The LD Source
Feb. 12, 2015

Questions surround vouchers for students with disabilities
Disability Scoop
Some students with disabilities may get a chance to leave the public school system here — but advocates and parents aren't sure it will improve their education. Lawmakers in Mississippi will soon debate a bill to give special education students vouchers for private schools, which supporters say will boost their options and opportunities. Opponents, though, say vouchers will simply send students with disabilities to ill-equipped, unregulated schools and ultimately absolve the state of responsibility for some 54,000 students with disabilities.More

The power of observation
By: Pamela Hill
How do we know that a student is learning? What behaviors must they demonstrate for the teacher to draw the conclusion that the student has learned? Who determines learning? The teacher, the curriculum and the standards do. The current measure of learning is assessment. The student must indicate what they know by answering questions in a test format. However, there is a piece missing that is important to determine if a student has learned and is learning.More

Early childhood programs found to significantly lower likelihood of special education placements in third grade
AERA via Science Daily
Access to state-supported early childhood programs significantly reduces the likelihood that children will be placed in special education in the third grade, academically benefiting students and resulting in considerable cost savings to school districts, according to new research published today in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association.More

ESEA would see $2.7 billion increase under FY 2016 budget
eSchool News
President Barack Obama's FY 2016 budget request includes four focus areas for education, including increasing equity and opportunity for all students; expanding high-quality early learning programs; supporting teachers and school leaders; and improving access, affordability and student outcomes in postsecondary education. Education Technology State Grants would receive $200 million to support models that use technology to help teachers improve instruction and personalize learning for students.More

Red flags raised on plan to let Title I aid follow students
Education Week
Education groups are fighting a proposal on Capitol Hill that would allow federal funding to follow disadvantaged students to the public schools of their choice — an idea that school district advocates see as a pit stop on the highway to Voucherville. The policy — known as "Title I portability" — is included in a draft bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act introduced by U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate education committee.More

Study looks to tap strengths of ADHD students
Medical Xpress
People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, some studies suggest, are more creative and more willing to take risks. Those traits are exactly what the field of engineering needs, say a team of researchers, but the traditional model of teaching is driving away potential pioneers in the field. With funding from the Research in Engineering Education, a program of the National Science Foundation, they're embarking on a study designed to find a better way to teach these students.More

The toxic threat lurking inside school buses
We've all inhaled sickening exhaust fumes when driving behind a diesel school bus. But those fumes can also get sucked inside the bus, exposing children to high levels of pollution. Riding such "leaky" older school buses can lead to respiratory illnesses and even cancer, which is why the Utah legislature is considering legislation to replace 450 of the worst-polluting buses in its 2,500-vehicle fleet.More

Final testing count: More than half of students will take non-consortium exams
Education Week
More than half of the students in the country live in states that will not be using the PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessments this year. As you can see from EdWeek's updated chart below, 51 percent of students live in states that will be testing the common core — or whatever standards they chose — with tests designed for them, or purchased off the shelf. More than one-quarter of U.S. students live in states that will be using the Smarter Balanced assessment to gauge mastery of English/language arts and mathematics; 18 percent are in states using PARCC.More

Pregame analysis: The coming federal education debate
The main federal education law may finally get its long-overdue makeover in Congress this year, and we're going to be hearing and reading a lot about it. Formally, it's the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA. The last time it got a major overhaul was in 2001, with President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act. But nothing much has been done with the law since 2007. If Congress does finally get to it this year, What can we expect?More

Lawmaker calls for more teacher training, resources to help students with dyslexia
Deseret News
Natalie Pollard couldn't understand why her son, Aran, was having an especially hard time learning to read in first grade. Aran had a good teacher. He had supplemental instruction. He studied long hours after school with his mother. But his progress was slim. In fact, many times he seemed to be losing ground. "I was at a loss as to what to do," Pollard said. The summer before Aran entered second grade, the Pollard family met a dyslexia eduction specialist who had moved into their Layton neighborhood. Not long after, an answer emerged: Aran had moderate dyslexia.More

Energy drinks significantly increase hyperactivity in schoolchildren, study finds
Yale University via Science Daily
Middle-school children who consume heavily sweetened energy drinks are 66 percent more likely to be at risk for hyperactivity and inattention symptoms, a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health has found. The finding has implications for school success and lends support to existing recommendations to limit the amount of sweetened beverages schoolchildren drink. The authors also recommend that children avoid energy drinks, which in addition to high levels of sugar also often contain caffeine. The study is published in the journal Academic Pediatrics.More

8 steps to combat the bullying epidemic
October was National Bullying Prevention Month in the U.S. But shouldn't every month be bullying prevention month? Shouldn't we do more about this problem — this epidemic — than raise awareness about it during one month out of 12?More