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 Top Stories

Make dyslexia a national priority
The Hill
Rep. Bill Cassidy, R- La., has introduced a House Resolution on Dyslexia (H.Res. 456, 113th Congress), which, at long last, brings hope and recognition to the one out of five children who are dyslexic and who, with proper diagnosis and evidence-based interventions and accommodations, could learn to read, to spell and to achieve at their ability and go on to fulfilling futures.
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National learning disabilities conference in Anaheim, Calif., addresses current issues related to education and employment
LDA
Assistive technology, cultural diversity and universal design will be featured topics at the 51st annual international conference of the Learning Disabilities Association of America at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, Feb. 19-22. Educators, administrators, support professionals, parents and adults with learning disabilities will gather to take a comprehensive look at issues and best practices in professional preparation and evaluation; advances in reading and math research; assessment for learning disabilities; and transition from school to work.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Learn how to Learn

Forman is a leader in using research-based teaching methods and assistive technology to empower students with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders. We offer individualized strategies instruction, a strong athletics program, a range of creative arts, and 100% college placement -- plus a summer program. www.formanschool.org.
 


PARCC releases fully functional sample test questions for Common Core
THE Journal
PARCC has made its sample test questions available for computer-based practice. Sample items for the upcoming assessments of Common Core State Standards have been released previously for testing on paper across all grade levels; now PARCC schools "will be able to engage with the sample items using computer-based tools such as drag-and-drop, multiple select, text highlighting, and an equation builder."
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    New study challenges dyslexia-brain changes link (HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report)
How to create assessments for the Common Core (eSchool News)
Congress gives special education $500 million boost (Disability Scoop)
Motivation: The gas that fuels a child's educational engine (District Administration Magazine)
Arne Duncan: School expectations are too low in the United States (U.S. News & World Report)

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



 In the News


New Common Core resource aids students with special needs
eSchool News
This nonprofit concerned with the advancement of education technology has developed a new, free Common Core website for educators that offers customizable resources to improve teaching and learning for struggling students and those with disabilities. The website's — PowerUp WHAT WORKS — materials focus on four key areas, including evidence-based practices, Common Core State Standards, technology in schools and classrooms, and personalization of learning through Universal Design for Learning and differentiated instruction.
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  Strategies & Tools for Resource Teachers

“I wanted an Orton-Gillingham approach so I invested Go Phonics because the work has been done for me. It’s planned out in the Teacher’s Guide, with integrated tools to reach these kids. When they come to me for reading, they’re excited because they know they can do it! RT” www.gophonics.com
 


Are gifted students slighted in schools?
District Administration Magazine
The American public school system's focus on struggling students leaves high-achievers without a challenging enough education — a detriment to the country in a time of concerns over international competitiveness, says a new guidebook. Policy support that has vacillated between gifted and struggling students for several decades is now firmly behind getting low-achievers up to speed, says Andy Smarick, a partner at the nonprofit Bellwether Education Partners and author of the September guidebook, "Closing America's High-achievement Gap."
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
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PARCC releases fully functional sample test questions for Common Core
THE Journal
PARCC has made its sample test questions available for computer-based practice. Sample items for the upcoming assessments of Common Core State Standards have been released previously for testing on paper across all grade levels; now PARCC schools "will be able to engage with the sample items using computer-based tools such as drag-and-drop, multiple select, text highlighting and an equation builder."

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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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Great English teachers improve students' math scores
The Hechinger Report
Better English teachers not only boost a student's reading and writing performance in the short-term, but they also raise their students math and English achievement in future years. That's according to a working paper, "Learning that Lasts: Unpacking Variation in Teachers' Effects on Students' Long-Term Knowledge," by a team of Stanford University and University of Virginia researchers presented at the 7th Annual Calder Research Conference on Jan. 23.
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The importance of free play for learning
MindShift (commentary)
In an attempt to improve academic achievement, schools and districts are considering a variety of reforms including lengthening the school day, shortening vacation time and any and all interventions to improve test scores. But what is lost when a child's life becomes increasingly scheduled? Writing for The Independent, Dr. Peter Gray makes the case for free play, arguing that in those moments of fun and freedom kids are learning how to be creative, deal with fear and form emotional bonds.
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Students should be tested more, not less
The Atlantic
Testing is terrible for learning, destroys student and teacher morale, and impedes opportunities for productive, meaningful teaching. This oft-repeated axiom has become accepted as true without proof. Opposition to testing and all its associated ills has led to an over-generalization of the word "test" and an unwarranted reputation as the embodiment of all that is wrong with American education. One researcher believes we are throwing a very effective learning tool out with our educational bathwater, and asserts that we should be testing students more, not less.
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Personalized progress: How tech model is driving achievement
District Administration Magazine
Personalized learning is beginning to produce positive results in student achievement as it becomes more established in districts nationwide. These success stories are encouraging more districts to adopt the tech-heavy learning model that's designed to customize education for each student. At FirstLine Schools, a New Orleans charter network where most students are low-income and many have special needs, the personalized learning approach has produced some of the highest scores on the Louisiana state assessment in the New Orleans area, says Chris Liang-Vergera, FirstLine's director of instructional technology for personalized learning.
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7 instructional strategies for the Common Core
eSchool News
As significant numbers of educators, parents and politicians push back on the Common Core Standards now that implementation has begun, many teachers are left to navigate the shift with little or no direction about how to change their teaching practice to accommodate the new standards. Implementation challenges range from a lack of professional development and curriculum materials aligned with the Common Core, to inadequate technology infrastructure and changing assessment practices.
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Education spending balloons, but students in some states get more money than others
The Washington Post
There is disagreement within education circles over whether spending more money per pupil leads to better results. But there is no disagreement that the amount of money states spend on education has erupted in recent years. In almost every state, the amount of money spent per pupil has more than doubled in the last 40 years, according to a new report. States spent an average of $4,221 per student in the 1969-1970 school year, in 2010 dollars. That number jumped to $10,643 in the 2009-2010 school year.
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