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What you thought about minority students and special education is wrong
U.S. News & World Report
Minority students are significantly less likely than their white peers to be identified as disabled and may lack access to special education services, despite claims they are disproportionately tracked into and placed in such programs, according to new federally funded research. In a report published in the journal Educational Researcher, Paul Morgan of Pennsylvania State University and his colleagues show that racial-, ethnic- and language-minority students are underrepresented in special education. Yet federal efforts still exist to curb what some say is an excessive number of minority students who are identified as having a learning or intellectual disability, speech or language impairment, or as suffering from emotional issues.
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Quest for quiet: Considering noise control as an accommodation
By: Pamela Hill
When educators plan Individual Educational Programs for students with learning disabilities, they use several key considerations for possible instructional and test accommodations to help students improve their individualized learning. Educators choose accommodations from areas such as pacing and timing, environment, assignments, scheduling, test adaptations, etc. One area that is not often considered as a possible accommodation is noise control.
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Trauma is a hidden cause of academic struggles for many in DC, report finds
The Washington Post
Children in the District are disproportionately exposed to traumatic experiences, including poverty, homelessness and gun violence, that affect their ability to learn, a new report says. But schools can help them by training teachers and employees to be responsive to their emotional needs, according to a report by D.C. Children's Law Center. "Education reforms in the District will not fully succeed if schools do not address the trauma that students bring with them to class," the report says.
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  Student-Paced, Mastery-Based Math
Since 2004, Math-U-See has worked with intervention and special education teachers to reach struggling special needs math students. Math-U-See corresponds to math ability rather than traditional grade levels, so it can be used with students of any age. We provide tools and training for an explicit, structured, systematic, cumulative program using multi-sensory teaching techniques. MORE

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In an effort to enhance the overall content of THE LD SOURCE, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of LDA and/or reader of THE LD SOURCE, your knowledge of learning disabilities and related issues lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit. Our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.

 In the News

Conquering math anxiety
Scholastic Administration Magazine
Math is a lot less scary when you have a "fearless frog" at your side. To help her students feel less anxious about math, Jennifer Laib used a toy stuffed frog to talk about math fears. The K–8 math specialist at Driscoll School in Brookline, Massachusetts, asked second-grade students what it meant to be "fearless" in math. Students offered up concepts like "Ask questions" or "Believe you can do it." When students modeled those fearless traits, they were allowed to hold the fearless frog. The result: Kids were excited at the prospect of learning from their mistakes in math instead of fearing them.
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Study: Classroom lessons help stressed-out students cope
Education Week
Despite some reports of a population-wide decline in stress since 2007, research over the past few years has shown that young people still lead the pack in average stress levels. A 2014 American Psychological Association survey, for example, found that school-age teenagers had markedly high levels of stress, with 30 percent or more reporting feeling overwhelmed, depressed, fatigued, tired or sad. Those high-stress levels correlate with a medley of health concerns, including overeating, loss of sleep, and lack of exercise, according to the APA.
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Teaching teamwork: ADHD in the classroom
ADDitude Magazine
Decades of research have demonstrated that working in small, structured teams — that is, cooperative learning — is one of the most effective ways for ADHD students to master the curriculum. And kids who learn cooperatively typically make significant social and academic gains. Of course cooperative learning can be challenging for students with attention deficit disorder. These kids may veer off-topic repeatedly, frustrating others in the group — or have trouble meeting deadlines or taking guidance from others.
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  Inform Attention Related Diagnoses
Develop a comprehensive evaluation using the gold standard Conners CPT 3™, an auditory test of attention, the Conners CATA®, and the early childhood Conners K-CPT 2™. All assessments have been updated with easily interpreted reports, representative normative samples, and new scores to pinpoint the exact issue. Learn more:

Wanted: More solutions for solving the homework gap
The Hechinger Report
There just a few hundred students at the public schools in Saint Paul, Arkansas, a speck of a town nestled north of a national forest. Many of these children don't have an Internet connection at home, the principal of Saint Paul schools, Daisy Dyer Duerr, said. An after-school program established here three years ago here provides an Internet connection, enrichment lessons and transportation home. Children who sign up stay for three hours after school, she said.
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Report: Federal education funding plummeting
U.S. News & World Report
Over the last five years, Congress has cut federal funding for K-12 education by nearly 20 percent, about five times more than overall spending cuts, according to a new report. In an analysis of the federal budget released Wednesday, the bipartisan advocacy organization First Focus found federal spending that affects children — including funding aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect, for housing allocated to children, and for programs targeted toward homeless youths, as well as education funding — has dropped 9.4 percent since 2011, when federal stimulus funds ran out. Overall federal spending dropped 4 percent in the same time.
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McLean School Transforms Lives
K-12 college preparatory school supporting bright students’ individual learning styles.
3D Learner Program
We now offer Reading Plus® to further improve reading speed and comprehension. We also leverage both Recording For the Blind and Dyslexic and Talking Books. MORE

Steps to help low-income students direct their own learning
When Susan Wolfe, an elementary school teacher in Boise, Idaho, asks her class the qualities of a good student, kids often list things like: taking responsibility for themselves, doing homework, being good communicators. By focusing on the what the students believe — instead of what she could dictate to them — Wolfe applies techniques of student-centered learning, which she has embraced throughout her 18-year teaching career working almost exclusively in Title I schools.
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Relational reasoning shows how kids think without thinking
Psychology Today
Berkeley psychologist Alison Gopnik showed kids a rectangular box that played music. Kids turned it on by placing the right pair of blocks on top. For some kids, any two different blocks would turn on the music box and for other kids, any two same blocks would start the music. Gopnik showed them how it worked, demonstrating a pair of blocks (same or different) that made the box play music and also a pair of blocks that left the box silent. She did it again, placing correct and incorrect pairs of blocks onto the music box, which played or didn't play music.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Engage all learners: Make students think visually (By: Savanna Flakes)
Dyslexia doesn't have to hold you back (Psychology Today)
Feds put millions toward training special educators (Disability Scoop)
Study: Standing desks strengthen student concentration (District Administration Magazine)
Building lifelong readers: Do reward systems help? (Education Week)

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

Why are American schools slowing down so many bright children?
The Washington Post
Vicki Schulkin, a Northern Virginia parent, knew her son Matt was bright but did not think this was a problem until some of his teachers began to bristle at the erratic working habits that sometimes accompany intellectual gifts. "In fourth grade, his English teacher told me early in the semester that he didn't belong in her high-level class because he wasn't completing all of his homework," Schulkin said. That teacher changed her mind after he showed great creativity in a poetry assignment, but other instructors were less understanding.
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Analysis finds 23 percent of children are victims of cyberbullying
Medical News Today
Recent reports suggest that 95 percent of American teenagers use the Internet, with 85 percent of this group using social media. More than half of adolescents were also found to log in to a social media website more than once a day, with 22 percent logging in to their favorite social media portal more than 10 times each day. Because adolescents are at a stage in their development when they are vulnerable to peer pressure and have limited capacity to self-regulate, there is concern over the potential risks of social media use among this group, including the potential for cyberbullying, online harassment and privacy issues.
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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 Golden, Senior Education Editor, 469.420.2630   
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