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Public spending per student drops
The Wall Street Journal
U.S. public education spending per student fell in 2011 for the first time in more than three decades, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data. Spending for elementary and high schools across the 50 states and Washington, D.C. averaged $10,560 per pupil in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011. That was down 0.4 percent from 2010, the first drop since the bureau began collecting the data on an annual basis in 1977, the agency said. However, when you adjust the figures for inflation, this isn't the first drop on record. By that measure, spending per pupil dropped once in 1995 and hit its highest level in 2009. In inflation-adjusted terms, spending per pupil was down 4 percent in 2011 from the peak.
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ADHD: How many children are misdiagnosed?
NBC Latino
A year ago, psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg, considered to be the "scientific father of ADHD," was quoted in a last interview before his death as saying that "ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease." His comment certainly has caused an uproar not just among the medical community, but with parents, too. And this is easy to understand given that the number of children diagnosed with ADHD has seen a dramatic increase in recent years. According to this article in the World Public Union, "in the United States every tenth boy among 10-year-olds already swallows an ADHD medication on a daily basis." And the numbers are rising. In fact, the CDC recently released data from a 2011–2012 study that showed that an estimated 6.4 million children ages 4 through 17 have received an ADHD diagnosis.
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Special education could face $2 billion in cuts
Disability Scoop
As a new round of budget talks gets underway in Congress, special education advocates are sounding the alarm about big cuts that may be on the horizon. Preliminary figures from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations indicate that education programs could be slashed by nearly 20 percent for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, partly as a result of the sequester, the across-the-board spending cuts that took effect in March. Though detailed proposals have yet to be released, the Council for Exceptional Children — which lobbies on behalf of special educators — is estimating that such cuts would mean more than $2 billion less for programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
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 In the News


Caution and the Common Core
The New York Times
The rigorous Common Core learning standards that have been adopted by 45 states represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the United States to improve public schools nationally, bringing math, science and literacy education up to levels achieved by high-performing nations abroad. The Department of Education has rightly pushed the states to jettison outmoded systems in exchange for a challenging, writing-intensive approach. But the department, which has set a rapid timetable for this transformation, will need to give the states some flexibility so that teachers — who themselves are under pressure to meet evaluation standards — can adjust to the new curriculum.
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Implementing expanded learning time: 6 factors for success
Edutopia (commentary)
In the fall of 2006, Clarence R. Edwards Middle School in Boston became one of the first schools in the state of Massachusetts to implement the Expanded Learning Time Initiative. The reasons why were simple: they were not making Adequate Yearly Progress and they wanted to make significant academic gains with their students. As it turned out, making the school day longer was one of the best things they could have done to help reform the school model and improve student outcomes.
Editor's note: See article below related to special education's influence on design of expanded learning time.

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Special education best practices inspire successful expanded learning time for all students
Edutopia
Craig Haas, a licensed special education administrator at Edwards Middle School in Boston, writes: "In assembling the plan for expanded learning time at the Edwards Middle School, we drew inspiration from our own special education department. Too often, special education is viewed as a place or a static state, when the truth is that special education is a series of interventions, modifications, and accommodations afforded to students who are unable to access a curriculum under routine circumstances. ELT, too, is a series of interventions, and so, in applying some special education principles, we gained some valuable insights."
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    How to recognize dyslexia early (Moorpark Acorn)
Diplomas elusive for many students with learning disabilities (Education Week)
The surprising ways BYOD, flipped classrooms and 1-to-1 are being used in the special education classroom (THE Journal)
Feds to emphasize student performance in special education (Disability Scoop)
Common Core promises new tests. Will they be better than the old ones? (The Christian Science Monitor)

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


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The promise of iPads for special education
The Hechinger Report
When Neil Virani walked into his middle school special education classroom at Mulholland Middle School, part of the Los Angeles Unified School district, three years ago, he encountered a roomful of students with a range of cognitive, emotional and physical challenges. But the most toxic problem they had to combat was the low expectations from the school system they'd been in since kindergarten. "All they had was coloring books and watercolors. They were not working on any academic aspects of the curriculum," he says.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword SPECIAL EDUCATION.


Study shows graphic novels add value for struggling readers
The Independent Voter Network
Graphic novels may have a place in the classroom as an alternative form of literature, according to researchers. Diane Lapp, distinguished professor of education at San Diego State University — along with researchers Thomas DeVere Wolsey, Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey — surveyed elementary, middle and high school teachers about the effectiveness of using graphic novels in the classroom as well as their willingness to use the material for primary instruction for their students.
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The serious risks of rushing new teacher evaluation systems
The Washington Post (commentary)
Increasingly we are hearing concerns from educators that new education reforms are being rushed, including the Common Core State Standards. At the same time, new teacher evaluation systems are being put into place. The attitude among many policymakers and advocates is that we must implement these systems and begin using them rapidly for decisions about teachers, while design flaws can be fixed later. The risks of excessive haste are likely higher than whatever opportunity costs would be incurred by proceeding more cautiously.
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
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ADHD: How many children are misdiagnosed?
NBC Latino
A year ago, psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg, considered to be the "scientific father of ADHD," was quoted in a last interview before his death as saying that "ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease."

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Majority of doctors do not follow treatment guidelines for ADHD
TIME
More than 90 percent of pediatric specialists who diagnose and manage attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in preschoolers do not follow the American Academy of Pediatrics clinical-treatment guidelines.

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How does multitasking change the way kids learn?
MindShift
Living rooms, dens, kitchens, even bedrooms: Investigators followed students into the spaces where homework gets done.

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Common Core tests in works for students with severe disabilities
Education Week
Mary Skinner-Alexander, a high school special education teacher in the Sioux Falls, S.D., district, has a student who communicates by directing his gaze at printed cards. Other students in her self-contained special education class of ninth- through 12th-graders are reading at the level of early-elementary students. And all will be expected to learn — and be tested on — academics based on the Common Core State Standards.
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Schoolmates of suicide victims at higher risk
Reuters
Teens who have a classmate die of suicide are more likely to consider taking, or attempt to take, their own lives, according to a new study. The idea that suicide might be "contagious" has been around for centuries, senior author Dr. Ian Colman, who studies mental health at the University of Ottawa, told Reuters Health. Past studies supported the idea, but none had looked at such a large body of students, he said.
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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.

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Hailey Sasser, Senior Education Editor, 469.420.2630   
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