The LD Source
Jul. 31, 2014

Troubled path forward for education spending bill
Education Week
Remember when congressional appropriators were adamant about this year being the year they would finally pass a real spending bill for the upcoming federal fiscal year? Well, it's safe to say the odds of that actually happening are nil. First, let's take stock of how far each chamber has advanced its fiscal 2015 appropriations bills: The House made the most progress, passing six (or half) of its spending bills. The appropriations committee itself cleared every spending bill except for the education funding proposal, which hasn't yet made it out of subcommittee.More

Children with disabilities benefit from classroom inclusion
Science Daily
The secret to boosting the language skills of preschoolers with disabilities may be to put them in classrooms with typically developing peers, a new study finds. Researchers found that the average language skills of a child's classmates in the fall significantly predicted the child's language skills in the spring — especially for children with disabilities. The results support inclusion policies in schools that aim to have students with disabilities in the same classrooms alongside their typically developing peers, said Laura Justice, co-author of the study and professor of teaching and learning at The Ohio State University.More

Balancing special-education needs with rising costs
The New York Times
Dylan B. Randall could not speak or stand. He never tasted food because he was fed through a gastric tube in his belly. He breathed through a ventilator; his own saliva would choke him unless a nurse cleared his throat every few minutes. It was a daily struggle to keep Dylan alive, much less educate him. And when his public school could not deliver all the daily therapy the then 5-year-old was supposed to receive, his parents asked that New York City pay for what they believed was the kind of education Dylan needed: a private school for disabled children.More

How acting out in school boosts learning
Scientific America
Acting out in school is often a prelude to parents receiving a call from the principal. But, there are ways of acting out that tremendously increase learning — namely acting out as a way of grounding, or making sense of, abstract information. There is a growing body of research showing the value of this sort of acting out. One example is the Moved by Reading intervention for teaching reading comprehension. Using the intervention, children act out the meaning of sentences by moving images on a computer screen. If the child reads, "The farmer drove the tractor to the barn," then she would move pictures of the farmer to the tractor, and both of them to the barn. This can double reading comprehension.More

Some states without NCLB waivers say they dodged a bullet
Education Week
When President Barack Obama first offered states flexibility from mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act back in 2011, nearly every state jumped at the opportunity. (Forty-two states and the District of Columbia now have waivers. Washington state lost its flexibility earlier this year. That leaves seven waiverless states total.) But almost three years later, at least one state, Utah, is thinking of voluntarily ditching its waiver. And officials in at least three other waiverless states say they don't feel they're missing out on much, even though they're stuck operating under the much-maligned, outdated NCLB law.More

Childhood reading skills linked to 'higher intelligence' in young adults
Medical News Today
A new study published in the journal Child Development finds that having strong reading skills as a child is a predictor for higher intelligence levels as a young adult. In previous studies, reading ability has been associated with improved health, education, socioeconomic status and creativity. The ability to read well can directly improve some of these factors. An example is that by being able to extract information from texts, individuals are better able to gain educational qualifications.More

Learning to read may take longer than we thought
Most of what we know — or think we know — about how kids learn comes from classroom practice and behavioral psychology. Now, neuroscientists are adding to and qualifying that store of knowledge by studying the brain itself. The latest example: new research in the journal suggests a famous phenomenon known as the "fourth-grade shift" isn't so clear-cut.More

An alternative diagnosis to ADHD: Schoolchildren need more time to move
The Washington Post via Press Republican
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that in recent years, there has been a jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD: 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 to 11 percent in 2011. The reasons for the increase include changes in diagnostic criteria and greater awareness of the condition. In the following post, Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist and the founder of TimberNook, a nature-based child-development program designed to foster creativity and independent play outdoors in New England, suggests yet another reason that more children are being diagnosed with ADHD, whether or not they have it: the amount of time kids are forced to sit while in school.More

Unpacking the science: How playing music changes the learning brain
Remember "Mozart Makes You Smarter"? A 1993 study of college students showed them performing better on spatial reasoning tests after listening to a Mozart sonata. That led to claims that listening to Mozart temporarily increases IQs — and to a raft of products purporting to provide all sorts of benefits to the brain. In 1998, Zell Miller, then the governor of Georgia, even proposed providing every newborn in his state with a CD of classical music. But subsequent research has cast doubt on the claims.More

Dyslexia testing to begin in public schools
Schools in Arkansas are now following through with new requirements for all students with dyslexia. This comes after Arkansas lawmakers approved a measure ensuring that all children with the disability would have proper resources in public schools. This fall, every child in Kindergarten through second grade will get tested for dyslexia. The tests determine if a child may be at risk for literary problems.More