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Partnerships pay off!
We all talk about how important it is to partner with others and that we are better together, but is it true? Sometimes it is so much easier just to get it done than to try to coordinate schedules, spend the money and the time to host a meeting, and then the agony of producing something everyone can agree on! But the results do pay off. A great example of this payoff is the RTI Toolkit! CASE partnered with the National Center for Learning Disabilities, National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE), and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) to do a national roundtable in NY October of 2013. The CASE representatives were then president, Laurie VanderPloeg (MI) and Policy chair, Phyllis Wolfram (MO). After work, re-work, and work again, the toolkit is live and a great resource for our schools and districts! The flyer and of course the website has all the content and the worksheet! There is to be a webinar Tuesday, December 9 at 3:00-4:00 ET featuring the organizations involved in this partnership in a panel discussion. Panelist include Dr. Steve Kukic as moderator, Drs. Jim Wendorf (NCLD), Bill East (NASDES), Luann Purcell (CASE), Susan Gorin (NASP) as well as Candace Cortiella (The Advocacy Institute). Don't miss this opportunity to see how partnerships DO pay off!

Speaking of Partnership ... 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, 2015 and there will be a significant amount of discussion on how partnerships can make RDA and our legal issues work to the benefit of our students and staff! 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.

We are in the home stretch for the upcoming holidays and the end of this calendar year! The few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are typically very stressful in schools and districts as well as universities! Everyone is trying to get one last task completed and we have so much going on professionally and personally, too! We hope you are able to take a few minutes to be tranquil and to be in touch with your staff and their needs as well as your own needs! Thank you for all you do every day for so many!


Luann Purcell
Executive Director
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Upcoming Webinar: RTI-Based Specific Learning Disability Identification Toolkit
December 9, 2014 at 3 p.m. ET
Moderated by Stevan J. Kukic, Ph.D.Director, School Transformation, NCLD
Panelists: Candace Cortiella, Ph.D.,, President, Advocacy Institute; Dr. Bill East, Executive Director, NASDSE; Susan Gorin, Executive Director, NASP; Dr. Luann Purcell, Executive Director, CASE; and James Wendorf, Executive Director, NCLD.
Join this free webinar to gain an understanding of how a Response to Intervention process should guide identification. Panelists will explore NCLD's new online RTI-Based Specific Learning Disability Identification Toolkit and discuss best practices for the special education identification process. RSVP Today!

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Youth Lens Photo Contest! Submit by Dec. 31
Youth Lens
Almost everyone feels "alone" or "different" at some point in their lives but for some people they experience this every day. Often they hesitate to ask for help because they wonder how others will react. The fear of being thought to be different by others is called 'stigma'. Many young people know this feeling of stigma or who have friends who experience stigma. The youth lens project provides a way for young people to express what they know about isolation and stigma through words and pictures.
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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

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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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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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

Celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities
CEC Policy Insider
Recently, CEC recognizes International Day of Persons with Disabilities through the United Nations theme Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology.
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Progress in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Flexibility
CEC Policy Insider
In the past few years more than 40 states, as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico received flexibility from the prescriptive, top-down requirements of the No Child Left Behind law, or the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This flexibility has allowed states and districts to develop creative solutions tailored to their individual cultures, with major benefits for all students, regardless of background.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Collecting IEP goal data: Students, teachers working in partnership (By: Pamela Hill)
Multi-state K-12 collaborative seeks proposals for OER (eSchool News)
Are NOLA schools failing students with disabilities? (NPR)
Obama administration issues No Child Left Behind waiver renewal guidance (The Huffington Post)
How to reframe the education reform debate (The Washington Post)

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

Hot Topics

What does the Common Core mean for special education?
District Administration Magazine
The Common Core is presenting a new challenge — and offering little guidance — to special education teachers working to keep their students on pace with their peers. "We have a lot of kids who have not had the opportunity to learn standards in the past, and have a lot of gaps in instruction," says Debbie Taub, director of research for Keystone Assessment and a Council for Exceptional Children member, who has created a professional development program on teaching the Common Core to students with complex instructional needs. "But we're seeing that with well-thought out instruction, it's possible for these kids to make progress in the standards and build foundational skills at the same time."
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Inclusion Corner: The art of co-teaching
By: Savanna Flakes
Co-taught lessons should look substantively different and richer for students than what one teacher would do alone. Meaningful collaboration depends on a partnership in which each teacher brings his/her focus of expertise and utilizes his/her specialty to enhance instruction. By focusing on role specialty, the co-teaching partnership is enhanced and all students are supported and challenged. Teachers should explore, plan and utilize a variety of co-teaching models to differentiate instruction and increase student achievement.
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Dyslexia: A potential cause of your child's educational difficulties
Psych Central
As many children in the United States are managing to get through the demands, responsibilities, and academic expectations of the school system, there are also many children who are having some struggle. Focusing difficulties, attention problems, reading comprehension, and academic underachievement as compared to same-aged peers often times gets attributed to the child's personal weaknesses or behavior problems or possibly even ADHD or another mental or neurological disorder.
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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.

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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.


    No Child Left Behind gets renewed focus
    The Associated Press via Yahoo News
    The No Child Left Behind education law could be making a political comeback. Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who is the incoming chairman of the Senate committee overseeing education, says his top education priority is fixing the landmark Bush-era law. His goal? Get a bill signed by President Barack Obama early next year.
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    Parents, legislators push back against Common Core
    New standardized tests under the Common Core education initiative aren't scheduled until spring, but backlash from parents and educators is in full force this fall. And the debate is moving into the state legislatures. States' adoption of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a set of K-12 learning standards designed to measure students' college and career readiness, has been met with resistance. "We don't like them," said parent advocate Leonie Haimson, executive director of Class Size Matters, a nonprofit organization that advocates for smaller classes in public schools.
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    In the News

    The downside of resilience
    The New York Times
    Behind a half-century of policies to promote child development, there lies an assumption: that children are essentially equally affected by the environments they grow up in, and that positive interventions like preschool education should therefore help all children. But what if this isn't true? Evidence suggests that some children are — in one frequently used metaphor — like delicate orchids; they quickly wither if exposed to stress and deprivation, but blossom if given a lot of care and support.
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    3 lessons from data on children's reading habits
    The Hechinger Report
    More than a decade ago a company called Renaissance Learning developed a computerized way for teachers to track students' reading outside of the classroom. The computer keeps track of how many and which books a student has read, along with the level of reading difficulty and whether a student has understood the basics of the story. This year, the company mined the data to gain insight into how kids become better readers as they progress in school.
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    PARCC shares 'lessons learned' from Common Core field tests
    Not everything's a walk in the PARCC. During the spring of 2014, more than 1.1 million students in approximately 16,000 U.S. schools took field tests of a Common Core assessment developed by PARCC, short for the "Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers." According to a recently released report from PARCC summarizing key findings from these tests, the ultimate goal of the pilots "was to confirm that PARCC is a quality assessment program and to make improvements based on the experience" before the formal administration of the exam to "an estimated 5 million students" in 2015.
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    Old tactic gets new use: Public schools separate girls and boys
    The New York Times
    In one third-grade classroom, the walls are bordered by cheetah and zebra prints, bright pink caddies hold pencils and glue sticks, and a poster at the front lists rules, including "Act pretty at all times!" Next door, cutouts of racecars and pictures of football players line the walls, and a banner behind the teacher's desk reads "Coaches Corner." The students in the first class: girls. Next door: boys.
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    Dissection of Common Core math test questions leaves educator 'appalled'
    The Washington Post (Commentary)
    According to author Valerie Strauss: Many of the guest writers on this blog are opposed to the Common Core State Standards, not because they object to standards per se but they find fault with this particular set for one reason or another. This post was written by someone who supports the Core, but takes a critical look at New York State's Common Core-aligned tests, specifically the eighth-grade math exam that was designed by Pearson.
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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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