The LD Source
Aug. 29, 2013

Special education testing standards may soon be tightened
Disability Scoop
The U.S. Department of Education wants to do away with a rule that allows states to count some students with disabilities as academically proficient even if they do not meet grade-level standards. In a proposal published in the Federal Register, the Education Department formally signaled its intention to end what's known as the "2 percent rule." Under the current policy, some students with disabilities are tested under modified academic achievement standards. States are allowed to count as many as 2 percent of all students as proficient under the No Child Left Behind Act for taking such alternate assessments.More

For students with disabilities, career and technical education programs offer more than just a trade
The Huffington Post
Recently, leaders from the worlds of special education policy, research, and practice gathered in downtown Washington, D.C., for the annual IDEA Leadership Conference. The meeting's agenda featured a wide range of discussions about how various policies and programs — from preschool participation and teacher preparation to extracurricular activities and accountability policies — could help to support the development of students with disabilities. Conspicuously absent from the agenda was any focused discussion of career and technical education.More

Federal oversight takes aim at waiver compliance
Education Week
In the wake of the U.S. Department of Education's decision to place three states on "high-risk status" for problems with their No Child Left Behind Act waivers, it's clear that the federal push to grant states sweeping flexibility in school accountability will be fraught with stumbles. Implementing teacher evaluations tied to student growth is a significant sticking point for many waiver states, including Kansas, Oregon and Washington — which were formally warned by federal officials Aug. 15 that they might lose their waivers if they don't get new evaluations back on track. More

Succeed in college as a learning disabled student
U.S. News & World Report
Julia Frost chair's LDA's Adult Topics Committee and is quoted in the article below.
College freshmen will soon learn to live with a roommate, adjust to a new social scene and survive less-than-stellar dining hall food. Students with learning disabilities will face these transitions while also grappling with a few more hurdles. Laws such as the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act that require teachers and other adults to identify children with learning disabilities and make sure they get additional academic help no longer apply to college students, says Sheldon Horowitz, director of LD resources at the National Center for Learning Disabilities.More

Report: Public fuzzy on Common Core State Standards
eSchool News
At a time when most U.S. public schools are implementing the Common Core State Standards, a new report finds that Americans don't know what the Common Core State Standards are, and that they say more testing is not going to help students. These are just some of the findings of the 45th annual PDK/Gallup Poll on the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools — the longest-running survey of American attitudes toward education, providing an extensive repository of data. More

Siblings' disabilities linked to academic troubles for brothers, sisters
Education Week
While schools are required to provide academic support for students with disabilities, a new study suggests the nondisabled siblings of disabled students may also be academically at risk. Those brothers and sisters are 60 percent more likely to drop out of school than students without disabled siblings, according to a University of California, Riverside, study, presented at the annual American Sociological Association conference here. Moreover, sisters of disabled students are particularly disadvantaged. They complete one-plus years less schooling than girls with nondisabled siblings.More

Dyslexia in the classroom
Everyday Health
Dyslexia is the most common learning disability, affecting one out of every five children. Most people who have it are never formally diagnosed. It's an invisible problem that makes school incredibly challenging for millions of children, many of whom aren't getting the services and support they need. "Science has made a great deal of progress in understanding dyslexia, but it hasn't been translated into practice as much as it should be," according to Dr.Sally Shaywitz, co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity and a professor in learning development at the Yale University School of Medicine.More

Keeping students with disabilities safe from bullying Blog
As Secretary Duncan has noted, the Department of Education is committed to making sure that all of our young people grow up free of fear, violence, and bullying. Bullying not only threatens a student's physical and emotional safety at school, but fosters a climate of fear and disrespect, creating conditions that negatively impact learning — undermining students' ability to achieve to their full potential. Unfortunately, we know that children with disabilities are disproportionately affected by bullying.More

Diagnosing ADHD inattentive type in tweens
Psychology Today
Research indicates that it is becoming more common to identify kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), inattentive type during the middle school years. While ADHD is more predominant in boys, the inattentive type is more common in the subset of girls diagnosed with ADHD. ADHD inattentive type is also trickier to detect which is why it often goes undiagnosed until middle school. Tweens diagnosed with ADHD inattentive type have difficulty remaining focused, they are often not detected in elementary school where the tendency is to focus on each classroom task for short periods time. More

Is it time to get rid of IQ tests in schools?
Schools have long used IQ tests to group students. But some experts say labels like "gifted" or "disabled" are following students throughout their education — for better and worse. Guest host Celeste Headlee finds out more. More

Separation anxiety: More than just the back-to-school blues
Medical New Today
Most children experience some degree of apprehension and excitement as the first day of school approaches, but what does it mean when a child is overcome with fear at the thought of separating from parents and caregivers to go to class? This overwhelming fear may be a sign of separation anxiety disorder, a condition characterized by a school-aged child's extreme fear and nervousness of separating from loved ones. More

Keeping students with disabilities safe from bullying Blog
As Secretary Duncan has noted, the Department of Education is committed to making sure that all of our young people grow up free of fear, violence, and bullying. Bullying not only threatens a student's physical and emotional safety at school, but fosters a climate of fear and disrespect, creating conditions that negatively impact learning — undermining students' ability to achieve to their full potential. More

What stops girls from learning math?
Gifted Challenges
Why do some girls go from budding math scholars in grade school to a "dumbed down" shell of themselves in high school? What happens to these gifted girls who love the logic, complexity and challenge of math, but feel they must forego their passion to fit in?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.More

America's kids need a better education law Blog
The Secretary of Education Arne Duncan writes: "The nation's most sweeping education law — the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, better known as No Child Left Behind — is outmoded and broken. Congress has gone home for its summer recess without passing a responsible replacement. That's too bad. America deserves a better law. At the heart of No Child Left Behind is a promise: to set a high bar for all students and to protect the most vulnerable. Success in that effort will be measured in the opportunities for our nation's children, in a time when a solid education is the surest path to a middle-class life. Tight global economic competition means that jobs will go where the skills are. Raising student performance could not be more urgent." More

4 essential principles of blended learning
As schools become more savvy about blended-learning tactics– the practice of mixing online and in-person instruction — guidelines and best practices are emerging from lessons learned. Here are four crucial factors to keep in mind as schools plunge in. More

10 things we've learned about learning
Smithsonian Magazine
It's the time of year when learning seems remarkably possible. Students are excited, teachers are motivated — let the learnfest begin. But by next month, it will become clear once again that the teaching/learning routine is a tricky dance, that all kinds of things, both in our heads and in our lives, can knock it off balance. Fortunately, scientists have kept busy analyzing how and why people learn. Here are 10 examples of recent research into what works and what doesn't.More