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 Top Stories

Making the most of back-to-school communications
We all know that the back-to-school season is exciting — not just for students and educators, but for parents, businesses, and the media as well. It's a time when the greater community is primed to pay attention to its schools. As Nora Carr, Chief of Staff for Guilford County in North Carolina Schools and former president of the National School Public Relations Association has written, "In terms of PR heaven, it doesn't get any better than this." So it's important that educators consider back-to-school communications a key part of their work, taking advantage of this once-a-year opportunity to spread the word about what's happening in their school (or district) and set the tone for the engagement of families and other stakeholders for the rest of the school year.
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Common Core is premier education issue in GOP presidential debate
Education Week
Thought education might never come up during the Republican presidential debates on Thursday night? You weren't alone. Thank goodness for the Common Core State Standards. After just the briefest mention of education during the 5pm "undercard" debate, the subject finally exploded onto the scene about an hour into the primetime show, featuring the 10 highest polling GOP presidential candidates. Fox News moderator Bret Baier asked former Florida governor Jeb Bush whether he agreed with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan that most of the criticism of common core is due to "a fringe group of critics."
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An educator's guide to dyslexia specialist training
By: Stephanie Cork and Laurie Wagner
There has been a lot of buzz lately in the education world about dyslexia, which affects as many as 1 in 5 children. Dyslexia is a neurological condition that affects fluent reading, spelling and writing skills. Remediating dyslexia requires training beyond what most teacher preparation programs offer. To address these concerns, roughly half of the states in the U.S. have laws relating to dyslexia. Most of these laws require early screening for students and training for teachers.
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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

Here's what Americans want from a No Child Left Behind overhaul
The Huffington Post
As members of the Senate and House of Representatives work to find compromise on their respective overhauls of the No Child Left Behind Act, Americans are expressing agreement with a central tenet in both chambers' proposals: the federal government should have less influence over standardized tests. A nationally representative HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted in early August shows that more than half of Americans think state governments should have more power than the federal government to determine how standardized tests are used in schools. Only 21 percent of respondents said they thought the federal government should have more power than states in this arena; about a quarter said they were not sure.
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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

20+ classroom accommodations for ADHD children
ADDitude Magazine
ADHD children often benefit from special academic accommodations established by teachers and parents who spend thoughtful time pinpointing problematic ADHD symptoms, and then devising classroom accommodations that help solve those problems. Following is a list of common challenges faced by ADHD students, and the accommodations that can help bring success at school.
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How tech-driven learning can benefit students with disabilities
Education Dive
As technology makes its way into classrooms, the question of what effect innovative strategies will have on students with disabilities remains wide open. In some ways, technology use is nothing new for special education students and teachers. Assistive technology has been a key part of helping disabled students succeed in school and afterwards for decades. But some experts say that the new push for tech-driven, personalized learning environments has the potential to destigmatize their use and provide more opportunity for learning for disabled students.
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  Leveled Guided Reading - 93% Decodable

Help struggling readers build ACCURACY! Go Phonics teaches a strong foundation of phonics and language arts, applied in 7 volumes of leveled, phonetically sequenced, decodable stories. The phonics sequence minimizes confusion (Orton-Gillingham compatible). Lesson plans, 50 phonics fluency games, worksheets prep them for success. Sample Stories/Overview download:

Seeing struggling math learners as 'sense makers,' not 'mistake makers'
In discussions of progressive and constructivist teaching practices, math is often the odd subject out. Teachers and schools that are capable of creating real-world, contextualized, project-based learning activities in every other area of school often struggle to do the same for mathematics, even as prospective employers and universities put more emphasis on its importance. This struggle may come from a fundamental misunderstanding about the discipline and how it should be taught.
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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

$9.2 million in grants awarded to 9 states to improve training systems to help children with disabilities
U.S. Department of Education
The U.S. Department of Education announced today the award of $9.2 million in grants to nine states to improve personnel training systems to help children with disabilities. States receiving grants are: Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada and Tennessee. The State Personnel Development Grants Program, authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, provides funds to assist states in reforming and improving their systems for personnel preparation and professional development in early intervention, education and transition services in order to enhance results for children with disabilities. "America's children with disabilities — like their nondisabled peers — deserve a world-class education," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Arne Duncan on accountability in ESEA reauthorization (Education Week)
Positive reinforcement plays key role in cognitive task performance in ADHD kids (University at Buffalo via Science Daily)
How this program hopes to double reading proficiency among low-income students (eSchool News)
Digital literacy yields test gains, better behavior (District Administration Magazine)
Learning to embrace a child's unique potential (By: Jane Schoenfeld)

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

New tests push schools to redefine 'good enough'
This past spring, 5 million students from third grade through high school took new, end-of-year tests in math and English that were developed by a consortium of states known as PARCC. It's a big deal because these tests are aligned to the Common Core learning standards, and they're considered harder than many of the tests they replaced. It's also a big deal because until last year, it was all but impossible to compare students across state lines. Not anymore. There's just one problem: The results won't be released for a long time (late fall). What's the holdup, you ask?
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword SCHOOL.

Study: Most teens start school too early in morning to get enough sleep
USA Today
Most teens start school too early in the morning, which deprives them of the sleep they need to learn and stay healthy, a new study says. The American Academy of Pediatrics last year urged middle schools and high schools to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. in order to allow teens — who are biologically programmed to stay up later at night than adults — to get the recommended 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep each night. But 83 percent of schools do start before 8:30 a.m., according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The average start time for 39,700 public middle schools, high schools and combined schools was 8:03 a.m., based on data from the 2011-2012 school year.
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What cutting edge looks like in a school in 2015
Ready for a new school year? Your child probably spent the summer learning new skills or leveling up existing ones, be it coding, painting, swimming or music. When kids build skills, they acquire a greater sense of confidence and curiosity that will make them hungry for even more accomplishments. So with that said, we should be asking, is the school ready for your child?
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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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