CASE Weekly Update
Jun. 3, 2013

What is our mission?

The Council of Administrators of Special Education, Inc. provides leadership and support to members by influencing policies and practices to improve the quality of education.

Though not technically summer, once the calendar reads June we often think of it as summer time! Summer has traditionally meant vacation time, a more relaxed lifestyle and a time to reconnect with neighbors, family and friend for good old fashion fun! Those of us in the school business especially think of summer as a time of recharging, going back to graduate school and sometimes a more laidback work experience! But, these next couple of months could/should be a real critical time for education at the local, state, national and international level! CASE will be calling you to action on several items throughout these next few months in order for us to be true to our mission. There are 4 major issues your professional organization is working on right now: While these issues appear to be very U.S. centric, the true issues behind each of these — influencing policies and practices to improve the quality of education are universal! So, we want our Canadian members and other international members to provide input and feedback as we work through these issues. What do we need from our members and colleagues on these four (there are many more but these happen to be the most pressing this month) issues now and in the near future?

Click here for more.More

The sequester unpacked: New animated video for you to share
NDD United, a campaign representing 3,200 organizations working to stop budget cuts to core government functions has released a video that you can use to educate policymakers, the press and the public about the disproportionate cuts non-defense discretionary programs — including employment and training, research, public health, education, public safety, housing, social services, infrastructure and environmental protection — have taken as a result of deficit reduction efforts and how these cuts will impact our daily lives.
Click here to view the 3-minute, NDD United "No More Cuts" video.
Now that you have viewed the video, please help us spread the word. You can:

  1. Forward this message and share the video with your colleagues, blogs and through social media (on Twitter use #NoMoreCuts). NDD United has created a toolkit for suggestions on how to share the video.
  2. Join us on Thursday, May 30 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET for an NDD United Twitter Storm to Tweet your Members of Congress with stories of impact, links to articles and blog posts, and to urge Congress to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction. Use #NoMoreCuts join the conversation!
  3. How are these cuts impacting your program? How will that affect your program ability to provide vital core public services? Will staff be reduced? Will those that depend on the services your program provides have less access to critical services? Will waiting lists expand? These stories are needed to help us paint a picture for policymakers, press and the public of the real world impacts these cuts will have. Share your story about the impact of the sequester on your program at!contact/ch8q.
  4. Read and share some of the recent press that NDD United has generated about sequestration:
Policymakers in Washington are beginning to accept sequestration as "the new normal." It's vital that we continue to educate policymakers and the press on the harmful impact of sequestration and encourage a balanced approach to deficit reduction to stop these cuts, once and for all. Please help us spread the word on how these cuts have real impact on real people! More

Advocacy = student success!
If you really want to make a difference, then you need to register now for the 11th Annual CASE Legislative Leadership Seminar, July 14-17. This annual seminar will reinforce the importance of one added to a strong voice. Last year 78 CASE members from 25 different states met with their senators and representatives to discuss the issues concerning students with disabilities. We need your voice. We will be at a different hotel this year — the Hilton Alexandria Old Town — just across the street from the King Street Metro Station. For more information and links to both the hotel and seminar registration, go to the CASE website.More

Let CASE post your job positions
CASE will be glad to post job positions each week — Please send to Luann Purcell, executive director by Tuesday of each week for posting the next week. It should be about a paragraph in length but you can attach a PDF document that interested persons can then click through to for more information or you can provide a URL link for the same purpose. Please indicate at what date the post should be pulled not to exceed 6 weeks.More


CEC has initiated a search for an Executive Director to replace Dr. Bruce Ramirez who will retire on June 30, 2013. His long tenure of service to CEC has been greatly admired and appreciated, and we wish him all the best as he moves into the exciting next chapter of his life. CEC's growth as the voice and vision of special education is of major importance to all of us. To ensure our ability to lead the future of our profession, we engaged a recruitment consultant to help us identify the skills, credentials, experience and characteristics needed in our new Executive Director. Click Here for the Announcement (Exhibit A) and the Job Description (Exhibit B).

The Mico University College Child Assessment and Research in Education Centre, established since 1981 to meet the needs of children requiring special education in Jamaica and the English speaking Caribbean seeks School Psychologist, and Special Educators at the graduate or doctoral level. Candidates must be able to diagnose and apply prescriptive remediation for children with learning disabilities and behavioral disorders, should have strong leadership skills with the ability to organize, train and develop and guide a clinical team. Strong research and analytical skills are also required.

For further information you may email us at

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities, a national not-for-profit organization, seeks an executive director to lead and guide activities that fulfill its mission to advance policies and practices that improve the health, education, social and economic well-being of people with developmental and other disabilities, their families and their communities by supporting its members in research, education, health and service activities. AUCD is governed by a 19-member Board of Directors that includes professionals, individuals with disabilities and family members. It has an annual budget of approximately $5 million and employs a staff of 21. For additional detailed information, click here and visit

Special education postings for La Porte Community School Corporation (Indiana) include Special Education Teacher, Community Based Teacher, Psychologist, Special Education Diagnostician and HS teacher — in some instances, the posting will indicate the date for application is passed but these positions are still open — please contact Janet Kelly, So. La Porte County Special Education Co-op 219-324-3287.

Berkshire Hills Music Academy, a private post-secondary residential school for young adults with a love of music who have learning, cognitive or developmental disabilities, is seeking a new executive director. Located in South Hadley, Mass., the academy uses a strength-based, music-infused curriculum to promote gains in self-efficacy as well as to cultivate performing arts abilities.

The executive director will lead the school, oversee staff and programs, and be responsible for fiscal health and fundraising. Requires experience working with individuals with disabilities, management and fundraising experience.

For more details, click here. Send cover, resume and salary history to Susan Egmont, Egmont Associates,

The Columbia MO Public School District is accepting applications for Special Services Teachers (K-12 Special Education certification) for the 2013-2014 school year. At this time we have several openings at the secondary level and we are actively interviewing candidates. All teaching candidates must complete a profile, attach a resumé and unofficial transcripts, and apply through the Human Resources site on the Columbia Public website:

For more information, please contact the Human Resources Department of Columbia MO Public Schools at 573 214 3400.

Needed: 2 teachers of the deaf — 1 teacher working primarily with the elementary/PK and 1 position working primarily with the middle and high school students. We are in Pasco, Washington — the "Tri City" area of south central Washington State. Candidates contact Tracy Wilson with any questions. Position is Open until filled- currently as of 5/18/13 both positions are open. We are looking for students with strong ASL skills, able to meet the Federal Highly Qualified Credentials, be eligible or willing to work on obtaining the special education credential Washington state prefers. For additional information, click here.More

Tell Congress how your preparation program helped you become a great educator
CEC Policy Insider
Did you know that policymakers in Washington are thinking about cutting funds for IDEA's Personnel Preparation Program, a leading source of financial assistance for future special education, local/state leaders, researchers and related service personnel?More

GAO releases report on test security: 40 states report allegations of educators cheating on state assessments
CEC Policy Insider
The U.S. Government Accountability Office recently conducted a nationwide study to catalog and assess the test security procedures and allegations of cheating on state administered assessments. The study was meant to determine where states were using leading practices in test security to prevent irregularities, what oversight states used in ensuring school officials are following test security procedures, how often that oversight lead to the identification of cheating, and finally, on what resources are school officials relying for assistance and what further assistance would be useful to them. More

The National Center for Education Statistics releases report: 'The Condition of Education'
CEC Policy Insider
As mandated by Congress, the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, a division of the Institute for Education Sciences, has compiled and released the 2013 edition of "The Condition of Education," which reports on statistics collected during the 2010-2011 school year. This report presents information based on 42 indicators of the condition of education, such as attainment, economic outcomes, demographics, preprimary education, enrollment, school characteristics and climate, and finance.More

Special education could face $2 billion in cuts
NBC Latino
As a new round of budget talks gets underway in Congress, special education advocates are sounding the alarm about big cuts that may be on the horizon.More

In decade's time, childhood disabilities rise 16 percent
Disability Scoop
Significantly more children have disabilities today as compared to a decade ago, largely due to increased diagnosis of neurodevelopmental and mental health conditions, researchers say. More

Up to 1 in 5 children suffer from mental disorder: CDC
Up to 20 percent of children in the United States suffer from a mental disorder, and the number of kids diagnosed with one has been rising for more than a decade, according to a report released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. More

Common Core tests in works for students with severe disabilities
Education Week
Mary Skinner-Alexander, a high school special education teacher in the Sioux Falls, S.D., district, has a student who communicates by directing his gaze at printed cards. Other students in her self-contained special education class of ninth- through 12th-graders are reading at the level of early-elementary students. And all will be expected to learn — and be tested on — academics based on the Common Core State Standards. More

ADHD: How many children are misdiagnosed?
NBC Latino
A year ago, psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg, considered to be the "scientific father of ADHD," was quoted in a last interview before his death as saying that "ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease." His comment certainly has caused an uproar not just among the medical community, but with parents, too. And this is easy to understand given that the number of children diagnosed with ADHD has seen a dramatic increase in recent years. According to this article in the World Public Union, "in the United States every tenth boy among 10-year-olds already swallows an ADHD medication on a daily basis." And the numbers are rising. In fact, the CDC recently released data from a 2011–2012 study that showed that an estimated 6.4 million children ages 4 through 17 have received an ADHD diagnosis. More

The promise of iPads for special education
The Hechinger Report
When Neil Virani walked into his middle school special education classroom at Mulholland Middle School, part of the Los Angeles Unified School district, three years ago, he encountered a roomful of students with a range of cognitive, emotional and physical challenges. But the most toxic problem they had to combat was the low expectations from the school system they'd been in since kindergarten. "All they had was coloring books and watercolors. They were not working on any academic aspects of the curriculum," he says. More

Special education could face $2 billion in cuts
Disability Scoop
As a new round of budget talks gets underway in Congress, special education advocates are sounding the alarm about big cuts that may be on the horizon. Preliminary figures from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations indicate that education programs could be slashed by nearly 20 percent for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, partly as a result of the sequester, the across-the-board spending cuts that took effect in March. Though detailed proposals have yet to be released, the Council for Exceptional Children — which lobbies on behalf of special educators — is estimating that such cuts would mean more than $2 billion less for programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. More

House committee targets education funding
eClassroom News
Republicans controlling the House of Representatives pressed ahead May 21 with a plan to slash spending on certain domestic programs — including education — far deeper than the cuts these departments already face under a painful round of automatic austerity. Military Construction/Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security and the Pentagon would be spared under the plan approved by the House Appropriations Committee on a party-line vote, but total funding for education, health, and labor programs would absorb a cut of 18 percent below fiscal year 2013 levels adopted in March. More

Public spending per student drops
The Wall Street Journal
U.S. public education spending per student fell in 2011 for the first time in more than three decades, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data. Spending for elementary and high schools across the 50 states and Washington, D.C. averaged $10,560 per pupil in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011. That was down 0.4 percent from 2010, the first drop since the bureau began collecting the data on an annual basis in 1977, the agency said. However, when you adjust the figures for inflation, this isn't the first drop on record. By that measure, spending per pupil dropped once in 1995 and hit its highest level in 2009. In inflation-adjusted terms, spending per pupil was down 4 percent in 2011 from the peakMore

How to make school funding fair
Education Week
In its final report released in February, the U.S. Department of Education's Equity and Excellence Commission issued a clear and powerful charge: Efforts to improve our school system "must start with equity" — particularly the equity of resources. To achieve this goal, the commission instructed all levels of government to improve or redesign their methods of funding schools in order to adopt truly equitable funding systems. In calling for equity in funding — which the commission defines as providing sufficient resources "distributed based on student need, not ZIP code" — the report tells policymakers the "what" of school funding reform, laying the groundwork for improving school quality. More

5 ways to increase chances of a successful 1 to1 implementation
Tech & Learning
As more and more schools hop on the 1:1 or BYOD bandwagon in one way or another it is important to deeply consider proper implementation. While there is the promise for engaged and inspired learning, these large-scale implementations also present potential pitfalls for school districts that must watch the bottom line, provide adequate support for teachers new to the technology, and engage families in a dialogue about these powerful pieces of equipment that are going to be coming home in Johnny's backpack each night. More

Schoolmates of suicide victims at higher risk
Teens who have a classmate die of suicide are more likely to consider taking, or attempt to take, their own lives, according to a new study. The idea that suicide might be "contagious" has been around for centuries, senior author Dr. Ian Colman, who studies mental health at the University of Ottawa, told Reuters Health. Past studies supported the idea, but none had looked at such a large body of students, he said. More

Study shows graphic novels add value to K-12 student learning
The Independent Voter Network
Graphic novels may have a place in the classroom as an alternative form of literature, according to researchers. Diane Lapp, distinguished professor of education at San Diego State University — along with researchers Thomas DeVere Wolsey, Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey — surveyed elementary, middle and high school teachers about the effectiveness of using graphic novels in the classroom as well as their willingness to use the material for primary instruction for their students. More

Special education best practices inspire successful expanded learning time for all students
Craig Haas, a licensed special education administrator at Edwards Middle School in Boston, writes: "In assembling the plan for expanded learning time at the Edwards Middle School, we drew inspiration from our own special education department. Too often, special education is viewed as a place or a static state, when the truth is that special education is a series of interventions, modifications, and accommodations afforded to students who are unable to access a curriculum under routine circumstances. ELT, too, is a series of interventions, and so, in applying some special education principles, we gained some valuable insights." More

Caution and the Common Core
The New York Times
The rigorous Common Core learning standards that have been adopted by 45 states represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the United States to improve public schools nationally, bringing math, science and literacy education up to levels achieved by high-performing nations abroad. The Department of Education has rightly pushed the states to jettison outmoded systems in exchange for a challenging, writing-intensive approach. But the department, which has set a rapid timetable for this transformation, will need to give the states some flexibility so that teachers — who themselves are under pressure to meet evaluation standards — can adjust to the new curriculum. More