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Arne Duncan on accountability in ESEA reauthorization
Education Week
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan may only have eighteen months left in office — but they're critical months when it comes to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The House and Senate each passed bills that take aim at the Obama administration's K-12 priorities when it comes to teacher evaluation, standards and more. While the Republican-backed House bill was somewhat of a lost cause, the administration couldn't secure much of its ask-list in the Senate bill — particularly when it came to beefing up accountability — before it passed with big partisan support.
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Positive reinforcement plays key role in cognitive task performance in ADHD kids
University at Buffalo via Science Daily
A little recognition for a job well done means a lot to children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder — more so than it would for typically developing kids. That praise, or other possible reward, improves the performance of children with ADHD on certain cognitive tasks, but until a recent study led by researchers from the University at Buffalo, it wasn't clear if that result was due to heightened motivation inspired by positive reinforcement or because those with ADHD simply had greater room for improvement at certain tasks relative to their peers without such a diagnosis.
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Digital literacy yields test gains, better behavior
District Administration Magazine
Test scores have improved and online bullying incidents have been virtually eliminated at a California school that added weekly digital literacy instruction to its curriculum five years ago. In response to an online bullying incident in 2010, parent Diana Garber and Journey School, a public K-8 charter with 400 students in California's Capistrano USD, created the Cyber Civics curriculum for the middle school grades.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword LITERACY.

  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

How this program hopes to double reading proficiency among low-income students
eSchool News
Of the 60 percent of West Virginia students who come from low-income backgrounds, only a third can read proficiently by the end of third grade. That's according to Charlotte Webb, coordinator of elementary education for the state Department of Education and state leader for the West Virginia Leaders of Literacy: Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a statewide initiative that seeks to raise the third-grade proficiency rate among Mountain State students who qualify for free or reduced lunch to 66 percent over the next five school years.
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Learning to embrace a child's unique potential
By: Jane Schoenfeld
Transition is all the rage, and it should be. But what do you do with a kid who doesn't fit neatly into any of the categories? What do you do with any kid in fact? They’re all individuals with different strengths and challenges. My daughter has multiple medical conditions, no physical disabilities, many learning difficulties and a PDD-NOS diagnosis, which puts her on the autism spectrum. She graduated from high school with a full diploma and spent two years in college before she decided it was just too hard and not clearly enough structured. So, what to do?
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Technology holds promise for students with poor vocabulary skills
Education Week
In 1995, the researchers Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley published the results of their groundbreaking study that found 4-year-olds from working-class families and families on welfare had considerably smaller vocabularies than their age-mates from professional families. This difference has been called "the 30-million-word gap." One reason their work has been so influential is that it helped quantify the challenge education systems face when children enter school with vast differences in educational readiness.
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New study: Picky eating may suggest ADHD, depression or anxiety
ADDitude Magazine
A new study published in Pediatrics has found an association between eating habits and neurological conditions. The researchers, who interviewed parents of 917 children ranging in age from two to six over the course of three years, found a connection between moderate selective eating — indicative of those choosy eaters we mentioned — and symptoms of conditions including anxiety, depression, and ADHD. Children who exhibited severe selective eating — such strict food preferences they have trouble eating away from home — were found to be seven times more likely to be diagnosed with social anxiety, and twice as likely to become depressed.
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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

Study: Poverty harms brain development in children
By: Dorothy L. Tengler
Between 2009 and 2010, 1 million more children in America joined the ranks of those living in poverty, bringing the total to an estimated 15.7 million poor children. Poverty can impede a child's ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional and behavioral problems, as well as poor health and mental health. In fact, new research shows poverty appears to affect the brain development of children, hampering the growth of gray matter and impairing their academic performance.
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Empower students to ask questions
MiddleWeb (commentary)
Carol Koechlin and Sandi Zwaan, both contributors for MiddleWeb, write: "Koechlin and Zwaan argue that the key to learning and understanding is the question, that we are not able to think critically or creatively without the question, and that it is through questioning that we are able to self-analyze and set goals. Thus they have provided us, in this book, a curriculum to teach questioning to students. Each chapter of the book has a short introduction followed by several 'Q tasks' (lessons) complete with a plethora of graphic organizers/handouts. Each of the Q tasks is laid out in two columns. The column on the left has the Q task at the top (essentially the objective of the lesson) and a Q tip at the bottom (resources for extensions)."
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Why schools over-discipline children with disabilities (The Atlantic)
5 clever ideas to spark independent reading by kids (MindShift)
What we (don't) know about English learners and special education (Education Week)
A song of loneliness, empathy and action (By: Howard Margolis)
An under-appreciated way of teaching kids to think rationally (The Washington Post)

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

The complicated problem of race and special education
The Huffington Post
A study by the American Educational Research Association found that minority students are underrepresented in special education services. This same study raised suspicion around the racial imbalance among special education students and contradicted previous findings that suggested minorities, particularly African Americans, are roped into disabled categories more easily. A group of experts who spoke with HuffPost Live last week said that while minorities may be underrepresented in some categories of special education, they're overrepresented in the most "stigmatizing" groups.
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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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