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CASE = Your voice!
Maintenance of Effort has been a discussion point with many of our states over the last 5 years. The issues with the economy has complicated an already complex subject. As with so many special education issues, there is a gentle balance in determining the solution! The CASE Policy and Legislative Committee looked very carefully at the proposed clarifications offered by the Department, considered the previous discussions held on the topic by the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, various subdivisions and other associations. The result was a very thoughtful and concise document that was submitted to the Department prior to the Dec. 10 deadline. The document has been on the CASE website for this past week but you can also download it by clicking here. The committee realized during the development of the document that MOE is going to continue to be an issue and some of the concerns will need to be addressed in the IDEA Reauthorization. As the committee continues to work on the IDEA Reauthorization recommendations, MOE will also be addressed. Please read the letter carefully and offer your feedback/input to Policy and Legislative Chair, Phyllis Wolfram (MO) on this and any other legislative issue.

Another big issue that came up this past week was the Bipartisan Budget Act 2013. While this compromise bill still has several hoops to go through and may not solve all of the problems, it is a great step in the right direction. CASE has been a part of a 3200 member coalition to work to protect the interests of those who need the most support in times of severe budget cuts. The Non Defense Discretionary United (NDD United) coalition has provided several resources last week. CASE sent out an eBlast with these resources. Click here to download the letter to Congress and click here to go to the NND United website where additional resources, including the November publication The Face Of Austerity: How Budget Cuts Have Made U.S. Sicker, Poorer, and Less Secure. Your CASE leadership is working with CEC and our legislative consultant, Myrna Mandlawitz, to develop a letter to send to Congress to urge them to maintain the funding for IDEA as they consider the BBA 2013 and if it passes, the designation of funds. Watch the CASE Facebook page for fast breaking information and the website for long term resources.

For many of you, this will be your last week of work before the holidays. Robin and I would like to wish you all a very safe, happy, and warm holiday season. You deserve a break and hopefully you will be able to pull yourself away from your computer/office/cellphone and reflect on your many blessings and happiness with your family and friends! You make a difference in so many peoples' lives — you need to take a deep breath so you can continue this important work in 2014!


Luann Purcell
Executive Director
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  Are your struggling readers prepared for
college and career?

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Next Generation is the best solution to prepare your students for the rigorous expectations of the Common Core. Only READ 180 delivers a personalized learning path, daily practice in argument writing, hundreds of content-rich texts, and an individualized staircase of text complexity. Learn more

CASE Third Annual
2014 Winter Hybrid Conference
Feb. 24-26
Orlando, Fla.
Rosen Plaza Hotel or Virtual

Each Day will be a self contained workshop
  • Focus on Measuring and Evaluating Teacher/Staff Effectiveness
  • Impact of Common Core, Essential Elements and New Assessments
  • Public Education: How Will It Survive
Presenters will be Cutting Edge
    Dr. Mary Brownell, CEEDAR Center, University of Florida; Dr. Stevan Kukic, NCLD; Dr. Rick Melmer, CCSSO/SDBOR/MCEC; Audra Ahumada, Alternate Assessment Director, AZ DOE; Dr. Lynn Holdheide, CEEDAR/AIR; Dr. Joanne Cashman, Director IDEA Partnership; Lindsay Jones, NCLD; Matt Clifford, AIR; Katie Hornung, AIR ; Others to be added as confirmed.
This will be a HYBRID Conference
  • Attend in person OR link up for a virtual conference from your location
  • Price is per site so invite as many others to join you as you wish for the same price
  • Purchase the CD-ROM and it is for your use as often as you wish!
  • Practical Help & Resources provided to all Virtual Sites
  • Special Communication Links between Virtual Sites and On Site participants/speakers
To Register: go to or

Conference Hotel:
Rosen Plaza, 9700 International Drive
Orlando, Florida 32819
Group Rate- $119
To get the group rate click here.

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Special Education Symposium — July 21-25
The Bresnahan-Halstead Center
The Bresnahan-Halstead Center at the University of Northern Colorado is sponsoring a week long Special Education Symposium the week of July 21-25 at the Lion Square Lodge in beautiful Vail, Colorado. Participants in the Symposium will have the opportunity to hear and interact with Don Deshler, Steve Kukic, Beth Harry, Michael Epstein, and Harvey Rude who address the topic of: "Instructional Excellence for Improving Learner Outcomes." Session attendees will walk away with an action plan to apply innovative strategies that work, and produce the outcomes of results and learning for individual learners, including those with disabilities. To receive additional information, please contact Bresnahan-Halstead Center Business Manager, Lorae Blum at or visit our website at:
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FIEP training to be offered in February
Sponsored by Drexel University, join special education attorney Julie Weatherly and Key2Ed on Feb. 19-20 in Philadelphia for a unique two-day Conference on IEP Facilitation and its legal benefits in a small, interactive learning environment. The U.S. Department of Education has recognized IEP meeting facilitation as best practice through CADRE, and the American Association of School Administrators has recently proposed that the mandatory use of FIEP be included in the next Reauthorization of the IDEA.

Conference participants will receive intensive training in the mechanics of IEP facilitation, along with the opportunity to pose legal questions related to the IEP process and how FIEP can assist in avoiding special education legal disputes. Specifically, this conference will focus on how to:
  • Prevent conflict at IEP meetings
  • Manage strong emotions from team members
  • Have productive and meaningful dialogue focused on the student
  • Keep all team members focused on IEP meeting content
  • Use an effective and legally compliant IEP agenda, and group behavior norms to manage the content of the meeting
  • Avoid legal disputes by using facilitative behaviors and processes

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The Viscardi Center announces call for nominations to honor distinguished leaders of the disability community
The Viscardi Center via CASE
The Viscardi Center issued a Call for Nominations for the Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards, which pay tribute to exemplary leaders in the disability community who have had a profound impact on shaping attitudes, raising awareness and improving the quality of life of people with disabilities. The Award recipients will be announced on Monday, May 5, 2014.
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Job Posting

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 six weeks.
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  A New Solution for Creating Effective Behavior Interventions

Using the tool’s guided-process, quickly create accurate, effective Proactive Strategies, Replacement Behaviors, and Reactive Strategies to help meet IEP goals.

  • Assess Problem Behaviors
  • Implement Behavior Plans
  • Track Progress

    Monarch Teaching Technologies, Inc. is based in Shaker Heights Ohio and produces VizZle®: visual learning software ( MTT is a rapidly growing for-profit startup affiliated with a well-established $50M not-for-profit. VizZle is an easy to use tool for teachers to create visual learning supports for students with Autism and other special learning needs.

    For more information click here.

    South Central Community Services Inc.
    Under the direct supervision of the Day Treatment Site Supervisor, the Teacher adopts the major responsibility for the academic learning, social and emotional growth of students. This includes the use of teaching techniques and tools which stimulate an interest in learning and covering the basic academic

    For more information click here.

    The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Education Division, Office of VSA and Accessibility, seeks a special education professional to be a catalyst for improving arts education for students with disabilities and students in special education. The person in this position will be expected to have and maintain an expertise and in-depth knowledge of education and special education policy and practice; the field of disability; and arts education, special education, inclusion, differentiated learning and universal design for learning. They will be responsible for executing VSA's 2014 Intersections: Arts and Special Education conference.

    For more information, as well as instructions on how to apply please go to: The position opened on September 14, 2013 and will remain open until filled.

    Council for Exceptional Children
    The Council for Exceptional Children invites applications for the editor of its peer reviewed, practitioner-oriented journal, TEACHING Exceptional Children. Applications from co-editors also will be accepted. Designed for special education professionals, TEC links research and practice, showing the application of research to special education classroom and administrative activities and decisions.

    To receive application instructions: Send an email to Please include your full name, current position and preferred phone number.

    Corning-Painted Post Area School District
    Position description: Supervises and coordinates programs that serve children with special needs; including special education, tutorial and enrichment programs. Coordinates the district health services and student screening programs. Implements the district guidance plan. Shares supervision with building administrators of district special education teachers, speech therapists, school-nurse teachers, guidance counselors, school psychologists and teachers in the enrichment programs.

    For more information click here.

    C8 Sciences, one of the fastest-growing brain research companies in the world, is seeking an inside sales consultant to help implement our researched based programs into the education and healthcare markets. This position has six-figure earnings potential, full benefit package, extensive training program and great working culture for the right candidate.

    For more information click here.

    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

    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,

    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        More than 1 in 10 kids diagnosed with ADHD (Disability Scoop)
    Seclusion rooms used 23,000 times in Connecticut schools (WVIT-TV)
    Is it better to have a great teacher or a small class? (The Atlantic)
    Which states are most vulnerable to K-12 sequester cuts? (Education Week)
    Science says: Here's how to reach every student brain (eSchool News)

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

    CEC Policy Insider

    CEC calls bipartisan budget deal a positive step; Temporarily suspends sequestration
    CEC Policy Insider
    After weeks of negotiations, a bipartisan group of lawmakers from the House and Senate have unveiled a budget proposal that would reduce the deficit while also staving off future cuts due to sequestration for the next two years. Over the last year, sequestration — the 5 percent across-the-board cut to federal programs — resulted in over $600 million cut from federal special education programs.
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    CEC calls on US Department of Education to clarify maintenance of effort requirements
    CEC Policy Insider
    Even in difficult budget times, school districts are required to keep funding intact for students with disabilities through a federal requirement called "maintenance of effort" (MOE, for short). While the law does allow for a few instances when a school district can reduce funding for special education — for example, if special education personnel retire or a high-cost program is no longer needed — the U.S. Department of Education has said that 40 percent of states are misinterpreting MOE.
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    Special educators strained by budget cuts
    Disability Scoop
    Budget cuts are forcing larger class sizes, bigger case loads and leaving schools with too few staff to meet the needs of students with disabilities, special educators say. In a survey of over 1,000 special education teachers, administrators and other professionals across the country, more than 80 percent reported that budget cuts have impacted the delivery of services for kids with disabilities.

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    'Mainstreaming' special education students needs debate
    The Wall Street Journal
    Americans tend to be a vocal people, sharing their views about almost any issue in the public sphere loudly and frequently.

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    read more
    E-readers can make reading easier for those with dyslexia
    Smithsonian via Science Daily
    As e-readers grow in popularity as convenient alternatives to traditional books, researchers at the Smithsonian have found that convenience may not be their only benefit.

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    Hot Topics

    Dyslexia linked to brain communication breakdown
    Scientific American
    Dyslexia may be caused by impaired connections between auditory and speech centers of the brain, according to a study published in Science. The research could help to resolve conflicting theories about the root causes of the disorder, and lead to targeted interventions. When people learn to read, their brains make connections between written symbols and components of spoken words. But people with dyslexia seem to have difficulty identifying and manipulating the speech sounds to be linked to written symbols. Researchers have long debated whether the underlying representations of these sounds are disrupted in the dyslexic brain, or whether they are intact but language-processing centers are simply unable to access them properly.
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    US achievement stalls as other nations make gains
    Education Week
    U.S. performance in reading, math, and science has remained stagnant since 2009 as other nations have plowed ahead, according to new results from a prominent international assessment. Nineteen countries and education systems scored higher than the United States in reading on the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, up from nine systems when the test was last administered in 2009. Germany and Poland, for instance, have seen steady gains on the reading assessment over time, and are now ahead of the United States.
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    What happens when parents decide to opt-out of standardized tests?
    Ten years into the No Child Left Behind accountability standards, the backlash is gaining momentum. In New York, a growing number of parents are discovering that, as state standardized tests become a prominent part of the curriculum, their children are losing interest in school. This discovery is leading many of them to opt out of the tests altogether. But if a critical mass of parents decide that they don't buy into state mandated assessments, what will happen to the school system? Robert Kolker explores the consequences in New York City in a recent article for New York Magazine.
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    Inclusion on 'Nation's Report Card' goes up, but achievement gaps stay wide
    Education Week
    Despite the attention that Maryland is drawing for excluding high percentages of students with disabilities and English language learners from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, nationwide, higher percentages than ever of students in those categories are being tested, according to stats presented at a Dec. 6 meeting of the board that sets policy for the assessment. In 2010, the National Assessment Governing Board, set a goal to assess 95 percent of all students selected to participate in the test, which measures fourth and eighth grade students every two years on reading and math. (Students are also tested on periodically on other subjects.) For students with disabilities and students learning English, the goal was to test 85 percent of those selected to participate.
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    Special educators strained by budget cuts
    Disability Scoop
    Budget cuts are forcing larger class sizes, bigger case loads and leaving schools with too few staff to meet the needs of students with disabilities, special educators say. In a survey of over 1,000 special education teachers, administrators and other professionals across the country, more than 80 percent reported that budget cuts have impacted the delivery of services for kids with disabilities. Just as many said that such cutbacks have left "too few personnel to meet the needs of students with disabilities" in their school districts.
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    Survey: Common Core needs dominate districts' curriculum priorities
    Education Week
    As districts implement the Common Core State Standards, 68 percent plan to purchase new instructional materials — an increase from 62 percent two years ago, according to a survey by MDR, a provider of marketing information and services for education. The potential market size of purchasing Common Core materials is 7,600 district buyers, according to the survey, which will be included in MDR's EdNET Insight State of the K-12 Market 2013. This four-part report will be available in its entirety later in December. In the meantime, MDR, which is based in Shelton, Conn., shared a portion of the report's results with Education Week.
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    In the News

    What response is needed to combat cyberbullying?
    The Christian Science Monitor
    Two Florida girls who allegedly harassed and bullied 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick before she committed suicide last month were arrested on felony charges of aggravated stalking. The girls, who are 12 and 14 years old, are accused of threatening to beat Rebecca up and sending her messages encouraging her to kill herself. "Drink bleach and die," one of the messages reportedly said. Authorities have been investigating the harassment since Rebecca jumped to her death last month. They've said as many as 15 girls may have been involved in the online bullying that they believe was a factor in her suicide.
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    How to get students to love reading
    Reading is one of the major foundations of any student's studies. In any subject — including math — understanding how to read and being able to comprehend words on a page is a make or break in academics and in life more generally. Some kids take to reading naturally, and you'll find them with their nose in a book at any given time and nearly every time you turn around. Others don't take to it quite as naturally, though they'll eventually get into it, and others feel the same about reading as they feel about going to the dentist.
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    The right to read: Suing a state for better teaching
    Center for American Progress
    The research is irrefutable: Children who don't learn to read proficiently by the third grade face nearly insurmountable challenges not only in their next decade of schooling but also into their adult lives. The mounting evidence clearly linking the ability to read well in the early grades to future success has, over the past few years, prompted a number of states to consider and enact legislation to require the retention of students who cannot read at grade level in the third grade and the intervention of special instruction and support to raise their reading achievement.
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    Could these new standards work better than Common Core?
    eSchool News
    Imagine this "unicorn" scenario in education: You take an entire subject–one whose mastery could push the country to the forefront of innovation — and spend years doing nothing but perfecting its standards and assessments with absolutely no looming deadlines or high-stakes requirements. Be prepared to believe, educators, because this scenario is real, and it's happening with new science standards. In a recent webinar hosted by the Alliance for Excellent Education, "Scientific Assessments: Innovations in the next generation of state assessments," noted state education leaders described the enormous potential the Next Generation Science Standards could have for states and how assessments may be developed from these standards.
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    Age of distraction: Why it's crucial for students to learn to focus
    Digital classroom tools like computers, tablets and smartphones offer exciting opportunities to deepen learning through creativity, collaboration and connection, but those very devices can also be distracting to students. Similarly, parents complain that when students are required to complete homework assignments online, it’s a challenge for students to remain on task. The ubiquity of digital technology in all realms of life isn’t going away, but if students don’t learn how to concentrate and shut out distractions, research shows they’ll have a much harder time succeeding in almost every area.
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    Los Angeles Unified accuses state of 'shortchanging' needy students
    Los Angeles Times
    Los Angeles Unified accused state education officials of "shortchanging" the school district's impoverished students, saying they could be prevented from receiving all of the estimated $200 million due them under a new school funding system. Edgar Zazueta, L.A. Unified's chief lobbyist, said new rules requiring school districts to verify each needy student's family income in order to receive extra state dollars for them could result in a major undercount. So far, the district has received only 22 percent of the 138,000 verification forms sent out last month to students in 380 low-income schools, he said, with the initial deadline looming.
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    CASE Weekly Update
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