CASE Weekly Update
Oct. 22, 2012

CASE, CEC and NEA on sequestration
Facebook I don't know about at your house but at our house the political calls are getting more frequent and more frantic. While we have stressed national issues (my apologies to our Canadian and other international members) it is also important to double check your local and state election issues for critical votes that may affect education. With so many people voting early, we do have to make sure we are informed of the intended and unintended consequences of our actions and that those who will be affected most are also informed. Dr. Deb Ziegler, assistant executive director, CEC, Policy and Advocacy Services, made me aware of a great resource from NEA on sequestration. NEA has a state by state chart on the possible effects of Sequestration. One of the articles below from the CEC Policy Insider is on sequestration. This issue has the potential to impact education and families more than any other issue right now. Do your parents of students with disabilities know about this potential cut in funds? I cannot imagine that districts will be able to absorb a 8-9 percent automatic cut in federal funds and it not impact staff, programs and services. Our parents could be a wonderful ally for us in this situation. Look at this information on your state and make sure everyone is truly aware of what in action by Congress between now and Jan. 2 will meant to our students. Be sure to go to the CASE Facebook page and write suggestions, questions, examples of how your district will be impacted. Let's get a dialogue going on Facebook.


Save the Date for the 2013 Convention & Expo
San Antonio — April 3-6

Join the Council for Exceptional Children in San Antonio for the CEC 2013 Convention & Expo — the largest professional development event dedicated to special and gifted education. There, educators from around the world will discuss the most pressing issues in special and gifted education and share information in areas such as common core state standards, administration and supervision, autism spectrum disorders, co-teaching and collaboration, policy, technology and culturally responsive interventions.

The CEC Convention & Expo offers hundreds of educational sessions conducted by leading experts and endless opportunities to network with others working with children and youth with exceptionalities and their families. Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn about new and pending legislation and explore cutting-edge products and services in the exhibit hall. Educators won’t want to miss this chance to catch up on what’s happening in the field, broaden their perspective of special education and further their professional growth.

CEC's Convention & Expo is the heart and soul of the special education community and your premier professional development event. Registration opens Oct. 17 so visit for updates.More

CASE Winter Hybrid Conference
The CASE Winter Hybrid Conference is a hybrid conference meaning you can attend in person or link up for a virtual conference from your office. The topics and presenters will be cutting edge, so don't waste any time signing up. Watch the CASE website for upcoming details.

Dates: Feb. 13-15
Location: The conference will be help at Rosen Plaza in Orlando, Fla.More

Latest presidential debate offers little detail for improving education through surrogates outline platform differences
CEC Policy Insider
President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney sparred during the recent presidential debate, sometimes offering such differing views that resulted in highly charged, emotional exchanges between the two. But when it comes to education, few details were offered to lend any additional insight into the education platforms of the two candidates, beyond what we already know.More

House democrats issue sequestrian report: 12,000 special educators face lay offs; over 500,000 students with disabilities impacted
CEC Policy Insider
In a report issued recently, democrat members of the House Appropriations Committee have illustrated the impact sequestration — the 8.2 percent across-the-board-cut to non-defense discretionary programs — will have on numerous sectors of the economy, including education.More

Education Sciences Reform Act
Council for Exceptional Children
CEC is preparing for the reauthorization of the Education Sciences Reform Act, legislation which was signed into law in 2002 and established the Institute for Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education. In 2004, the reauthorization of IDEA shifted special education research from the Office of Special Education Programs within the Department to IES, in an effort to house all education research under one entity. With this first reauthorization of ESRA, the special education community has an opportunity to evaluate how this change is working and present recommendations for changes.

To that end, CEC's Policy Team has been working closely with members of the DR Board to create draft ESRA reauthorization recommendations for review by CEC stakeholders which will be then be submitted for a Representative Assembly SharePoint discussion and then submitted to the CEC Board for approval. Click here to download the draft recommendations followed by guiding discussion questions and background information we hope you will share with your networks in an effort to gain broad-based feedback. Please provide feedback to CEC's Policy Team by Nov. 16 by email. More

Obama, Romney have different views on education
USA Today
Glance at the two presidential candidates' education plans and you may not immediately see much of a difference. Both want greater scrutiny of teacher effectiveness. Both champion privately run, but publicly funded K-12 charter schools as well as higher academic standards. Both want more high school and college graduates and a more competitive workforce. But scratch beneath the surface and a few key differences emerge. President Barack Obama has given states freedom from the sanctions of the No Child Left Behind education law, while his challenger, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney says he supports the Bush-era law and wants to reinvigorate it. More

School choice: A subject both candidates support
The right to choose the school you want your child to attend has been the subject of court battles and bitter political debates. Still, both President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney have made school choice a cornerstone of their efforts to reform public education. Romney says he wants to give every student trapped in a failing school the chance to attend a better school. He supports private-school vouchers in states where they're allowed, but his main focus is on creating more public-school choices. Romney says he'll make sure the billions of dollars the federal government spends on low-income kids goes to the schools parents choose. More

The other achievement gap: Children with learning disabilities
Education Week
Just in time for Learning Disabilities Awareness Month, a new report is out that discusses how to help more children with dyslexia become proficient readers. Without these students — who combined with other students with learning disabilities make up about 5 percent of the school-age population — schools can't overcome the achievement gap, the report notes.More

Exercise improves school performance for kids with ADHD
Medical News Today
Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may perform better in school after just 20 minutes of exercise. The finding, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, came from a team of experts at Michigan State University who have demonstrated for the first time that kids with ADHD can focus better and become less distracted after a quick session of exercise. This is significant because "inhibitory control" is the biggest struggle people with the disorder have to deal with. More

Children with ADHD find medication frees them to choose between right and wrong, study suggests
Science Codex
Children living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder tend to feel that they benefit from medication to treat the condition and do not feel that the medication turns them into "robots," according to a report. In fact, they report feeling that medication helps them to control their behavior and make better decisions. The study, which gives a voice to the children themselves, provides valuable insights into their experiences and the stigma they face. More

A little bit of extra sleep pays off big for kids
Twenty-seven minutes. That's how much extra sleep a school-aged child needs per night to be brighter and more productive the following day. According to a new study, kids who slept that extra amount each night were less impulsive, less easily distracted, and less likely to have temper tantrums or cry often and easily. By contrast, losing just shy of an hour's worth of sleep had the opposite effects on behavior and mood. More

Preventing childhood and adolescent suicide
Medical News Today
Suicide in children and adolescents has long been a matter of great concern to modern society, particularly for clinicians who deal with mental health problems of children and adolescents. For instance, in 1910 the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society with Sigmund Freud among the attending experts held a conference, dealing with what was perceived to be a growing epidemic of youth suicide. At the beginning of the 21st century, suicide and suicide attempts by children and adolescents continue to be a major public health problem, and topical research and surveys have clearly highlighted suicide as one of the commonest causes of death among young people. More

10 important questions to ask before using iPads in class
When it comes to deciding how or whether to use iPads, schools typically focus on budget issues, apps, networking logistics, check-in and check-out procedures, school and district tech-use policies, hardware precautions and aspects of classroom management. But it's also important to think about instructional use. More

Schools see gains from positive behavior approach
Disability Scoop
A first-of-its-kind study looking at a widely-used program designed to improve behavior finds that the strategy is proving effective for students with and without disabilities. Researchers at Johns Hopkins compared the experiences of students at 21 schools using the program known as School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, or SWPBIS, to kids at 16 schools that did not use the program over four years. They found that there were significant improvements in behavior, concentration, social-emotional functioning and pro-social behaviors at schools using the method. More

Special education concerns emerge with online learning
Disability Scoop
As schools increasingly turn to online classes, a group tasked with investigating the impact on students with disabilities is raising some serious concerns. In an open letter, officials with the federally-funded Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities say that there are a number of unknowns with this emerging technology. Specifically, they say that online learning is plagued with inconsistent policies, questionable teacher training requirements and accessibility problems, among other issues. More

Bandwidth demands rise as schools move to Common Core
Education Week
From the outside, experts, advocates and government agencies appear to be placing more than enough attention on schools' growing demand for better Internet connectivity. As one example, promoting and facilitating projects to bring more broadband Web access to schools and libraries has been a major focus of the Federal Communications Commission during the more than three years Julius Genachowski has served as FCC chairman. More

IES to seed new methods for studying schools
Education Week
It can be tough to translate evidence into action in education research. A principal or superintendent might sift through academic journals or vendors' pamphlets for an effective reading program, but even a seal of approval from the federal What Works Clearinghouse is no guarantee that what helped students in one district will be successful with another. To better inform that knowledge base, the Institute of Education Sciences is crafting a new research program, called "continuous improvement research in education," to go beyond "what works" and add more context to education findings. More