The LD Source
Aug. 15, 2013

Special education office moves toward measuring student outcomes
Education Week
Thirty-nine states have garnered a "meets requirements" rating from the U.S. Department of Education's office of special education programs on the quality of their programs for students with disabilities. But this is the last year the annual state reports will focus primarily on "compliance indicators" — for example, timely resolution of due process complaints. The federal special education office is moving to a system that will require states to demonstrate how they are working to improve the educational outcomes for students with disabilities.More

Centers throughout the brain work together to make reading possible
University of Southern California via Science Daily
A combination of brain scans and reading tests has revealed that several regions in the brain are responsible for allowing humans to read. The findings open up the possibility that individuals who have difficulty reading may only need additional training for specific parts of the brain — targeted therapies that could more directly address their individual weaknesses.More

Obama administration aloof as lawmakers tangle over ESEA
Education Week
Not since passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 has Congress been so outwardly engaged in K-12 policy, yet most advocates remain pessimistic that there will be a new version of the flagship federal education law anytime soon. A big part of the reason: The Obama administration has little incentive to see a bill to revise the Elementary and Secondary Education Act advance in the current legislative climate, in which lawmakers seem more likely to erode, rather than support, the president's policy priorities. Congress has been working on two highly partisan ESEA bills — one of which, the GOP-backed House measure, President Barack Obama has threatened to veto.More

Literature-based social intervention used by parents to help children struggling with social issues
Medical News Today
A new study out of the University of Cincinnati not only finds that parents feel responsible for taking action when their children struggle with social issues, but also that parents are influenced by their own childhood memories when it comes to dealing with their kids problems. Jennifer Davis Bowman, a recent graduate of the special education doctoral program at the University of Cincinnati, will present her research at the 108th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association. Bowman's study focuses on the experiences of parents concerned with their children's social behavior and parents' use of bibliotherapy as a tool for helping their children address this issue. More

Study: States struggle to fund stricter school curriculum
States that have adopted a stricter, standardized school curriculum are having difficulty finding the resources to support the more rigorous requirements, a study released on Wednesday shows. Of the 40 states that adopted the Common Core State Standards, 34 reported trouble finding adequate funding to support the stringent activities the curriculum entails, said the survey by the Center for Education Policy at George Washington University.More

Helping students learn the language of science
Science students at all grade levels often struggle with the vocabulary. It's as if we're all SLLs — Science Language Learners. Textbooks and websites are full of specialized words that challenge our students. Some are technical and relate specifically to science (e.g., photosynthesis, thermodynamics, plate tectonics) while others have meanings in science that differ from common usage (e.g., theory, hypothesis, matter). Sometimes we think that students understand a word, only to find out on an assessment that they are confused.More

States struggling to secure staffing and resources for Common Core
THE Journal
While 30 states have already begun implementing curricula aligned to the Common Core State Standards, many of them are struggling to provide the staffing and resources required to implement CCSS effectively, according to a new report from the Center on Education Policy at The George Washington University. The report, "Year 3 of Implementing the Common Core State Standards: An Overview of States' Progress and Challenges," is based on a survey of state deputy superintendents or their designees in 40 of the 46 states that have adopted CCSS in math, English language arts, or both. The survey was conducted from February to May of this year.More

Empathy: The most important back-to-school supply
The most important back-to-school supply doesn't fit in a backpack, and it can't be ordered online. It's as essential as a pencil, but unlike a pencil, no technology can replace it. In a sense, like a fresh box of crayons, it can come in many colors. Better than the latest gadget, it's possible to equip every student with it, and even better, when we do, it can transform our world.More

Study: States struggle to fund stricter school curriculum
States that have adopted a stricter, standardized school curriculum are having difficulty finding the resources to support the more rigorous requirements, a study released on Wednesday shows. 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

A nation of kids with gadgets and ADHD
Go to any family restaurant and you'll be surrounded by kids, ranging from toddlers to teens. Some are antsy, others are well-behaved, but a good number play on their phones and iPads. Oh, and 1-in-10 have ADHD. It's an epidemic.More

School security tightens in wake of Sandy Hook
Stateline via The Huffington Post
Back to school usually means new notebooks, new clothes and new teachers. But this year it also means more security, after the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. "We would be remiss if we didn't take a lesson from the Sandy Hook shooting, as horrible as it was," said North Carolina Republican Rep. Craig Horn. He co-sponsored the state's new plan to allow retired police officers or military veterans to serve as volunteer school security officers if they meet requirements set by local sheriffs and police chiefs.More

With dyslexia bills signed, New Jersey formally recognizes reading disorder
NJ Spotlight
After years of lobbying and organizing among families and advocates, Gov. Chris Christie has signed two bills intended to make it easier to identify dyslexic students and improve the training their teachers get. But getting the bills signed could prove the easy part; a host of challenges remain to be met in order to make those improvements stick. But what may be the most consequential bill — one that would require screening of all first-graders for dyslexia and other reading disorders — remains pending in the Legislature, its passage no means assured.More

How peanuts became Public Health Enemy No. 1
Education Week
Researchers aren't sure why, but over the past several years, the number of children reported to have allergies has doubled, to 5 percent of children in the United States. Yet at the same time, in schools and elsewhere, allergies have drawn what some see as an oversized amount of attention. A new paper out of Princeton University explores why that may have happened.More