The LD Source
Feb. 14, 2013

Education chief says rule waivers free up funds for states
By waiving certain requirements in the education law known as No Child Left Behind, the U.S. government has been able to send some states an additional $2.8 billion in total for schools, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said at a Senate hearing. "We've tried to free almost $3 billion in ... money under No Child Left Behind that was prescribed by Washington," he told the Education Committee.More

'Library' lets teachers test aids for special needs kids
ThisWeek Community News
Equipment needs for disabled students range from something as simple as a highlighter to a complex augmented-speech device. The Community Foundation of Delaware County has provided a $70,000 grant to the Delaware City School District to lend a hand with these needs. One of the projects is to create an assistive equipment lending library that will enable teachers to try out different pieces of equipment to see which item is necessary for their students with special needs.More

Common Core technology requirements outlined
Education Week
One of the two consortia designing tests for the Common Core State Standards recently released new guidance on the minimum technology standards states will need to meet to give those tests, beginning in 2014-2015. The Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, says the guidance is meant to provide direction to states and districts on the extent to which current technology meets testing standards, or whether upgrades will be required.More

Obama warns of cuts to special education
Disability Scoop
The White House is urging Congress to take action to avert a series of deep spending cuts expected to impact special education and other disability-related programs within weeks. President Barack Obama is calling on lawmakers to pass a short-term budget deal to stall the automatic spending cuts scheduled to impact nearly all government programs come March 1. At that point, across-the-board cutbacks totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years are expected under a process known as sequestration that was triggered when Congress failed to reach a budget deal in 2011.More

Duncan to Congress: Giving states flexibility is working
U.S. Department of Education
Secretary Arne Duncan testified on Capitol Hill Thursday during a hearing on ESEA flexibility. Official Department of Education photo by Leslie Williams. States and their schools are breaking free from the restrictions of No Child Left Behind and pursuing new and better ways to prepare and protect all students, Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a Senate committee.More

Jacksonville, Fla., superintendent opens up about his own dyslexia
He's a new face in Jacksonville, a prominent local leader, a Harvard grad with a Ph.D. He has the golden resume. But his background might surprise you. In fact, his openness about his own struggles in school might surprise you even more. However, Dr. Nikolai Vitti has decided — along with his wife, Rachel — to plunge full force into making changes in the Duval, Fla., school system when it comes to identifying and helping children with dyslexia or any learning disability.More

Warning signs and help with dyslexia
First Coast News
Experts on learning disabilities say the numbers are hard to pin down, but 14-20 percent of children and adults may have dyslexia. It's so often undetected that stats are difficult. However, with early intervention a child can learn to overcome the challenges and succeed, in fact, succeed with great promise. According to Dr. Gayle Cane with Duval County Schools in Florida, dyslexics are typically very bright. Cane's own son and mother are dyslexic. She's worked, she says, with 1,000's of dyslexic students.More

Anxious about tests? Tips to ease students angst
As any parent or teacher knows, tests can create crippling anxiety in students — and anxious kids can perform below their true abilities. But new research in cognitive science and psychology is giving us a clearer understanding of the link between stress and performance, and allowing experts to develop specific strategies for helping kids manage their fears. These potential solutions are reasonably simple, inexpensive and, as recent studies show, effective. Some work for a broad range of students, while others target specific groups. Yet they're unfamiliar to many teachers and parents, who remain unaware that test anxiety can be so easily relieved.More

Holding states and schools accountable
The New York Times
As Congress contemplates rewriting No Child Left Behind, President George W. Bush's signature education law, legislators will tussle over a vision of how the federal government should hold states and schools accountable for students’ academic progress. At a Senate education committee hearing to discuss waivers to states on some provisions of the law, Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, forcefully urged the federal government to get out of the way.More

Survey: School bullies often popular
HealthDay News
Middle school students who bully are often the most popular, a new study has found. And the results were the same whether it was boys or girls who spread rumors, started fights or pushed other students around. For the study, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, surveyed nearly 1,900 students in 99 classes at 11 Los Angeles middle schools. The surveys, conducted at different points during grades 7 and 8, asked the participants to name the students who were considered the "coolest" and the ones who were bullies.More

Teen recommends changes to Senate Dyslexia Bill in Arkansas
More people are voicing concern about a bill that could impact the way thousands of students are educated. Families are pushing for the Senate Bill 33, known as the "Dyslexia Bill", but a teenager with a similar learning disability is pushing for more to be done. Mary Katherine Keller, a recent high school graduate, wrote a poem about her experience growing up with a learning disability, when she was 15 years old.More

Treatment for traumatized kids? Best way to help children heal is unknown
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post
Shootings and other traumatic events involving children are not rare events, but there's a startling lack of scientific evidence on the best ways to help young survivors and witnesses heal, a government-funded analysis found. School-based counseling treatments showed the most promise, but there's no hard proof that anxiety drugs or other medication work and far more research is needed to provide solid answers, say the authors who reviewed 25 studies. Their report was sponsored by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.More

Adults with dyslexia improve when pushed to read faster
People with dyslexia are often taught to work through reading by "slowing down and sounding it out." Results from a computerized training program, however, suggest that "hurrying up and getting on with it" might be a better practice. Accelerated training could improve both reading fluency and comprehension, with lasting benefits. The training protocol speeds up reading by displaying a sentence and then systematically erasing it, letter by letter, in the direction of reading. It then asks questions to test the reader's comprehension. If the questions are answered correctly, the software moves on to the next sentence but gives the reader 2 milliseconds — the duration of an eyeblink — less reading time per letter.More