CASE Weekly Update
May. 18, 2015

Hanging in there???
May is a tough month for school personnel. Actually, it is a pretty tough month for students, parents, and the community! All the last minute projects that are due, all the regulatory check offs that have to occur, retirements, graduations, upcoming moves, change of staff, IEPs, field days, injuries and so many other stressors! For some districts, even teacher work days will be done by the last day in May for others, class go into June! So many decisions and so much to consider. May can be a very tough month for everyone — are you hanging in there? One of my best strategies to handle stress is to be looking forward to something totally different — whether at work or at home. Maybe you are planning a vacation or looking forward to a special professional development event. Yes, even something like a PD opportunity can look good in the last weeks of school! Whether it is through CASE or your state/provincial unit, I hope you will look at the upcoming PD events and think of one of them as your next stress reliever!

Speaking of something unique and different to look forward to... The reviews we get back on the July Legislative Summit are always stellar. It is not uncommon to hear such comments as "Best PD event I have ever participated; Money well spent; I will be back; and I can't wait to bring more folks with me next year!" Though we say this every year, it IS critical for us to have every state represented! Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity! And you can register for a great stress reliever on top of this one by taking the Washington by Water Cruise on the Potomac while you are there! Click here for the flyer on this extra excursion! Go to the CASE website or straight to the Summit website for more information and to register now!

Thank you for putting in a proposal for the CASE Fall 2015 Conference! Over 70 proposals were submitted for the CASE Fall Conference! Thank you so much. Now the great CASE PD review committee is working on selecting the very best so you will have an amazing opportunity to learn at our fall conference. Be sure you have the dates on your calendar for this great stress reliever! CASE 26th Annual Fall Conference on Oct 29-31 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Last Week's Poll asked "What are your general and special education teachers requesting next year for professional development?" While last week the answers were evenly divided, this week the answers were very skewed! First place was a whopping 72 percent with people saying their teachers were asking for social/emotional strategies as their number one professional development request. As an "old" teacher of students with Behavior Disorders, I have to say I am a little surprised that the number one request hasn't changed much over the years! Second place at only 11 percent was instructional strategies in Reading followed by a three way tie at 6 percent for last place with instructional strategies in Math, instructional strategies-other, and assistive technology. I guess it is still very true, you can't teach a student who is too busy dealing with emotional and/or behavior issues to succumb to even the best instructional strategies and resources! Have you found a great social/emotional professional development source for this area? If so, tell us about it on the CASE Facebook page or email me. We would love to share this conversation with our members!

Thanks for all you do all the time to make sure ALL students succeed!


Luann Purcell
Executive DirectorMore

The CASE 'G' Award for Rising Special Education Administrators
Do you know a new special education administrator who has routinely "stuck their neck out" for teachers and students during this past school year? Last year was the first year for the new CASE award called the "G"AWARD for Rising Special Education Administrators. It was instituted for a member of CASE who is early in his/her career as an administrator. This individual may be nominated within their first 3 years of administrating special education programs/services and the award will be accompanied by a night on the town in their home area (limo, dinner, movie, child care, etc.) with a $1000 value. This award is acknowledgement of the administrator for sticking his/her neck out to better support their teachers to enable them to make a difference in the lives of the students they serve. The deadline for the award nomination is June 15. Nominations should be sent to Membership Chair Emilie Maule.

The award will be given at the Fall CASE Conference and the recipient will receive up to $1000 to be spent totally on a special night on the town and NOT for anything that could be used in classrooms or schools — this is a pamper yourself award! The person being nominated for the award must exemplify the following 5 values:

  1. "Heart" is at the core of what we do
  2. Lead by example
  3. Be honest
  4. Think outside the box
  5. Always use a collaborative approach
You can go to the CASE website to get additional information or you can click here.More

This year, CASE will be joining forces with CEC to make an even bigger impression up on the Hill!

This four-day legislative summit is for teachers, administrators, teacher educators, teachers in training – anyone who passionately supports national special education issues that improve educational outcomes for students with exceptionalities and the professionals who work on their behalf.

Get all the knowledge and training you need to be an effective special education advocate, including: Special Education Day on Capitol Hill will show decision makers in Washington how investing in special education pays off in successful students who are college and career ready and make important contributions to their communities.

Click here for more information.More

How safe is the schoolhouse?
Autism National Committee
The updated 2015 edition of How Safe Is the Schoolhouse? An Analysis of State Seclusion and Restraint Laws and Policies, written by Jessica Butler, has been published by the Autism National Committee. The report describes and examines state restraint and seclusion statutes, regulations, rules, and policies/guidelines in effect as of March 2015. More

Special Education Law Symposium
The 40th Anniversary of the IDEA: The Past is Prologue
June 21-26

Lehigh University
Lehigh University’s intensive one-week institute provides a practical analysis of legislation, regulations, and case law relating to the education of students with disabilities. The symposium is designed for special education coordinators and teachers, principals, psychologists, parent advocates, attorneys (on both sides), hearing officers, state officials, and other individuals interested in legal literacy concerning the education of students with disabilities.

The program offers two parallel tracks, one for basic that offers in-depth foundation knowledge about the IDEA and Section 504: Eligibility, FAPE, LRE, Student Discipline, and Remedies. The other track is for advanced participants, offering brand new "hot topics": Settlement Process, Exiting Special Education, "Meaningful" Parental Participation, Inadequate IEP Implementation as a FAPE Denial, Transition Services, Parental Private Placements, and State Complaint Resolution Process.

The experienced program faculty features attorneys Laura Anthony (Ohio), Edward Bauer (Florida), Maria Blaeuer (Washington, DC), Esther Canty-Barnes (New Jersey), Andrew Cuddy (New York), Laura Gillis (Massachusetts), Zvi Greisman (Maryland), Dana Jonson (Connecticut), Michael Joyce (Massachusetts), Isabel Machado (New Jersey), Deborah Mattison (Alabama), Kevin McDowell (Indiana), Michael Stafford (Delaware), and — from Pennsylvania — Andrew Faust, Joshua Kershenbaum, Dennis McAndrews, Gabrielle Sereni, and Dr. Perry Zirkel.

The symposium begins on Sunday evening with a dinner and keynote lecture by Dr. Melody Musgrove, Director, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education.

The workshop is offered for graduate and continuing education credit. Weekly and daily options are available. Full information is available on our website: For any questions, email or call Shannon Weber or Donna Johnson at or (610) 758-5557. More

A matter of equity: Preschool in America
All parents hope their child will start school ready for success. Unfortunately, not every parent can find the high-quality early learning opportunity that sets their child up for success.

Earlier today the U.S. Department of Education released a new report outlining the unmet need for high-quality early learning programs in America. Roughly 6 in 10 4-year-olds are not enrolled in publicly funded preschool programs, and even fewer are enrolled in the highest quality programs.More

Bipartisan ESEA Bill Developed in Senate Committee
Myrna Mandlawitz, CASE Legislative Consultant
In January 2015 Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, issued a discussion draft for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as No Child Left Behind. He solicited comments from the public, with the intention of eventually releasing a bipartisan bill. After several months of serious negotiations led by Alexander and Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., ranking Democrat on the committee, the Every Child Achieves Act was released. As this article was being written, the Committee was set to take up the bill beginning on April 14. While both Alexander and Murray acknowledge the bill does not comport completely with what either would have wanted, they agree this is a solid effort that moves the process forward.More

50 Ways to Test: A look at state summative assessments for 2014-2015
Education Commission of the States
Has the frenzy around Common Core State Standards impacted decisions on which state summative assessments are being administered this year? That's the question on many minds as we approach spring testing time. As many states began adopting college and career ready standards, such as the Common Core State Standards, there became a subsequent need to develop new summative assessments — tests that measure the new skills and knowledge outlined in the new standards. More

Teacher Educators and Accomplished teachers
Pearson is in need of educators to score edTPA! edTPA is designed for the profession by the profession, edTPA was developed by teachers and teacher educators from across the nation, in collaboration with faculty and staff from Stanford University, to support candidate learning and preparation program growth and renewal. Aligned with the Common Core State Standards and InTASC Standards, edTPA assesses teaching that promotes student learning in diverse contexts. More

CEC joins 811 organizations urging increased funding for education
CEC Policy Insider
The Council for Exceptional Children has been a member of The Committee on Education Funding for decades. The Committee along with the Coalition for Health Funding and the Campaign to Invest in America's Workforce jointly sent a letter from 812 organizations urging the Appropriations Committee to restore the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 302 (b) allocation for the Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to at least the FY 2010 level of $163.6 billion. More

What every educator needs to know about coming changes to special education policy webinar, hosted by CEC
CEC Policy Insider
In this wide-ranging presentation, CEC's Policy and Advocacy Director Deborah A. Ziegler, will review and analyze policies currently under discussion, recent changes to policies supported by the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress, and their impact on children and youth with disabilities and/or gifts and talents.More

Disability issues take the lead in record-setting years for Civil Rights complaints
Education Week
Disability issues made up close to half of the complaints received by the U.S Department of Education's office for civil rights over fiscal years 2013 and 2014, far outpacing the next highest category for complaints, which was sex discrimination. The figures come from a recently-released report from the civil rights office that was submitted to the White House and Secretary of Education. The report said that 19,939 complaints were filed over the two fiscal years, of which 9,941 were alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Both laws prohibit disability discrimination by public entities. Fiscal 2013 saw 9,950 complaints filed in all categories, and in fiscal 2014, 9,989 complaints of all kinds were filed.More

Nearly 40 percent of students with disabilities don't graduate
Disability Scoop
A new report is sounding alarm bells about lagging high school graduation rates among students with disabilities. Some 85 to 90 percent of kids with disabilities are estimated to be capable of completing the requirements for a high school diploma. Yet, just 6 in 10 of these students graduated in 2013, the most recent year for which figures are available. The findings come from an analysis of federal education data in the annual Grad Nation report released Tuesday, which is produced by the Alliance for Excellent Education, America's Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University.More

Funding For dyslexia, disability screening slashed from legislation
More than 1 million California students have a disability you can't see, but can interfere for a lifetime. Schools don't screen for dyslexia, but a new bill in front of state lawmakers would help train teachers. Roseville fourth-grader Sophia Granucci has improved her dyslexia by working with a private tutor after school. "When the teacher called on me to read I had to ask a lot of friends what words were and what they said," she said. More

Keep it together in middle school: Your organized teen with ADHD
ADDitude Magazine
The school environment changes in the middle years. Instead of loads of structure and guidance, as your child had in elementary school, students are expected to manage more of their life on their own. At the same time, the students themselves are changing. They are less motivated to please adults and more motivated to impress peers. As they search for their own identities, the social scene becomes more important. It is a confusing time for students with ADHD, but with the right support, they can thrive.More

Why autism is different in the brains of girls than in boys
Autism, already a mysterious disorder, is even more puzzling when it comes to gender differences. For every girl diagnosed with autism, four boys are diagnosed, a disparity researchers don’t yet fully understand. In a new study published in the journal Molecular Autism, researchers from the UC Davis MIND Institute tried to figure out a reason why. They looked at 112 boys and 27 girls with autism between ages 3 and 5 years old, as well as a control sample of 53 boys and 29 girls without autism. Using a process called diffusion-tensor imaging, the researchers looked at the corpus callosum — the largest neural fiber bundle in the brain — in the young kids. Prior research has shown differences in that area of the brain among people with autism.More

What reading really looks like for students with dyslexia
GOOD Magazine
Thirty years ago, when Christian Boer was first learning how to read, he made a lot of mistakes. His teacher didn't attribute his challenges to what would eventually be diagnosed as dyslexia. She just told Boer to try harder, and occasionally even called him lazy and stupid. Fortunately, awareness of dyslexia is much higher these days, and most of us have some vague sense that dyslexics see the letter "b" as "d" or "p." It's common to assume that we can train dyslexic children out of their habits, or that they'll eventually outgrow the affliction.More

Memorizers are the lowest achievers and other Common Core math surprises
The Hechinger Report
It's time to debunk the myths about who is good in math, and Common Core state standards move us toward this worthy goal. Mathematics and technology leaders support the standards because they are rooted in the new brain and learning sciences. All children are different in their thinking, strength and interests. Mathematics classes of the past decade have valued one type of math learner, one who can memorize well and calculate fast. Yet data from the 13 million students who took PISA tests showed that the lowest achieving students worldwide were those who used a memorization strategy — those who thought of math as a set of methods to remember and who approached math by trying to memorize steps. The highest achieving students were those who thought of math as a set of connected, big ideas.More

The pathway to Common Core success
Center for American Progress
The Common Core State Standards began in 2009 as a state-led effort to measure the nation's students against a shared benchmark. At first, the standards received broad acceptance. Education leaders and elected officials alike agreed that students and the U.S. education system would benefit from internationally competitive standards that guarantee common, rigorous learning goals for students across the nation. But as the standards rolled out — and as they continue to roll out — the Common Core has become a political football, so much so that some political pundits are predicting that it will be a significant issue for 2016 presidential hopefuls.More

How a collaborative mindset helps teachers reach all learners
eSchool News
The implementation of the Common Core State Standards has been met with anxiety from administrators and educators at every level, because, like any major change, it can seem scary and overwhelming. General education teachers have had to learn and apply new instructional strategies to address the new standards and the vision that the standards embody, particularly universal design for learning. Special education teachers have been required for the first time to become pseudo subject-area experts to help struggling students and those with learning disabilities meet the standards.More

New study suggests gifted students can still get left behind in school
A new study suggested that gifted children are also at risk of getting left behind in school. After studying about 5 million gifted students in the United States, the researchers discovered the positive aspects of accelerating students and why educators oppose the idea.More

Avoiding 'learned helplessness'
We all have students that just want to "get it right." We all have students that constantly seek the attention of the teacher. "Did I get this right?" "Is this what you want?" Now while it's certainly a good thing to affirm students in their learning, many times we want students to be creative with their learning. We allow them to own their learning and create assessment products where they can show us what they know in new and inventive ways. Because of this, there isn't "one right answer," yet our students are often trained to think that there can be only one.More

3 critical education topics affecting US students
eSchool News
An annual report examines the persistent gender gap in reading performance, how the Common Core is impacting reading achievement, and how intrinsic motivation plays a key role in student engagement, and offers analyses in all three areas. The study is the fourteenth Brown Center Report on American Education and is divided into three sections, each dedicated to an independent topic and each based on the best evidence available, which is further described in each section.More