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White House urged to fully fund IDEA
Disability Scoop
A federal agency and more than 130 members of Congress are calling on President Barack Obama to allocate more funding for special education in his upcoming budget proposal. In separate letters to Obama, the National Council on Disability and a group including both Democrats and Republicans in Congress are asking the federal government to increase special education spending for the coming year and to establish a 10-year plan to fully fund the program.
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The Common Core is tough on kids with special needs
The Atlantic
In a recent discussion board thread on reading comprehension challenges in autism, a special-education teacher commented that her students can't understand the assigned reading passages. "When I complained, I was told that I could add extra support, but not actually change the passages," she wrote. "It is truly sad to see my students' frustration." Why must this teacher's students contend with passages that are too complex for them to understand? She attributes this inflexibility to the Common Core, new standards — created in 2009 by a group of education professionals, none of them K-12 classroom teachers or special-education experts — that have been adopted by 45 states.
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Putting math standards into motion
District Administration Magazine
Giving math teachers the training and classroom tools to effectively implement the Common Core is the biggest challenge school districts face when it comes to improving achievement. That's why making teachers comfortable with the new standards will be a driving force in many of the sessions at this spring's National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' conference. But the standards alone will not ensure improvement in student learning, says Matt Larson, a featured speaker at the conference taking place April 9-12 in New Orleans. What's needed, Larson says, are the "Principles to Actions" that NCTM will release at the conference.
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 In the News


Expand pre-K, not ADHD
The New York Times
The writing is on the chalkboard. Over the next few years, America can count on a major expansion of early childhood education. We embrace this trend, but as health policy researchers, we want to raise a major caveat: Unless we’re careful, today’s preschool bandwagon could lead straight to an epidemic of 4- and 5-year-olds wrongfully being told that they have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Introducing millions of 3- to 5-year-olds to classrooms and preacademic demands means that many more distracted kids will undoubtedly catch the attention of their teachers. Sure, many children this age are already in preschool, but making the movement universal and embedding transitional-K programs in public schools is bound to increase the pressure. We're all for high standards, but danger lurks.
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New NCLB waiver reports show more issues with struggling schools, new tests
Education Week
The U.S. Department of Education released waiver monitoring reports for three more states Friday night that show continued struggles with low-performing schools and new tests aligned to the common core. Kansas is dinged because the interventions for its focus schools do not seem to line up with the reasons those schools were selected for this designation in the first place. (Focus schools are those with the largest achievement gaps in the state.) This is a common problem among many waiver states.
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Are schools asking to drug kids for better test scores?
The Wall Street Journal
In the past two decades, the number of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has nearly doubled. One in five American boys receives a diagnosis by age 17. More than 70 percent of those who are diagnosed — millions of children &dmash; are prescribed drugs. A new book, "The ADHD Explosion" by Stephen Hinshaw and Richard Scheffler, looks at this extraordinary increase. What's the explanation? Some rise in environmental toxins? Worse parenting? Better detection?
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  Phonics Games, Stories for Reading Fluency

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Class size matters a lot, research shows
The Washington Post
Every now and then someone in education policy (Arne Duncan) or education philanthropy (Bill Gates) or the media (Malcolm Gladwell) will say something about why class size isn't really very important because a great teacher can handle a boatload of kids. Not really. A new review of the major research that has been conducted on class size by Northwestern University Associate Professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and published by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder makes clear that class size matters, and it matters a lot.
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10 guidelines for stopping cyberbullying
Psychology Today
It's a fact of life in the 21st century that kids are connected to each other 24/7. A generation ago, young people who were bullied in school could count on hours spent at home as a respite from ridicule. Today, kids are ever-connected through texting, instant messaging, and social media sites; sadly, there is little rest for the bully-weary. While many parents consider themselves digital immigrants in their child's native cyber-lands, even a tech-novice can help a young person navigate their way safely through the choppy waters of online aggression.
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The Common Core is tough on kids with special needs
The Atlantic
In a recent discussion board thread on reading comprehension challenges in autism, a special-education teacher commented that her students can't understand the assigned reading passages. "When I complained, I was told that I could add extra support, but not actually change the passages," she wrote.

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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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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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Dyslexia lab to help students
Hattiesburg American
Mississippi's Petal Primary School students who struggle with learning to read are getting the help they need in the school's dyslexia lab. Principal Kim Raulston installed the lab this school year, in response to the 2012 passage of House Bill 1031, which requires schools to screen kindergartners and first-graders for dyslexia. "For several years, we have been concerned about the needs of students who are learning to read," she said. "Kindergarten students are screened in the spring and first-graders are screened in the fall."
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One way to help solve America's major curriculum problem
The Washington Post (commentary)
Common Core State Standards, accountability, benchmarks, teacher quality, evaluation, test design and uses, value-added measurement, Race to the Top, international comparisons — all of these are at the center of fierce debates in the education world. Marion Brady argues in this post that they are all sideshows to the real problem in American schools — curriculum — and he offers a way out. Brady has worked as a teacher, administrator, college professor, contributor to academic journals, textbook and professional book author, consultant to publishers and foundations, newspaper columnist.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    What musicians can tell us about dyslexia and the brain (Wired)
High cost of Common Core has states rethinking the national education standards (Fox News)
Receiving testing accommodations for learning disabilities (The Huffington Post)
Battling bullies: Safety experts offer advice on dealing with bullying, cyberbullying (Gaston Gazette)
America's school funding problems, state by state (The Washington Post)

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


New dyslexia bill would help Tennessee students
WBIR-TV
Tennessee lawmakers will soon consider a bill designed to improve learning for children with dyslexia. Supporters plan to put the finishing touches on the "Dyslexia is Real" bill. It would formally recognize dyslexia as a learning disability. The bill has strong ties to East Tennessee. Emily Dempster of Knoxville has been involved with the bill since the idea started more than a year ago. State Rep. Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, and State Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, R-Knoxville, filed versions of the bill earlier this month.
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How opening up classroom doors can push education forward
MindShift
Transparency is not a word often associated with education. For many parents, the time between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. can feel like a mysterious part of their child's life. Questioning students about their school day often results in an unsatisfying answer and not every parent has the time to be in constant communication with their student's teacher. For teachers, transparency can have a distinctly negative connotation. In the political debate, the word is often used in connection to hot button issues like posting teacher salaries and benefits publicly or publishing test scores. And within the school walls, transparency can feel like judgement. Teachers can see principal visits as inspections, not respectful check-ins to offer encouragement and suggestions.
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THE LD SOURCE

LDA does not recommend or endorse any one specific diagnostic or therapeutic regime, whether it is educational, psychological or medical. The viewpoints expressed in THE LD SOURCE are those of the authors and advertisers.

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