculum, and an underpaid, novice teacher, is disheartening and should be a call to action for policymakers and educators.
"This report also includes extensive information about disparities in the application of discipline practices. African American students have less access to Algebra and more access to seclusion and restraint than do their White peers. The significant disparity in educational resources has caused this problem of disparate discipline and disparate academic outcomes. These problems are symptoms of the same pernicious history of underestimating the intellectual potential of African American children and must be remedied in the same way – college and career readiness for all students. We must address long standing inequities in opportunity if we are to resolve these alarming disparities. This has been the focus of my work for the last 30 years, and I am thankful for the partnership of this Administration.
"I remain optimistic that this new information, the Equity and Excellence Commission Report (due out this Spring), the Fiscal Fairness Act and Student Bill of Rights Act will lead the way for a real remedy to these injustices and a stronger American future."
For a more detailed look at Fattah's week long schedule click here.
SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah