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Why do we do what we do?
So often we take for granted people know why we do what we do! During the CASE board meeting 2 weeks ago in San Antonio, we spent a good bit of our day and a half in discussions on the work of our various committees. We also discussed the major CASE initiatives and procedures. In one of the discussions, I encouraged Board members to make suggestions for the weekly poll and to be sure and complete the poll since the information is often used by our various committees. Wendy Hite, Indiana CASE president said she does the poll first thing every Monday morning so she can "check off" at least one thing as actually completed! I thought back to when I was an assistant superintendent and remembered the feeling she described. How many times during the day do you start something only to find you can't finish it due to a new "fire" popping up or a staff member popping in or a parent popping by? It is nice to be able to finish at least one task for the day! During one of our six "Cracker Barrel" sessions during our conference, one of our members from Texas asked the question, "Why does the weekly update go out weekly?" This question came up during the Membership Cracker Barrel and I believe it was part of a discussion begun by CEC Executive Director Alex Graham on how do you want to receive communication from CEC/CASE. With all the emails we all receive, is it the best way? When our member asked the question about the weekly update from CASE, I related to her the logic we have used for the last 12 years when I first began doing the weekly electronic update. Afterwards, she stated she thought perhaps I should write and explain it to everyone — so here is the CASE philosophy and why we do what we do regarding the weekly update!

Originally, the weekly update was just for the Board of Directors and I did it every Sunday afternoon. It was a way to communicate what was going on mostly in the policy areas and professional development. I always included the CEC Policy update we receive on Wednesday. I knew we all get so many emails and I found myself sending one or more a day all week long. I recognized the more emails you get from the same address, the less likely you are to open any of them. So, I thought unless it is something that requires immediate action, I would save all the needed communications (announcements, news from CEC, CASE professional development opportunities, etc.) and send it all at one time. My thought was when our members receive an email on any other day than early Monday morning, they would know it was indeed urgent and in most instances a "call to action" and our members would act on it! The weekly update is our attempt to keep you informed, connected, and engaged without inundating you with emails!

Over the years, the update has become a bit more sophisticated as we have become more proficient with various email communications. One of our vendors, as a way to provide support to CASE, actually pays for our subscription to Constant Contact and that definitely took us to the next level! We are now using a commercial service, MultiView, who takes articles I write and notices I send from our committee chairs, and other associations/agencies and add to it the current news. This service also provides our vendors with an opportunity to advertise in the weekly update. CASE does get a percentage of the ad revenue so now we actually receive non dues revenue support from our weekly update. Hopefully you find this once a week communication helpful and if nothing else, you too can know you can complete one task every Monday by completing our poll!

Speaking of completing a task ... Have you signed up to be a virtual site for the 4th Annual CASE Hybrid conference yet? The conference will be held Feb. 19-20 and will be all about RDA and include a significant legal update! Click here for the flyer on the conference — remember you have two options: travel to the wonderfully warm Phoenix AZ or be the host site for a virtual conference — same low price — and for just an additional $50 you can have the DVD of the complete conference to use over and over and over! For more information and to register, click here. Click here for Hints for Virtual Sites and click here to register.

We hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday. Can you believe it is already December? Time is always running faster than I am it seems. I still remember what a tough time it is in schools between the Thanksgiving break and winter break! And this year, the weather people are predicting an even more brutal winter than we had last year. Certainly, if the last few weeks are any indication, we are in for another "special" time this winter. Be sure to take care of yourself so you can take care of all those who depend on you to do what you do for so many!


Luann Purcell
Executive Director
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Kick off your Hour of Code with Sheryl Sandberg or Bill Gates
Hour of Code
We just announced an exciting roster of Hour of Code ambassadors who will welcome classrooms to their first Hour of Code during Dec. 8-14.
  • If you sign up your class: 100 lucky classrooms will be selected for live video Q&As with a tech titan or tech-loving celebrity.
  • If you sign up your school: You'll also qualify to win $10,000 worth of technology. One public school in every state will win. The deadline to qualify is Nov. 14, so register now.
New tutorials are coming soon
We can't wait to share them. Let us know if you'll be doing the Hour of Code, we'll email you as soon as this year's activities are ready to try.

Anybody can participate. No experience needed, no computers either.
With 5 weeks to go, give your students a chance to learn foundational 21st-century skills and help the Hour of Code get to 100 million students!

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Have you filled all your vacancies yet?
If you haven't visited the CASE interactive job board at the CASE Career Center, now is a good time to do so! With its focus on special education administrators and professionals, the CASE Career Center offers members, and school districts, a highly targeted resource for online recruitment. Both members and nonmembers can use the CASE Career Center to reach qualified candidates. Employers can post jobs online, search for qualified candidates based on specific job criteria, and create an online resume agent to email qualified candidates daily. They also benefit from online reporting providing job activity statistics to track each job posting's return on investment.

For job seekers, CASE Career Center is a free service providing access to employers and jobs in education. In addition to posting their resumes, job seekers can browse or view jobs based on the criteria they find matches their goals best. Job seekers can also post confidentially with confidence or search anonymously by creating a Job Agent. Job Agents notify job seekers via email when jobs matching their criteria are posted eliminating the need to visit their online accounts daily to track new postings. Click here to go to the main site to either learn of new jobs, post your resume, or post your positions. There is a modest fee for posting positions on the site but we believe you will have a greater reach with this dedicated career center on our website — click here to become a job poster.

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  Are your struggling readers prepared for college and career?

READ 180 Next Generation is the leasing blended learning solution that prepare your students for the rigorous expectations of College & Career. Only READ 180 delivers a personalized learning path, daily practice in argument writing, hundreds of content-rich texts, and an individualized staircase of text complexity. Learn more

Center for Technology Implementation
We're excited to share our news about PowerUp WHAT WORKS (, developed by the Center for Technology Implementation at the American Institutes for Research. PowerUp WHAT WORKS is a free professional learning website that offers teachers, PD facilitators, and administrators' resources for helping struggling students, especially those with disabilities, meet the Common Core State Standards. The focus is on linking evidence-based practices and technology in English language arts and math.
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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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Kids In Need Foundation announces Dollar General Literacy Foundation
The Kids In Need Foundation
The Kids In Need Foundation, a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free school supplies to economically-disadvantaged school children and under-funded teachers, is pleased to announce grants sponsorship by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to improve preK to 12th grade students' reading levels.
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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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Follow the National Center on Intensive Intervention on Twitter @TheNCII
Are you looking to find resources about special education, intensive intervention, progress monitoring, diagnostic assessments, adapting interventions to meet student academic and behavioral needs? Are you looking for sample lessons and activities to support students that are struggling in math? Do you have questions for NCII? NCII is excited to announce that we have joined twitter. Please follow us at @TheNCII. We will be sharing our own updates and relevant partner resources. NCII has also created a National Center on Intensive Intervention YouTube Channel where you can find NCII videos including archived webinars, ask the expert videos, and more. In addition to these two new social media outlets, we have made it easier for you to share NCII resources on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, email and more. Look for the icons on the bottom of each page to share NCII resources in your networks.
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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

Special CASE member savings on paraeducator training
Through the end of December, CASE members will receive a 15 percent discount on ParaEducator PD Now — the #1 training program for paraprofessionals in the world — delivered by The Master Teacher. Endorsed by CASE since 2003, the program offers over 130 online training courses — each an hour or less — written exclusively for paraprofessionals on topics such as autism, accommodations and modifications, confidentiality, student behavior, and much more. And it’s only $47 or less per paraeducator annually! Call 800.669.9633 for details.
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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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The National Center on Intensive Intervention Releases New Multipart DBI Module on Using Informal Academic Diagnostic Assessment Data to Guide Intensive Interventions
NCII has released the final module in the DBI Training Series, Informal Academic Diagnostic Assessment: Using Data to Guide Intensive Intervention! The multi-part module covers four parts. Part 1 provides an overview of administering common general outcome measures for progress monitoring in reading and mathematics; part 2 reviews graphed progress monitoring data; part 3 introduces error or miscue analysis of curriculum-based measures for the purpose of identifying skill deficits in reading and mathematics; and part 4 offers guidance on identifying what type of skills the intervention should target to be most effective in reading and mathematics. The module is intended to be delivered by a trained, knowledgeable professional. It includes a PowerPoint presentation with speaker notes and handouts. View the multipart module and resources, as well as the entire DBI Training Series!
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    New one-to-one initiative transforms special education (eSchool News)
Air pollution linked to rising ADHD cases (The Weather Channel)
Just 4 minutes of fun exercise improves learning and behavior in the classroom (Medical News Today)
GOP leaders in Congress outline education priorities (Education Week)
New laws strengthen protection of student data (District Administration Magazine)

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

The Institute of Education Sciences calls for feedback on research centers!
Institute of Education Sciences via CEC
The Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, has issued a request to the field for feedback ( on the work of its two research centers: the National Center for Special Education Research and the National Center for Education Research. IES intends to use the input it receives to help plan the future work of these research centers. The deadline for submitting comments to IES is Oct. 31.
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Hot Topics

Collecting IEP goal data: Students, teachers working in partnership
By: Pamela Hill
At the conclusion of an initial or annual IEP review, after everyone has shared information about the student and developed the best IEP plan for the student's success, everyone breathes a sigh of relief. The "save" button on the computer IEP program is pressed, and voila! The educational goals become active. These active goals become the crux for the student's special education instruction. The data collection for the goals begins almost simultaneously, as the data collection is evidence for how well the student is progressing toward meeting the educational goals.
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Multi-state K-12 collaborative seeks proposals for OER
eSchool News
The K–12 OER Collaborative, an initiative led by a group of 11 states with the goal of creating comprehensive, high-quality, open educational resources, is releasing a Request for Proposals to create open educational resources supporting K–12 mathematics and English language arts. The resources will be designed to enable all students to master foundational skills and knowledge to achieve college and career readiness.
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Are NOLA schools failing students with disabilities?
In New Orleans, schools have long struggled to provide for students with physical, emotional and mental disabilities. Even before Hurricane Katrina, many parents had to fight for extra help. But many say things have only gotten harder since the city's public school district shifted almost entirely to charter schools. Crystal Walker is a 34-year-old single mother of two boys, ages 7 and 9, and a 12-year-old daughter. All three attend Akili Academy charter school in New Orleans, and all have been diagnosed with various physical, emotional and learning disabilities, including ADHD and dyslexia.
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A New Solution for Creating Effective Behavior Interventions

Using the tool’s guided-process, quickly create accurate, effective Proactive Strategies, Replacement Behaviors, and Reactive Strategies to help meet IEP goals.

  • Assess Problem Behaviors
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    Every child deserves the chance for growth. Mobility can be difficult to achieve for children with special needs, even after years of rigorous therapy. While children are simply enjoying a nifty, exciting new toy, parents are amazed at the continuous improvement of motor skills, coordination, balance and more.
    Voyager Passport
    Voyager Passport® gives you a dynamic blend of print instruction and technology to help more of your struggling learners master priority skills and strategies to reach grade-level performance. A Teacher's Resource Kit includes everything you need to accommodate diverse learners, including instructional support for English learners and flexible grouping strategies.


    Obama administration issues No Child Left Behind waiver renewal guidance
    The Huffington Post
    The Obama administration is inviting states to apply to renew their waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act. And according to a guidance issued, these renewed waivers could last all the way through the 2018-2019 school year — locking down some of President Barack Obama's education policy changes well into the next presidency. The new guidelines don't radically change the criteria for escaping the law's strictures. According to an Education Department document, states will have to ensure that schools cannot receive top ratings for accountability if they are not closing "significant achievement or graduation rate gaps" between different groups of students.
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    How to reframe the education reform debate
    The Washington Post
    Education policymakers have successfully framed the language of modern school reform to reflect specific values — "accountability," for example, means standardized test-based accountability, and "no excuses" means that teachers are to blame if students don't do well. The author of the following post argues that to move past this limiting reform model supporters of public education will have to reframe the debate with language that infuses their own values of shared responsibility and empathy.
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    States expanded availability and uses of student K-12 data, new report says
    Education Week
    The number of states that provide data to parents allowing them to track their children's academic progress has more than doubled in the last three years from eight to 17, while more than 100 bills designed to better safeguard student data were considered in states, according to a recent report from the Washington-based Data Quality Campaign. The "Data for Action 2014" report from the group, which advocates for the availability and use of student data to improve K-12 achievement.
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    In the News

    Focus on play in kindergarten may improve grades
    Training teachers to promote structured play among kindergarteners yields improved reading, vocabulary and math scores that persist into first grade, according to a new study. The technique, called "Tools for the Mind," seemed to be particularly effective in high-poverty schools, the authors write. "The active ingredient is children are taking responsibility for their own learning," said Clancy Blair of the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University, who led the study.
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    How poorly designed classroom space puts student learning at risk
    The Hechinger Report
    Space matters. For over 200 years we have been teaching in row-by-column seating. Many experts argue that this classroom style has conditioned both educators and students to ineffectively utilize space. Researchers have said that space affects human behavior in powerful ways. So it is striking to realize that in education, empirical research on space is largely underutilized.
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    10 lessons learned from the assessment field tests
    THE Journal
    According to Chief Technology Officer Brandt Redd, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium saw "significantly" fewer problems than it had expected during its spring 2014 field tests. "Things went more smoothly than our expectations," said Redd. "We didn't have any systemwide issues; issues that happened tended to be isolated." That lack of major issues was in large part due to the efforts of educators all over the country who put in the time to make sure everything would work before nearly 5 million students showed up to take the field tests — whether for Smarter Balanced, PARCC or one of the alternative state online initiatives.
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    Common Core reading: Difficult, Dahl, repeat
    All week we've been reporting on big changes in reading instruction brought on by the Common Core State Standards: a doubling-down on evidence-based reading, writing and speaking; increased use of nonfiction; and a big push to get kids reading more "complex texts." Whatever you think of these shifts, they're meaningless ideas without a classroom and kids to make sense of them.
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    Federal Announcements

    Office of the Assistant Secretary:
    The following Notice of List of Correspondence From July 1, 2013, Through Sept. 30, 2013 was published in the Federal Register on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014.

    Summary: The Secretary is publishing the following list of correspondence from the U.S. Department of Education to individuals during the previous quarter. The correspondence describes the department's interpretations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or the regulations that implement the IDEA. This list and the letters or other documents described in this list, with personally identifiable information redacted, as appropriate, can be found at:

    CASE Weekly Update
    Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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    Hailey Golden, Senior Education Editor, 469.420.2630   
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    Articles appearing in CASE Weekly include recent stories in the media related to Special Education and may not directly reflect the views and position of CASE. The appearance of advertising in CASE Weekly does not constitute CASE endorsement of any product, service or company or of any claims made in such advertisement.

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