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.

Advocates Call for End to Testing Under Modified Academic Standards – Education Week

By Christina Samuels

The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, an advocacy coalition based in Washington, is calling for the U.S. Department of Education to rescind a regulation that allows some students with disabilities to be tested on “modified academic achievement standards.” Such tests are sometimes called known as “2 percent tests” because regulations allow 2 percent of all students, or about 20 percent of students with disabilities, to take such assessments and be counted as proficient under the No Child Left Behind Act.

via Advocates Call for End to Testing Under Modified Academic Standards – On Special Education – Education Week.

Special Education Groups Criticize House NCLB Rewrite – Education Week

By Christina Samuels

Groups representing special education administrators and teachers as well as people with disabilities have given a big thumbs down to a House bill that would reauthorize the long-delayed Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind.

My colleague Alyson Klein has done a thorough job explaining the political machinations behind the bill, known as HR 5 or the Student Success Act, which passed yesterday on a 221-207 vote. No House Democrats voted in favor. The Senate education committee passed its own version of the ESEA in June, but it has yet to be taken up by the full Senate.

via Special Education Groups Criticize House NCLB Rewrite – On Special Education – Education Week.

Study: High Quality Matters More Than Specific Model for Preschoolers with Autism – Education Week

By Christina Samuels

A comparison of two well-known interventions for young children with autism, LEAP and TEACCH, has found that both of them produce gains among students during the school year—and so does high-quality classroom instruction that is not tied to any particular model.

The findings suggest that common elements of good classroom instruction, including an orderly classroom environment, well-trained teachers and positive interactions between children and adults, may be more important for children with autism than instruction using any particular treatment model. The study was published in the June edition of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, and the researchers have written a layman-friendly version of their findings.

via Study: High Quality Matters More Than Specific Model for Preschoolers with Autism – On Special Education – Education Week.

Online Tool Helps Doctors Engage Parents on Learning Disabilities – Education Week

By Christina Samuels

The National Center for Learning Disabilities recently launched a website intended to help doctors and other pediatric health-care professionals talk to parents about specific learning disabilities.

The LD Navigator was created in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and funded through a grant by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The resource offers informational handouts that can be printed for parents; talking points for doctors to guide conversations about referrals and evaluation; screening questions for new patients; and information on federal and local laws that govern educational services for students with learning disabilities.

via Online Tool Helps Doctors Engage Parents on Learning Disabilities – On Special Education – Education Week.

Happy Retirement! | SCOE’s Facebook Wall

Happy Retirement to Marsha Ludwig, SCOE’s Special Education Director, seated left, and Lois Keenan, SCOE’s Program Manager, seated right.

The Special Education Management Team celebrated Marsha and Lois’s retirement with a special dinner in Suisun at Pane Y Vino restaurant. With the addition of new programs, the team had grown from the original “Magnificent Seven.” Former and current special education administrators attended the celebration and sent them their fond goodbyes and well wishes for the future!

Happy Retirement! | Facebook.