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Presidents' Day
While I do not rely totally on Wikipedia, it does serve a purpose! When I was growing up we had a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and they were huge books with thin paper and no color pictures! I envied my friends who had the World Book encyclopedias because the pages were glossy and the pictures were in color! When my husband and I got married and the inevitable encyclopedia salesman came to our door, we never bought a set since we were both teachers and had easy access to school libraries and the community library. Now, I am sure almost no one owns a set of encyclopedias but we all know how to look up things on the internet. The problem with that is the internet articles are not always vetted and certainly have errors. We need to be sure we are teaching our students and adults that not everything on the internet is true. Sounds a lot like my history teachers teaching me not to believe everything written in the newspaper as true! So, having said that, as I prepared to write this article, I looked up Presidents' Day and found something very interesting and contrary to what I always believed: The third Monday in February is when we celebrate George Washington's Birthday. As far back as I can remember, I always thought the third Monday in February was Presidents' Day, the day we celebrate Abraham Lincoln and George Washington's birthdays. So I kept digging and I found this bit of information:
    An early draft of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act would have renamed the holiday to "Presidents' Day" to honor the birthdays of both Washington and Lincoln, which would explain why the chosen date falls between the two, but this proposal failed in committee, and the bill was voted on and signed into law on June 28, 1968, keeping the name as Washington's Birthday. Retrieved from 2/13/15.
When I read this article I thought how amazing it is that an amendment that failed still became a "functional" informal dictate! Maybe it was advertisers or whatever but I would bet that most of you reading this article thought as I did that February 16, 2015 is the day we celebrate the birth of two US Presidents! Gives you pause to think that no matter what happens in Congress, the masses can still rule. I am not sure how I feel about that, but it is an interesting phenomenon to think about this Monday morning!

Speaking about Congress ... Phyllis Wolfram (MO), Policy and Legislative Chair, and her awesome committee have put together CASE Legislative Platform and the ESEA Recommendations that were submitted Feb. 2, 2015 to the committee. We will have them up on the CASE website soon but you can access the 2014-15 CASE Legislative Platform by clicking here and the revised ESEA Recommendations by clicking here. Thank you for all the input you provided to this committee and especially thanks to the hardworking P & L Committee, chair included!

Last week's poll was about restraint and seclusion! This past week the poll question was, "If your district/school offers certified training on proper restraint and seclusion of students, how would you rate the frequency of severe behavior occurring in your district?." There was a tie for the number one answer: both "our rate was low before and has remained low" and "our rate remained the same" came in at 40 percent. Thirteen percent indicated their district does not offer certified training and 7 percent indicated they had had an increase in incidents! Did you know CASE has a Lucky 21 on Restraint and Seclusion? To order your copy, click here!

Don't forget Education Talk Radio is one more resource available to you! Mark your calendar for Monday, Feb. 16, 9:00 a.m. ET (8:00 CT/7:00 MT/6:00 PT/5:00 AK, 4:00 HI time!) when Larry Jacobs will be interviewing me about what is going on in the world of CASE! Education Talk Radio is on the web at for PreK-12 and for Higher Ed at They do dedicated interviews about the world of education daily and Luann and CASE are always welcome guests, as the many other professional educational associations, thought leaders, education companies and education professionals; teachers, administrators, etc... Every show done is archived at the sites and future schedules are also there. We tweet '@edutalkradio' and announce all shows there as well ... Thank you.


Luann Purcell
Executive Director

P.S. It still isn't too late to be a Virtual Site for the 4th Annual CASE conference! And even if you do not participate, you can follow the discussions on or Twitter @casecec #2015CASEWinter Remember even if you don't Tweet, you can read the tweets at!
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Legal Issues, RDA and Leading by Convening ... Who wants to go to Phoenix, Arizona, in mid-February?! With the brutally cold temperatures so many of you are experiencing — and even those of us in the south are having cold days we aren't used to for even this time of year — Phoenix is sounding pretty good! The 4th Annual CASE Hybrid Conference, Feb. 19-20 will be held in Phoenix this year! The theme is RESULTS DRIVEN ACCOUNTABILITY: Actualizing the Promise through Practice with the daily themes being:
    Legal Issues: Actualizing the Promise — Thursday Feb.19
    Leading by Convening: Actualizing the Practice — Friday Feb. 20
The two main speakers are long time CASE friends, Julie Weatherly, Esq. and Dr. Joanne Cashman. There will be other great speakers including Denise Lowell-Britt, Esq, Ruth Ryder, Deputy Director, OSEP; State Special Education Directors, Angela Denning (AZ) and Debbie Gay (GA) as well as others. It is critical that we get the information presented out to general education — especially principals and assistant principals — special education administrators, teachers — especial those just starting on their career ladder — as well as to community/business people and parents! Click here for a flyer on the conference. For more information and to register, go to the CASE website or the registration website. Remember, for just $25 more on your full registration, you can have the DVD of the complete conference to use over and over and over!

But, wait ... If you can't travel, why not have your own mini conference. You pay one registration fee and then have as many people as you wish to participate with you — what a really great way to connect face to face and build teams for sustainable change?! We have even made up a set of HINTS for you to use to get you started. Click here for a tentative schedule but remember this one is in Eastern Time, if you are in other time zones, change the times accordingly. We will be providing schedules by time zones on the website in the next week to make it easier for you. We will also provide a flyer for you to customize to publicize your event. As part of the CASE strategic plan, our goal is to get the best information out to the most people. Go to the CASE website for more information, or contact Will Gordillo, CASE Professional Development chair at

SPECIAL NOTE TO THOSE WHO HAVE SIGNED UP TO BE VIRTUAL SITES: You should receive an email today on Monday, Feb. 16 if you have not already that will explain how to access the handouts for the 4th Annual CASE Hybrid Conference. If you do not receive that email by 4:00 p.m. ET Monday, Feb. 16 please contact Luann Purcell at!


CASE Night tickets are selling like hotcakes!
CASE Night has always been one of the highlights of the CEC convention every year. The idea behind CASE night is to find a "tourist attraction" and plan an intimate party for your closest 200 friends! The problem with conventions is you go to this wonderful location and you are so busy you never get to do the tourist fun stuff! CASE night is a time when you get to do something along the lines of a tourist attraction and you get to eat a great dinner and you get to network with your fellow CASE members! The tickets cost $65 but you are actually getting a $120 evening! This year it is going to be amazing! A dinner and animal event at the world famous San Diego Zoo! The ticket includes transportation to the zoo and back to the convention center area, admission to the zoo, dinner at the Sabertooth Grill, an animal presentation, and the Elephant Odyssey CASE night does sell out and this year looks to be one of those years! Go to the CASE website for the flyer and to purchase your ticket! Additional information will be sent to the registrants! Sponsors for this evening at the zoo are Star Autism, VizZle and C8 Sciences. CASE Night will be on Thursday evening, April 9. Click here to download the CASE Night Flyer!
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NAME is gathering your 'free care' questions for CMS
Department of Health & Human Services
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services wants to hear from NAME members and friends regarding their "Free Care" guidance issued in December 2014. In mid-January 2015, NAME met with CMS. One of the issues discussed was the recent (Dec. 15, 2014) Dear State Medicaid Director letter on the "free care" policy. From this conversation, CMS requested that NAME reach out and gather questions regarding this guidance.
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  Are your struggling readers prepared for college and career?

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50 Ways to Test: A look at state summative assessments for 2014-2015
Education Commission of the States
Has the frenzy around Common Core State Standards impacted decisions on which state summative assessments are being administered this year? That's the question on many minds as we approach spring testing time. As many states began adopting college and career ready standards, such as the Common Core State Standards, there became a subsequent need to develop new summative assessments — tests that measure the new skills and knowledge outlined in the new standards.
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Request for proposals: 20th Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Proposals are now being accepted for the 20th Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health to be held Nov. 5-7 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. The theme of the conference is Getting Jazzed about School Mental Health — Celebrating 20 Years of Advancing School Mental Health. The annual conference will offer attendees numerous opportunities to advance knowledge and skills related to school mental health practice, research, training and policy. The conference emphasizes a shared school-family-community agenda to bring high quality and evidence-based mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention to students and families. The intended audience for the conference includes clinicians, educators, administrators, youth and family members, researchers, primary care providers, advocates and other youth-serving professionals. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 20 — all proposals must be submitted online,

The conference is hosted by the Center for School Mental Health and the IDEA Partnership (funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, sponsored by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education).

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Midwest Symposium Conference
Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders
On Feb, 26-28 the 33rd annual Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders will be held at the Sheraton Crown Center, in Kansas City, MO. The keynote will be Dr. John W. Maag who will speak on "Resistance to change: Overcoming limitations toward addressing student's challenging behaviors." There will also be 45 other workshops and session on topics including: Tantrums and meltdowns; Escape and avoidance behavior; Trauma informed intervention; Preschool for young children with behavioral needs; Culture, behavior and disproportionality; Violence against teachers; bullying prevention and intervention; Legal issues related to behavior; and many others. Detailed information and registration is available at:
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Teacher Educators and Accomplished teachers
Pearson is in need of educators to score edTPA! edTPA is designed for the profession by the profession, edTPA was developed by teachers and teacher educators from across the nation, in collaboration with faculty and staff from Stanford University, to support candidate learning and preparation program growth and renewal. Aligned with the Common Core State Standards and InTASC Standards, edTPA assesses teaching that promotes student learning in diverse contexts.
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A Principal's Guide to Special Education, Third Edition now available
Council for Exceptional Children
A Principal's Guide to Special Education has provided guidance to school administrators seeking to meet the needs of students with disabilities. The third edition of this invaluable reference, incorporating the perspectives of both teachers and principals, addresses such current issues as teacher accountability and evaluation, instructional leadership, collaborative teaching and learning communities, discipline procedures for students with disabilities and responding to students' special education needs within a standards-based environment. Get your copy today! Enter code PRCASE at checkout.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Common pesticide may increase risk of ADHD (Rutgers University via Science Daily)
Tanya always forgets. What's wrong with her? (By: Howard Margolis)
More differences than similarities are found in siblings with autism (The New York Times)
Efforts underway to fully fund IDEA (Disability Scoop)
Obama budget seeks boosts for early education, high schools, technology (Education Week)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

Things You Cannot Do With an iPad
The LOGAN® PROXTALKER® communication device is ideal for any picture exchange system user, of any age and is being used for communication or as a classroom tool.
A web-based system that addresses the challenge of intervention scheduling in the schools. It's designed for anyone who needs to schedule and document interventions. MORE

CEC Policy Insider

The Center for American Progress shows why we need a federal preschool investment
CEC Policy Insider
President Barack Obama is committed to providing all children including those with disabilities access to high-quality preschool opportunities. And although strong progress is being made, there is still much more to do to ensure that all children have access to high-quality early childhood programs from birth.
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United Nations Global Education First Initiative launches #DrawDisability Campaign
CEC Policy Insider
The United Nations Global Education First Initiative are now accepting submissions for a global art campaign that aims to raise young people's awareness of disabilities and inclusion. GEFI, partnering with the Global Observatory for Inclusion, and the GEFI Youth Advocacy Group, have launched the #DrawDisability campaign and invite children and youth to reflect on the lives of Persons with Disabilities, through drawing.
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Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes releases FastFact sheet on QRIS
CEC Policy Insider
The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes released a new FastFact sheet entitled QRIS and Inclusion: Do State QRIS Standards Support the Learning Needs of All Children? This sheet reviews which states accommodate children with special needs in their quality rating and improvement system, and highlights states with exceptional inclusionary practices.
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A New Solution for Creating Effective Behavior Interventions

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    Hot Topics

    Questions surround vouchers for students with disabilities
    Disability Scoop
    Some students with disabilities may get a chance to leave the public school system here — but advocates and parents aren't sure it will improve their education. Lawmakers in Mississippi will soon debate a bill to give special education students vouchers for private schools, which supporters say will boost their options and opportunities. Opponents, though, say vouchers will simply send students with disabilities to ill-equipped, unregulated schools and ultimately absolve the state of responsibility for some 54,000 students with disabilities.
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    Lawmaker calls for more teacher training, resources to help students with dyslexia
    Deseret News
    Natalie Pollard couldn't understand why her son, Aran, was having an especially hard time learning to read in first grade. Aran had a good teacher. He had supplemental instruction. He studied long hours after school with his mother. But his progress was slim. In fact, many times he seemed to be losing ground. "I was at a loss as to what to do," Pollard said. The summer before Aran entered second grade, the Pollard family met a dyslexia eduction specialist who had moved into their Layton neighborhood. Not long after, an answer emerged: Aran had moderate dyslexia.
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    Study looks to tap strengths of ADHD students
    Medical Xpress
    People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, some studies suggest, are more creative and more willing to take risks. Those traits are exactly what the field of engineering needs, say a team of researchers, but the traditional model of teaching is driving away potential pioneers in the field. With funding from the Research in Engineering Education, a program of the National Science Foundation, they're embarking on a study designed to find a better way to teach these students.
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    The power of observation
    By: Pamela Hill
    How do we know that a student is learning? What behaviors must they demonstrate for the teacher to draw the conclusion that the student has learned? Who determines learning? The teacher, the curriculum and the standards do. The current measure of learning is assessment. The student must indicate what they know by answering questions in a test format. However, there is a piece missing that is important to determine if a student has learned and is learning.
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    Red flags raised on plan to let Title I aid follow students
    Education Week
    Education groups are fighting a proposal on Capitol Hill that would allow federal funding to follow disadvantaged students to the public schools of their choice — an idea that school district advocates see as a pit stop on the highway to Voucherville. The policy — known as "Title I portability" — is included in a draft bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act introduced by U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate education committee.
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    ESEA would see $2.7 billion increase under FY 2016 budget
    eSchool News
    President Barack Obama's FY 2016 budget request includes four focus areas for education, including increasing equity and opportunity for all students; expanding high-quality early learning programs; supporting teachers and school leaders; and improving access, affordability and student outcomes in postsecondary education. Education Technology State Grants would receive $200 million to support models that use technology to help teachers improve instruction and personalize learning for students.
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    In the News

    Students with disabilities 'find their strength' in adapted PE classes
    The Oregonian
    It's not easy to predict what will happen in an adapted physical education class. Some of the students might be focused and on task, others might dart away in the middle of a game, and still others might prefer to sit in the corner or lie motionless in the middle of the mats. But it is up to the Beaverton School District Motor Team to get the kids up and moving.
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    It's time to end segregation of special education students, professors say
    The time has finally come to end the separation of special education students and general education students, researchers at the University of Kansas argue in a new publication. Not only does research show that all students have higher achievement levels in fully integrated environments, but support and public policy for schools to make such a switch are coming into place as well.
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    Early childhood programs found to significantly lower likelihood of special education placements in third grade
    AERA via Science Daily
    Access to state-supported early childhood programs significantly reduces the likelihood that children will be placed in special education in the third grade, academically benefiting students and resulting in considerable cost savings to school districts, according to new research published today in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association.
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    Programs offer the college experience to students with intellectual disabilities
    College can seem out of reach for students with intellectual disabilities, but some area colleges and universities are offering programs to make it a reality. Not only are these students getting a taste of the college experience, they're acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the workplace while matching them with careers to best fit their talents.
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    The toxic threat lurking inside school buses
    We've all inhaled sickening exhaust fumes when driving behind a diesel school bus. But those fumes can also get sucked inside the bus, exposing children to high levels of pollution. Riding such "leaky" older school buses can lead to respiratory illnesses and even cancer, which is why the Utah legislature is considering legislation to replace 450 of the worst-polluting buses in its 2,500-vehicle fleet.
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    Federal Announcements

    Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP): (2 notices)

    The following Notice of Applications for New Awards; Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals With Disabilities — Television Access was published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, Jan. 14.

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.327C.

    Applications Available: Jan. 14.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 16.

    CASE Weekly Update
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