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Funding formulas for special education benefit some districts, penalize others
Education Week
The complicated formulas that govern how federal special education money is parceled out to states have not been adjusted in over a decade, with the result that small districts get more federal money per student than large districts, and school systems that are losing students end up with more funding than school systems that are growing. These findings are part of a new policy brief released Friday from the Washington-based New America Foundation that tracks the evolution of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funding.
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Predicting dyslexia — Even before children learn to read
MindShift
On average, one or two kids in every U.S. classroom has dyslexia, a brain-based learning disability that often runs in families and makes reading difficult, sometimes painfully so. Now, new research shows it's possible to pick up some of the signs of dyslexia in the brain even before kids learn to read. And this earlier identification may start to substantially influence how parents, educators and clinicians tackle the disorder.
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Most states deficient in special education
Disability Scoop
Federal education officials are dramatically altering the way they evaluate compliance with special education law and the change means far fewer states are living up to expectations. For the first time, test scores and other outcome measures for students with disabilities are a central focus in state assessments conducted under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the U.S. Department of Education said. Under the law, the Education Department determines each year how well states provide special education services and assigns one of four labels: "meets requirements," "needs assistance," "needs intervention" or "needs substantial intervention."
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 In the News


A 'major shift' in oversight of special education
National Public Radio
The Obama administration said the vast majority of the 6.5 million students with disabilities in U.S. schools today are not receiving a quality education, and that it will hold states accountable for demonstrating that those students are making progress. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced what he calls "a major shift" in how the government evaluates the effectiveness of federally funded special education programs.
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Explicit instruction works best for struggling math students
U.S. News & World Report
Students who struggle early on with basic reading and math skills may continue to have a hard time as they progress through school. But many early grade teachers with students struggling in math appear to be more likely to use ineffective teaching methods, according to a new study. The study — funded by the Department of Education and the National Institutes of Health — found first-grade teachers with a higher percentage of students with math difficulties in their classrooms were more likely to use student-centered instructional methods (such as the use of calculators, or movement and music to learn math) that have not been associated with achievement gains.
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Most states deficient in special education
Disability Scoop
Federal education officials are dramatically altering the way they evaluate compliance with special education law and the change means far fewer states are living up to expectations.

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Help students with disabilities succeed in college
NCLD
Many parents often wonder what will happen after their child graduates high school. How will your child get the help he deserves in college? What schools can provide the supports your child needs?

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Study: Language problems common for kids with ADHD
HealthDay News via WebMD
Children who have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are nearly three times more likely to have language problems than kids without ADHD, according to new research.

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Survey finds parents conflicted about time dedicated to testing students
Education Week
A new survey paints a conflicting picture of parents' attitudes about the time students spend taking tests. The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice's annual Schooling in America Survey shows 44 percent of parents think that schools devote too much time to testing. That same survey, however, found that the majority of parents — 52 percent, in fact — think their children either spend the right amount of time (30 percent) on testing or not enough (22 percent). So depending on where you stand in the testing debate this survey could fuel that cause.
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Finding the most creative ways to help students advance at their own pace
MindShift
In 2005, New Hampshire's Department of Education set a policy requiring schools to implement a competency-based system, but didn't define the specific skills each school would be expected to master. State education leaders hoped that the policy would push schools towards a system in which students would not advance unless they could demonstrate proficiency in every core competency. But schools across the state have interpreted the directive in very different ways and set those competencies both broadly and narrowly.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    U.S. Department of Education releases results of new special education evaluation process (Education Week)
The brain science behind Dyslexia (WBUR-FM)
Inspiring students with learning disabilities to take up a language (The Guardian)
Pediatrics group to recommend reading aloud to children from birth (The New York Times)
Study: Language problems common for kids with ADHD (HealthDay News via WebMD)

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


Utahns with dyslexia rally for support of enhanced teacher training
Deseret News
Trevor Alvord had no idea he was dyslexic until he graduated high school. "I just thought I was stupid," he said, adding that his mother had to read all of his homework and reading assignments to him in order for him to understand and succeed through the years of grade school and beyond. Now, his 9-year-old twin sons are inflicted with the same hereditary learning disorder, and he finds himself reading to them, as expensive tutoring is out of reach.
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Common Core test tools aid students with special needs
District Administration Magazine
Common Core assessments are making testing easier for students with special needs, experts say. The computer-based exams include tools such as on-screen calculators and read-aloud instructions to enhance accessibility for students with disabilities while keeping them in the classroom with their peers. "These accommodations are available with the click of a mouse — you don't have to worry about printing off a test with larger print or paper-based glossaries," says Magda Chia, director of support for underrepresented students at Smarter Balanced. "You can easily have a customized assessment for each student."
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