The LD Source
Aug. 8, 2013

Special education strides highlighted at National Charter Schools Conference
U.S. Department of Education
In his recent keynote address at the National Charter Schools Conference, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan challenged charter schools to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. "I want to see charters pioneering solutions that do a better job of educating students with disabilities," he told the gathering last month of more than 4,000 charter school leaders in Washington, D.C. The conference, organized annually by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, provided a variety of sessions with a special education focus. Was there a common thread? Yes, strong partnerships make for better services for students with disabilities.More

'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. Yet on the question of how to provide special-education services to students who need them — while not compromising the interests of children who don't — many parents of regular-education students have opted out of any public discourse. Nationwide, about 60 percent of students with disabilities spend at least 80 percent of their instructional time in regular classrooms. Many parents of other children in public schools understand that when teachers focus on students who need more attention, their kids may get shortchanged. Yet most parents opt out of any discussion and don't complain.More

Could illiteracy and the lack of effective reading strategies be the hidden cause of crime?
District Administration Magazine
The National Literacy Act of 1991 defines literacy as "an individual's ability to read, write, and speak in English and compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society, to achieve one's goals, and to develop one's knowledge and potential." According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, "Poor reading and writing skills have a devastating lifelong impact — 75 percent of school dropouts report reading problems, and at least half of adolescents and young adults with criminal records have reading difficulties."More

Common Core is a massive, risky experiment on your kids
Fox News
Controversy is swirling about the new Common Core national standards, which are designed to transform K-12 education in English language arts and math. Especially in the area of math, Common Core proponents insist that it is the only way to address the problem of lagging achievement by American students. But the Common Core math standards fall far short of what students need for more advanced work.More

Why we need to value students' spatial creativity
At 16, Albert Einstein wrote his first scientific paper titled The Investigation of the State of Aether in Magnetic Fields. This was the result of his famous gedanken experiment in which he visually imagined chasing after a light beam. The insights he gained from this thought experiment led to the development of his theory of special relativity.More

Missed summer learning spells out long-term struggles
At first glance, Horizons looks like an ordinary summer getaway for kids: There are games, bonding time and lots of bagged snacks. But along with the songs and the pool, there are fractions to memorize and online grammar quizzes to take. An affiliate of a, the program in Washington, D.C., is a six-week, free summer service for children from low-income families. Its purpose is simple: to make sure they don't fall behind in school by the time September rolls around. The program runs from kindergarten through ninth grade, bringing the children back every year.More

iPad use in classroom ups communication in ASD
HealthDay News via Physician's Briefing
Use of handheld touch devices in classrooms may be beneficial for enhancing communication skills among children with autism spectrum disorders, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, held from July 31 to Aug. 4 in Honolulu. Rhonda McEwen, Ph.D., from the University of Toronto, examined the role that lower-cost, handheld touch technologies (Apple iPod Touch and iPad mobile) play in classroom instruction for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.More

Dyslexia among Hispanics in schools a 'disgrace'
Hispanic Business
An effort to raise awareness about black and Hispanic students struggling with dyslexia — described by experts as a civil rights issue — is expected to make its way to Houston in November. The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity's Multicultural Dyslexia Awareness Initiative will focus on advocacy for the diagnosis and treatment of minority students with the common learning disability. Yale University launched the initiative on its Connecticut campus and will host symposiums in four other cities, including Houston, in the fall.More

Special education strides highlighted at National Charter Schools Conference
U.S. Department of Education
In his recent keynote address at the National Charter Schools Conference, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan challenged charter schools to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. More

States show improvement in special education
Disability Scoop
A growing number of states are meeting their responsibilities to provide special education services, federal officials say. In letters sent to each state this month, the U.S. Department of Education indicated that 38 states met their obligations to serve students with disabilities for the 2011-2012 school year. That's up from 29 the year prior.More

Study: Vision, dyslexia not linked
HealthDay News
A new brain imaging study appears to rule out one potential cause of dyslexia, finding that vision problems don't lead to the common reading disorder. The new research could have a wide-ranging impact on the detection and treatment of dyslexia, said senior study author Guinevere Eden, director of the Center for the Study of Learning at Georgetown University Medical Center.More

Teens' IQ takes a hit from fighting, study finds
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
Taking a punch is more than a blow to a teenager's self-esteem. Teen girls who suffer just one fight-related injury experience an IQ loss that's equal to missing a year of school, and teen boys have a similar loss of IQ after two fight-related injuries, according to a new study. The findings are important because decreases in IQ are associated with poorer school and work performance, mental disorders, behavioral problems and even longevity, the Florida State University researchers noted. More

Tests linked to Common Core in critics' cross hairs
Education Week
Having failed to persuade lawmakers in any state to repeal the Common Core State Standards outright, opponents are training their fire on the assessments being developed to go with the standards and due to be rolled out for the 2014-2015 school year. They're using as ammunition concerns about costs and the technology required for those tests, in addition to general political opposition to the common core. A few states — including Georgia, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania — have already chosen to limit or end their participation in the assessments under development by two federally funded consortia, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.More

Teacher credentialing should include mental health training
The Sacramento Bee
California educators are on the front lines of a national epidemic: One in five young people experiences significant emotional distress each year, according to a UC San Francisco study. Unrecognized mental health issues can affect not only the learning of the child experiencing challenges but the whole classroom. Behavioral problems, bullying and drops in educational achievement can all result from untreated mental health issues, and the stigma and shame students feel as a result.More