CASE Weekly Update
Aug. 25, 2014

CASE needs you!
CASE has amazing committees. The backbone of CASE is our volunteer base. A big part of that base is our committee structure. All of our committees are important and have creative, hardworking, competent members. Maybe you would like to be considered to serve on one of our committees. Click here for a committee volunteer form to complete and send back to me. We always have a list so our chairs can look at it when they have a vacancy. Our Research Committee, chaired by Dr. Barbara Pazey (TX) has already been working hard and want to know more from you our members what types of research you would like to see them work on for the next two years. In one of my favorite TED Videos, Heidi Jacob Hayes, says research means "to look again!" What are some of the topics or issues you think our Research committee needs to look at again! Click here to take a quick survey to give them your ideas on what direction they need to be pursuing!

Speaking of you ... We need as many CASE members as possible to join us in San Antonio for our 25th annual fall conference! Our early bird registration will be up this week at but it will be for a very limited time so register now for these great savings!

We will be at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio which is located on the amazing River Walk. The group room rate of $139 is one you will not want to pass up! Click here for the hotel registration which is good through Oct. 19. See you in San Antonio!


Luann Purcell
Executive DirectorMore

In need of light reading? Check out CEC's Congressional Recess Packet

Right now, your members of Congress are at home on recess meeting with their constituents.

As CEC advocates, the time to take action is now!

Your mission is simple: schedule meetings with your elected officials at their district office before Congress reconvenes September 8th. With Congress expected to take action on education funding, now is the time to meet with your Congressional delegation!

To assist you, CEC has put together a Congressional Recess Packet containing all the information you need to help in setting and holding your meetings:

Read the CEC Congressional Recess Packet here.More

Special discount offer to CASE members!
CASE is a national outreach partner on the Who Cares About Kelsey? film and education project. CASE members can receive a 50 percent discount on the Who Cares About Kelsey? Education DVD Kit, which contains the film, 11 mini-films and extensive educational materials. Who Cares About Kelsey? documents the lives of students with emotional/behavioral challenges, and shows innovative educational approaches that help these students to succeed — while improving the overall school culture and climate. All films included in the Project are directed by Dan Habib (creator of Including Samuel). To learn more and to purchase the Kit, go to To receive your 50 percent discount, please use the coupon code: Fledgling50. This opportunity is made possible by a grant to the Who Cares About Kelsey? project from the Fledgling Foundation, and will last only until the first 200 discount coupons are utilized. More

Have you filled all your vacancies yet?
If you haven't visited the CASE interactive job board at the CASE Career Center, now is a good time to do so! With its focus on special education administrators and professionals, the CASE Career Center offers members, and school districts, a highly targeted resource for online recruitment. Both members and nonmembers can use the CASE Career Center to reach qualified candidates. Employers can post jobs online, search for qualified candidates based on specific job criteria, and create an online resume agent to email qualified candidates daily. They also benefit from online reporting providing job activity statistics to track each job posting's return on investment.

For job seekers, CASE Career Center is a free service providing access to employers and jobs in education. In addition to posting their resumes, job seekers can browse or view jobs based on the criteria they find matches their goals best. Job seekers can also post confidentially with confidence or search anonymously by creating a Job Agent. Job Agents notify job seekers via email when jobs matching their criteria are posted eliminating the need to visit their online accounts daily to track new postings. Click here to go to the main site to either learn of new jobs, post your resume, or post your positions. There is a modest fee for posting positions on the site but we believe you will have a greater reach with this dedicated career center on our website — click here to become a job poster. More

Free access to the Life Centered Education rransition curriculum and assessment
As a special education administrator, you want the best outcomes for your students. Here's a chance for your teachers to gain free trial access to the Council for Exceptional Children's Web-based transition planning curriculum and assessment, Life Centered Education. Developed by a group of 18 authors, LCE is an evidence-based, nationally-normed curriculum designed to build real-life skills in daily living, self-determination, and employment working with students in middle school and high school. LCE contains over 450 assessment items and 1200 lesson plans aligned with the Common Core State Standards. To sign up for a free trial to LCE, please send an email to Anu Prabhala at The free trial starts right away and allows you try out both the teacher and student portal of LCE.More

Center for Technology Implementation
We're excited to share our news about PowerUp WHAT WORKS (, developed by the Center for Technology Implementation at the American Institutes for Research. PowerUp WHAT WORKS is a free professional learning website that offers teachers, PD facilitators, and administrators' resources for helping struggling students, especially those with disabilities, meet the Common Core State Standards. The focus is on linking evidence-based practices and technology in English language arts and math. 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

Kids In Need Foundation announces Dollar General Literacy Foundation
The Kids In Need Foundation
The Kids In Need Foundation, a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free school supplies to economically-disadvantaged school children and under-funded teachers, is pleased to announce grants sponsorship by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to improve preK to 12th grade students' reading levels.More

New white paper: Getting to the Core of the Common Core
To equip special educators to take on the Common Core State Standards, PresenceLearning has released a new whitepaper. "Getting to the Core of the Common Core," the latest addition to PresenceLearning's growing library of resources, provides information about how educators can help students attain the foundational oral language skills needed to successfully to meet the CCSS. More

The Kids In Need Foundation announces 2014 Teacher Grants Program with National Sponsor: Jo-Ann
Kids In Need Foundation's
For the seventh year, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores is sponsoring the Kids In Need Foundation's teacher grant program. Certified teachers in the US can apply for these grants online at from July 15 - Sept. 30. More

Is regular exercise the best treatment for ADHD?
By: Denise A. Valenti
As summer winds to a close, the long days of playing, running, swimming and biking cease and are replaced by hours of sitting at a desk, eyes ahead. For some children this is problematic, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is common among children of school age. The causes of ADHD are not known, but studies looking into how genetics, environment, social surroundings, nutrition and brain injury contribute to the process. Another line of research is the relationship of physical activity to the symptoms of ADHD.More

Developmental disorders more common than a decade ago
Disability Scoop
The number of children with disabilities is on the rise, largely due to growth in incidence of mental and developmental disorders, researchers say. A new analysis in the journal Pediatrics finds that between 2001 and 2011, there was a 16 percent increase in the number of kids with disabilities. Though children living in poverty remain more likely to have disabilities, the study found that the greatest increase in diagnoses was seen among children from wealthier families. For the study, researchers looked at data on nearly 200,000 kids from the National Health Interview Survey — a routine government poll of parents with children up to age 17 — collected between 2001 and 2011. More

Do you know a child who struggles to make friends?
Psychology Today
Do you have a student in your school or classroom that struggles to connect with his peers? Is your own child frequently on the receiving end of cruelty at the hands of classmates or "friends?" We know that young people who lack social support are particularly vulnerable to being bullied. What can we do then, as professionals and as parents, to teach our kids the skills they need to make positive friendships and maintain nurturing peer relationships? More

How children's brains memorize math facts
Stanford University Medical Center via Science Daily
As children learn basic arithmetic, they gradually switch from solving problems by counting on their fingers to pulling facts from memory. The shift comes more easily for some kids than for others, but no one knows why. Now, new brain-imaging research gives the first evidence drawn from a longitudinal study to explain how the brain reorganizes itself as children learn math facts. More

NCLB waivers: The twists, turns and terms to know
Education Week
The Obama administration first offered No Child Left Behind Act waivers to states back in 2011. Since then, there have been numerous changes and variations to the coveted flexibility. This interactive timeline tracks those twists and turns. More

US education: How we got where we are today
The Christian Science Monitor
On the last day of school in June, principal Aurelia Curtis was harried. An auditorium full of teachers was waiting for her. But instead of congratulating them on a good year and sending off three retiring staff members, she was in her office signing the last of the 742 teacher evaluation forms for her staff of nearly 150 that she had to finish by an end-of-year deadline. Curtis, a stern but beloved leader who shares her name with Curtis High School here in Staten Island, New York, where she began her career 30 years ago, spends more time these days filling out intensive teacher evaluations required by the state than she does talking to her teachers. Or that's how it often feels. More

Study finds levels of toxic flame retardants 5 times higher in toddlers
Safer Chemicals
When the PBDE fire retardant phase-out began ten years ago, we hoped that manufacturers would replace them with safer alternatives. That didn't happen. Tests published earlier this month by myself and other scientists at the Environmental Working Group and Duke University detected a biomarker indicating that all 26 children in our study had been exposed to a fire retardant called TDCIPP, linked to cancer and endocrine disruption. Their level of exposure was nearly five times the average level found in their mothers. In the most extreme case, a child had 23 times the level of the mother. More

Teaching is not a business
The New York Times
Today's education reformers believe that schools are broken and that business can supply the remedy. Some place their faith in the idea of competition. Others embrace disruptive innovation, mainly through online learning. Both camps share the belief that the solution resides in the impersonal, whether it's the invisible hand of the market or the transformative power of technology. Neither strategy has lived up to its hype, and with good reason. It's impossible to improve education by doing an end run around inherently complicated and messy human relationships. More

Why Los Angeles sends failing students on to the next grade
The Hechinger Report
When Alberto Cortes was held back in fourth grade because of low math skills, he thought his world had come to an end. "The first day of going back to fourth grade, I see all my friends with new teachers there in fifth grade," Cortes said. "I started crying because I had to do fourth grade again and they got to go to middle school." At first the humiliation and embarrassment of retention motivated Cortes to try hard in his classes. But by seventh grade, he was smoking and doing graffiti to impress kids and shed his reputation as the "dumb" older kid. More

Study: Learning a musical instrument boosts language, reading skills
PBS Newshour
Learning to sing or play a musical instrument can improve language and reading skills of disadvantaged children, according to a new study released Friday. Nina Kraus, PhD, a neurobiologist at Northwestern University, found that musical training has an impact in strengthening neural functions as well as a connection with sound and reading of children in impoverished areas. Her previous research focused on the impact of music lessons on children of the middle or upper class. This study, which is being presented to the American Psychological Association, included hundreds of students in Los Angeles and Chicago public schools with about 50 percent dropout rates. More

Games: The new learning experience
eSchool News
It seems you can't go anywhere in the education world without hearing about game-based learning. At its core, game-based learning connects learning and meaning to content to give students an intrinsic learning experience, in which the games elevate the content in a meaningful and engaging way. Games are particularly effective learning tools because they give students open-ended environments in which to explore, play and create. More

Developmental disorders more common than a decade ago
Disability Scoop
The number of children with disabilities is on the rise, largely due to growth in incidence of mental and developmental disorders, researchers say. More

Does the way a classroom is decorated affect learning?
The New York Times
A new study tries to determine whether there might be a correlation between how a room is decorated and kindergartners' learning. The researchers wanted to know if too many decorations could actually be distracting or overstimulating for young minds.More

Study finds reading possible despite low IQ
Disability Scoop
For students with intellectual disability, functional skills are often prioritized over academics, but a new study finds that children with low IQ are capable of learning to read. More