Discipline Practices Fall Hardest on Minorities and Students With Disabilities – Education Week

By guest blogger Lesli A. Maxwell

The disparate rates at which schools suspend and expel African-Americans students and those with disabilities drive up the dropout risks for these already academically vulnerable students and help propel them into the juvenile justice system, according to a new set of reports that take a sweeping look at discipline practices across the nation’s public schools.

Likewise, Latino students, girls of color, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students also are disproportionately kicked out of classrooms for bad behavior, concludes the report by the Discipline Disparities Research-to-Practice Collaborative, a group of 26 experts from the fields of social science, education, and civil rights.

via Discipline Practices Fall Hardest on Minorities and Students With Disabilities – Rules for Engagement – Education Week.

Some Disappointed With White House Special Education Funding Proposal – Education Week

By Christina Samuels

Special education advocates might be feeling a bit of bridesmaids syndrome right now.

Early education continues to get attention from the White House though whether administration plans will come to fruition in a skeptical Congress is another story. But the funding for special education, about $11.5 billion for fiscal 2014, is proposed to remain at $11.5 billion for fiscal 2015.

“We were really dismayed to see a budget come out of this administration that has not been supportive of the formula grant for special education,” said Kim Hymes, the senior director for policy and advocacy for the Council for Exceptional Children, in Arlington, Va.

via Some Disappointed With White House Special Education Funding Proposal – On Special Education – Education Week.

Gender Plays Role in Delayed Language Development, Study Says – Education Week

By Christina Samuels

A study of more than 10,000 Norwegian children found a connection between gender and delayed language development, with boys at greater risk of delays than girls.

The study also found that reading and writing difficulties in other family members were associated with delayed language development in children.

The study was published online by the International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. The information was gathered on questionnaires filled out by mothers about their children, starting in their 17th week of gestation up through age 5.

via Gender Plays Role in Delayed Language Development, Study Says – On Special Education – Education Week.

New ‘trauma-informed’ approach to behavioral disorders in special education | EdSource Today

By Jane Meredith Adams

They are the lowest achieving students in a field plagued by low achievement.

Students diagnosed as emotionally disturbed perform the poorest of all students in special education, although they have no cognitive deficits. More than two out of five students with emotional or behavioral disorders, such as severe depression or aggressive behavior, leave high school before graduating, research has shown, and four years after high school, nearly three out of five have been arrested.

Now a pilot program is hoping it can better help these children by addressing what may be the root cause of many of their behaviors: trauma they’ve endured at home or in their neighborhoods.

via New ‘trauma-informed’ approach to behavioral disorders in special education | EdSource Today.

Permanent Chief Selected for Federal Special Education Research Center – Education Week

By Christina Samuels

It’s official: Joan McLaughlin has been named commissioner of the National Center for Special Education Research, cementing the role she has held as an acting commissioner since July, after former commissioner Deborah L. Speece left in June.

McLaughlin previously led the Institute of Education Sciences’ research programs in early intervention services—early education programs for young children at risk of being identified for special education—and, before coming to IES, headed evaluations of multiple federal education, early education, and food-aid programs for the research group Abt Associates Inc. She will serve a six-year term.

via Permanent Chief Selected for Federal Special Education Research Center – On Special Education – Education Week.

Hearing-impaired toddlers get a start in the hearing world – Daily Republic

By Susan Winlow

Anela Medalle could be the cheerleader in Kymber Katen’s class of toddlers at the Irene Larsen Center.

“Yay,” said the 21-month-old as each of her classmates used a wand to move a digitized picture of themselves on a low-hanging Smart board to the appropriate location. Anela, with her constant smile and laugh, was having a good time interacting with Katen, her grandfather William Chua and her classmates.

via Hearing-impaired toddlers get a start in the hearing world Daily Republic.

County program gives deaf students an extra boost – Daily Republic

By Susan Winlow

There was a time not too long ago when Vicky Del Real was embarrassed to let anyone know she was hard of hearing.

The 16-year-old said she’d never wear her long black hair in a pony tail because didn’t want people to see her hearing aids.

“I would always have my hair down,” she said.

via County program gives deaf students an extra boost Daily Republic.

Financing the Education of High-Need Students : Education Next

By Chester E. Finn, Jr.

America’s approach to the education of children with disabilities is antiquated, costly, and ineffective. “Special education” as we know it is broken—and repainting the surface won’t repair it. It cries out for a radical overhaul. Far too many children emerge from our special-ed system without the skills, knowledge, and competencies that they need for a successful life that fully capitalizes on their abilities. This ineffectual system is also very, very expensive. Yet for a host of reasons—inertia, timidity, political gridlock, fear of litigation, fear of interest groups, ignorance, lack of imagination, and so on—neither our education leaders nor our policy leaders have shown any inclination to modernize it. Instead, they settle for “paint jobs”—waivers and the like.

 

via Financing the Education of High-Need Students : Education Next.

Statewide Special Education Task Force – State Board of Education CA Dept of Education

During the past decade, the reform movements toward greater accountability have highlighted the achievement gap that exists among students based on race/ethnicity, family income, language ability, and disability. While progress has been made to address the inequities evidenced in our educational outcomes, students with disabilities remain among the lowest performing subgroup in California and implementation of Common Core State Standards CCSS could further exacerbate the differences that exist.

via Statewide Special Education Task Force – State Board of Education CA Dept of Education.

TC Mc Daniel Trike-A-Thon – SCOE | Facebook

The annual T.C. McDaniel Center Trike-A-Thon was a fun event for kids on October 2nd! About 80 children took part in the fundraiser which earned money to buy equipment for the TC Mc Daniel’s motor room and outside play equipment. The event supported motor development in preschoolers with all ability levels.

via TC Mc Daniel Trike-A-Thon | Facebook.

Choice and Special Education : Education Next

By Jay P. Greene

Marcus Winters has an excellent new study on charter schools and special education. Why are there large gaps between the percentages of students classified as disabled in charter and traditional public schools? A large part of the explanation — about 80% of the difference — can be explained by the fact that charters are just less likely to classify students as disabled and more likely to declassify them. That is, charters have students with almost the same distribution of true disabilities as found in traditional public schools, they just don’t put labels on as many of them. Here’s how Marcus put it:

via Choice and Special Education : Education Next.

Government Shutdown Pulse Check: For Education, Worst is Yet to Come – Education Week

By Alyson Klein

We’re more than 12 hours into the government shutdown (your cheat sheet here.) What’s the impact on school districts, states, and general Edu-land so far? Mostly a lot of watching, waiting—and nervously looking ahead to the fiscal fight that’s around the corner later this month: raising the federal debt ceiling.

For now, school districts and states still aren’t feeling major effects from a short-term shutdown.

via Government Shutdown Pulse Check: For Education, Worst is Yet to Come – Politics K-12 – Education Week.

Ed. Department Seeks Comments on Special Education Funding Rules – Education Week

By Christina Samuels

Interested parties have until December 2 to offer thoughts on a set of rules proposed by the Education Department that guide how much states and districts must spend on special education–and the department is specifically looking for ideas about how to make this complex set of rules easier to understand and less prone to misinterpretation.

To grasp the proposed rules requires understanding some background.

via Ed. Department Seeks Comments on Special Education Funding Rules – On Special Education – Education Week.

What would federal shutdown mean for California education? | EdSource Today

By Jane Meredith Adams

Federal money for education will continue to flow into California, with some caveats, even with a government shutdown.

The big-ticket federal education programs in California – $1.8 billion a year for low-performing schools and $1.4 billion a year for special education – will be unscathed, according to a memorandum from the U.S. Department of Education. Those programs, along with grants for Career and Technical Education, would be deemed “a necessary exception” to a spending halt and would receive their scheduled Oct. 1 funding distribution, the federal department said.

via What would federal shutdown mean for California education? | EdSource Today.

Special Ed. Grants Awarded for Data, Parent Assistance, School Climate – Education Week

By Christina Samuels

The Education Department has announced grant awards for several areas related to special education:

Data: Westat, Inc. of Rockville, Md. will receive $6.5 million to create the National Technical Assistance Center to Improve State Capacity to Accurately Collect and Report IDEA Data (one hopes that the name will eventually be something catchier than NTACISCACRID). Westat will work with states to upgrade their ability to report high-quality data under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Part of the center’s work will also be to help states with their state performance plans and annual performance reports, which is already seeing changes under the department’s shift to “results-driven accountability.”

via Special Ed. Grants Awarded for Data, Parent Assistance, School Climate – On Special Education – Education Week.

Ed. Dept. Addresses Bullying of Students With Disabilities – Education Week

By Christina Samuels

Severe bullying of a student with disabilities could deny that student’s right to a free, appropriate public education would need to be addressed under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, according to a guidance letter for districts, states and building administrators released today from the U.S. Department of Education.

A student who is not receiving “meaningful educational benefit” because of bullying triggers that provision, but even bullying that is less severe can undermine a student’s ability to meet his or her full potential, said the letter, written by Melody Musgrove, director of the office of special education programs, and Michael Yudin, the acting assistant secretary of the office of special education and rehabilitative services. If a student with a disability is bullying others, school officials should review that student’s individualized education program to see if additional support or changes to the student’s environment are necessary.

 

via Ed. Dept. Addresses Bullying of Students With Disabilities – On Special Education – Education Week.

Should Students Who Test Well Be Rewarded? – Education Week

By Ross Brenneman

When the star-bellied children went out to play ball, could a plain-bellied get in the game? Not at all. You could only play if your bellies had stars, and the plain-bellied children had none upon thar’s.”
—Dr. Seuss, “The Sneetches” (1961)

“And when I’m old and I’ve had my fun, I’ll sell my invention so that everyone can be superheroes. Everyone can be super! And when everyone’s super … no one will be.”
—Syndrome, “The Incredibles” (2004)

Virtue is its own reward, but stuff is a nice reward, too.

At Mulberry Elementary School in Houma, La., the children with the best state assessment performances from the year before can wear whatever clothes they like in the first month of school, in place of standard uniforms.

via Should Students Who Test Well Be Rewarded? – Rules for Engagement – Education Week.

Lawsuit: Disabled teens kept in solitary confinement, denied educational services | EdSource Today

By Susan Frey

A federal class action lawsuit filed by juvenile justice advocates alleges that Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall officials have kept teenagers with disabilities in solitary confinement for up to 100 days and have denied them special education services that the county is legally required to provide. About a third of all students in the county’s Juvenile Hall are estimated to have disabilities.

“Despite knowing that many students have a learning disability, mental illness or other disabilities, Contra Costa County puts students in solitary confinement for behavior that is related to their disabilities, denies them general and special education services and holds them in conditions that can make their disabilities worse,” according to a news release issued by Disability Rights Advocates, Public Counsel and Paul Hastings LLP, the groups that filed the lawsuit.

via Lawsuit: Disabled teens kept in solitary confinement, denied educational services | EdSource Today.

Ed. Dept. Leaders Say Special Education Offers Lessons for All – Education Week

By Christina Samuels

Washington

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, along with federal leaders who oversee special education, told a conference of special education leaders and parents of students with disabilities that their experiences can help guide a number of national initiatives, including expanded preschool and preparing students for college and work.

The audience was gathered here for the yearly IDEA Leadership Conference. Duncan, repeating the administration’s focus on creating a $75 billion federal investment in state-run preschool, said that preschool can help reduce the number of students enrolled in special education.

via Ed. Dept. Leaders Say Special Education Offers Lessons for All – On Special Education – Education Week.