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 Top Stories

Congress gives special education $500 million boost
Disability Scoop
After being pounded by budget cuts last year, special education is set to see some relief under a deal approved by Congress. Federal funding for programs benefiting students with disabilities will rise by roughly $500 million this year under a $1.012 trillion bipartisan spending bill passed in Congress that's expected to be signed by President Barack Obama. That's enough money to add some 6,000 more special education staff across the country, lawmakers said.
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State, local officials square off on who calls shots on K-12
Education Week
Clashes between state governments and Washington over education policy fit a well-worn political narrative: far-away bureaucrats meddling in day-to-day operations — and imposing costly mandates without the funding to pay for them. But that same tension is often evident in the complex and interdependent relationship between those at the state and local levels. From school accountability to control over charters, some local K-12 leaders say state officials who complain about the White House or Congress have been just as guilty of imposing requirements on schools, in conjunction with outside advocacy groups but without proper debate or sober consideration.
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Arne Duncan: School expectations are too low in the United States
U.S. News & World Report
Today's parent advocates do not limit themselves to coaching soccer teams and organizing bake sales as a way to get involved in their students' schools. But parents, educators and policymakers alike need to do more to "walk the walk" in working to close achievement gaps and improve education in the United States, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told an audience of parent leaders Monday. While other countries have made strides in student performance on international tests in reading, math and science, American students have stagnated, and in some cases regressed, while achievement gaps in the country remain "staggeringly large," Duncan said at an education summit for parent leaders hosted by the National Assessment Governing Board.
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New study challenges dyslexia-brain changes link
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
A new study challenges previous findings regarding what causes reading problems in children with the common learning disorder dyslexia. Some researchers have concluded that these reading difficulties are the result of less gray matter in the brain. This new study suggests, however, that less brain tissue is a consequence of poorer reading experiences and not the root cause of reading problems. Researchers analyzed the brains of children with dyslexia and compared them with two other groups of children: an age-matched group without dyslexia and a group of younger children who had the same reading level as the children with dyslexia.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword DYSLEXIA.


TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    State lawmakers face tough choices on Common Core (Education Week)
Dyslexia screening bill goes to Christie (Press of Atlantic City)
Feds call on schools to address discipline disparities (Disability Scoop)
The surprising reasons kids cheat in school (TakePart)
Your brain is not the hard-wired machine you think it is (Psychology Today)

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



 In the News


How the '4 Cs' fit with the Common Core
eSchool News
The 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking, often referred to as the "four Cs," are an integral part of the Common Core State Standards. Fortunately, there are an abundance of free resources and digital tools that empower teachers to lead by example and integrate these "four Cs" in meaningful and effective ways.
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Motivation: The gas that fuels a child's educational engine
District Administration Magazine
Do we know why third graders in America are not reading at grade level? More than 50 percent of children in affluent homes and 80 percent of children growing up in less affluent homes are not reading proficiently. Reading drops off significantly after age nine. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent focusing on the act of reading, but little progress is being made when it comes to identifying the root of the problem. What if the real issue is in the underlying motivation for children to be more engaged in their learning?
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
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State, local officials square off on who calls shots on K-12
Education Week
Clashes between state governments and Washington over education policy fit a well-worn political narrative: far-away bureaucrats meddling in day-to-day operations — and imposing costly mandates without the funding to pay for them.

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In plain language: 5 big FAQ's about dyslexia
Psychology Today
Psychologists, cognitive scientists and neuroscientists are unraveling the mysteries of dyslexia. But if you are a parent, teacher or caregiver, it may be hard to read and comprehend the latest research.

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Common Core's promise collides with IEP realities
Education Week
One of the most promising elements of common academic standards for students with disabilities, say experts in special education, is that they offer explicit connections from one set of skills to another.

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Common Core in action: Why collaboration and communication matter
Edutopia
When students graduate from high school, there is a collection of important (or core) skills we want them to possess. That's where the Common Core College and Career Readiness Anchor standards come in. With 32 anchor standards in total in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language, these anchor standards are generalized and quite broad. However, you can find more specific skills for teaching each of the anchor standards embedded within the grade-level Common Core state standards.
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Report: Despite some gains, most states don't pass education policy evaluation
U.S. News & World Report
Although the nation as a whole and many states have made progress in improving education policies, the majority still received poor grades in terms of implementing policies that will improve academic growth, according to a new report. StudentsFirst, a K-12 education advocacy group founded by former District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, released its second annual "State Policy Report Card" evaluation Tuesday, with no states receiving an A grade. In fact, the vast majority of states received D's and F's for the past year, although the number of failing schools decreased from 11 to seven.
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New report guides redesign of grading for competency learning
THE Journal
Schools that have or are planning to adopt competency-based learning have access to a new report that offers guidance in how to assess student progress. In 42 pages "Progress and Proficiency: Redesigning Grading for Competency Education" walks educators through the process of redesigning their grading practices from one that uses simple letter or number grades to determine whether somebody has passed the class to one that communicates learning progressions in a more nuanced fashion.
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Study: Engaging with ebooks can aid children's literacy
School Library Journal via The Digital Shift
As younger and younger children recognize and use electronic devices as sources of information and entertainment, what is the impact on their literacy skills? Largely a positive one, according to a study printed in the January 2014 edition of the peer-reviewed journal SAGE Open. The report examines how different digital tools — an iPad, an iPod and a tabletop touchscreen computer — capture and hold children's attention to print media delivered electronically.
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How to create assessments for the Common Core
eSchool News
The rigors of the Common Core State Standards ask today's educators not to simply measure students' factual knowledge, but instead accurately assess students' critical thinking. With such a major transition from multiple-choice testing, it's important to know how to create assessments for these 21st Century standards.
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Striking a balance: Digital tools and distraction in school
Edutopia (commentary)
Mary Beth Hertz, a K-8 technology teacher in Philadelphia, writes: "This school year I joined the staff of a 1:1 high school here in Philadelphia. Students at the school have access to their own devices, which they take home with them. Although I've taught for many years in classrooms where each student had a school-issued device, the experience of my new students taking their devices home has forced me to reflect on the issue of distraction. How do we teach students to integrate technology into their schoolwork and their learning while also making sure that they're staying focused on the task at hand?"
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