The LD Source
Apr. 9, 2015

The gap between rich and poor schools grew 44 percent over a decade
The Hechinger Report (commentary)
Jill Barshay, a contributor for The Hechinger Report, writes: "The growing gap between rich and poor is affecting many aspects of life in the United States, from health to work to home life. Now the one place that's supposed to give Americans an equal chance at life — the schoolhouse — is becoming increasingly unequal as well. I've already documented the startling increase since 2000 in the number of extremely poor schools, where three-fourths of the students or more are poor enough to qualify for free or discounted meals, and I've noted the general increase in poverty in all schools here."More

NEA campaign aims to shift ESEA away from 'testing, labeling and punishing schools'
THE Journal
A new multi-pronged campaign from the National Education Association will try to shift the focus of federal education policy away from high-stakes testing and back toward students, with a special emphasis on "children living in poverty, students with disabilities and English language learners." The campaign, called "Wave of Action," coincides with the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 by Lyndon Johnson (reauthorized under George W. Bush as No Child Left Behind, or NCLB), which is currently undergoing another reauthorization process in Congress. More

Determining individualized instruction for students with special needs
By: April Smith
We all know that students are different and learning is not one-size-fits-all. Some students need more academic assistance and support than others because of documented physical or cognitive disabilities. To accommodate the variety of special needs present in today's classrooms, schools have created a variety of tiered placements and intervention strategies based on the severity of needed assistance. Two instructional models dominate special education services to be given in the general education classroom: inclusion and pull-out.More

Lawmakers call for tougher truancy penalties for special education
Disability Scoop
Illinois parents of truant students can be fined up to $500 and jailed up to 30 days, but a bill in the state legislature would increase the maximum penalties to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail for some parents — those whose children are in special education. The maximum penalty would be unchanged for parents of students in regular classes. Opponents of the bill say it makes no sense to single out the parents of students in special education. Supporters of the bill say attendance is especially important for students in special education. One parent says the bill is an attempt by schools to retaliate against frustrated parents who are pulling their children with special needs out of public schools.More

Online course-taking evolving into viable option for special education
Education Week
As new technologies allow digital lessons to be tailored to various learning styles, a growing number of programs are evolving to enable students with disabilities to take online courses created with their needs in mind. While such options are still not readily available for most students in special education, virtual programs are being seen as a means to fill gaps in special education services in cost-effective ways. Some schools are offering online speech therapy classes that feature video interactivity, for instance, while others are turning to digital curricula designed specifically for special education students, rather than trying to adapt existing online courses to meet the needs of students with disabilities.More

8 strategies to keep informational reading fun
Edutopia (commentary)
John Spencer, a contributor for Edutopia, writes: "One of the biggest complaints I hear about Common Core is the push toward informational texts. This is often accompanied by the complaint that we are no longer allowing students to read for the sake of reading. Just yesterday, a teacher said to me, 'I wish we could read novels. With all these informational texts, kids are losing the love of reading.'"More

ADHD in school: Finding the right learning environment for your child
ADDitude
If your child has been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, one of your top priorities is finding a school that matches his learning style. It may seem like a scavenger hunt, but armed with the right tools, you can find the prize: a school that understands ADHD. The key to finding the right school is to start early and to do your research. If you know what to look for in a school — and the right questions to ask — you'll be up to the challenge. Here, we tell you everything you need to know to find the right school for your ADHD child. Consider it a little help with your homework. More

Classroom behavior and dyslexia research
Bournemouth University via Science Daily
The significance of copying and note-taking in the classroom has been studied by researchers including a view on how it affects the learning of Dyslexic children. "Classroom learning is the bedrock of school education, which relies heavily on copying and note-taking. Copying from a board presents serious difficulties to learners with dyslexia," said the main study's author.More

Nearly half of all preschoolers with ADHD are on medication
The Washington Post
The first national survey of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder shows that nearly half of preschoolers are on medication for the condition, and more than a fifth were receiving neither of the recommended therapies. American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines call for the use of behavioral therapy first with children younger than 6 because the long-term impacts of medications on developing brains are not well known. But the data show that 46.6 percent of the preschool aged children with the disorder had taken medication alone or with behavioral therapy in the previous week, and 53.2 percent had used behavioral therapy in the previous year. Another 21. 4 percent received neither therapy. The data come from the 2009-2010 National Survey of Children With Special Health Care Needs.More

Senate education leaders close in on bipartisan ESEA rewrite
Education Week
After nearly two months of negotiating behind closed doors, Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., the chairman and ranking member of the education committee, appear to be nearing consensus on major pieces of a bipartisan draft to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, according to sources. In what seems to be a departure from Alexander's original draft legislation, unveiled in January, the version being negotiated likely wouldn't allow Title I dollars for low-income students to follow them to the school of their choice, sources said.More

Friendship barriers and solutions for kids with ADHD
Psychology Today
Helping children with ADHD learn to get along better with their peers is very difficult. Research shows that medication and reward systems can cut down on their inappropriate behavior, but these changes don't necessarily lead to greater peer acceptance or making friends. Teaching these children social skills in isolation also hasn't proven helpful. Even when children can perform a certain skill perfectly in a clinic or home setting, it doesn't mean they'll remember to use that skill in a relevant situation at school or with a friend.More