Most Clicked SmartBrief on Special Education Stories


1. Report examines reading levels of special-ed materials for parents

SmartBrief on Special Education | Mar 23, 2015

An analysis of eight studies on the readability of schools' special-education guides to parents shows that the materials have gotten more challenging to read over time. Researchers found that documents written in 1984 typically were written on a ninth-grade level and those in 2014 were written on a "grade 13" or college level. Education Week Teacher (tiered subscription model) (03/19)


2. Report highlights ways to create student-centered schools

SmartBrief on Special Education | Mar 25, 2015

Blended learning and competency-based education can support personalized-learning efforts, but such a shift will require systems changes, according to a recent report. Susan Patrick, president and CEO of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning and co-author of the report, offers insight into the findings and a road map for personalization. KQED.org (03/25)


3. Students develop academic, social skills through puzzle challenges

SmartBrief on Special Education | Mar 23, 2015

A part-day, hands-on learning program at a Florida elementary school helps students who are gifted develop academic and social skills. Students work in teams to solve a series of four puzzle challenges, which require them to use creative- and strategic-thinking skills, time management, directions and collaboration. Pensacola News Journal (Fla.) (tiered subscription model) (03/22)


4. Mass. school takes individual approach to learning

SmartBrief on Special Education | Mar 27, 2015

Educators at a Massachusetts elementary school are focusing more on the individual student. Efforts include allowing students to choose books based on their interests and daily one-on-one meetings for students and educators. MetroWest Daily News (Framingham, Mass.) (03/26)


5. Duncan: Change still needed for teacher-preparation programs

SmartBrief on Special Education | Mar 25, 2015

The U.S. Department of Education has failed so far to overhaul teacher-preparation programs to improve the quality of teachers entering the classroom, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said during the annual legislative conference of the Council of Chief State School Officers. Draft regulations were released in November. Final regulations are expected this fall. Washington Post (tiered subscription model), The (03/23)


6. Third-graders in video highlight friendship with classmate with Down syndrome

SmartBrief on Special Education | Mar 23, 2015

News Journal (Wilmington, Del.) (tiered subscription model), The (03/21)


7. Risk of GI problems higher in children with autism, study finds

SmartBrief on Special Education | Mar 27, 2015

Children with autism had a greater likelihood of experiencing gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation and diarrhea, at young ages compared with peers who are typically developing, according to a study in JAMA Psychiatry. A doctor said the findings indicate more study is needed into the relationship between gastrointestinal problems and autism. HealthDay News (03/25)


8. Teachers share how they use Google in classroom lessons

SmartBrief on Special Education | Mar 25, 2015

Google can be an invaluable classroom teaching tool, according to a group of Google Certified Teachers who presented recently at the Annual CUE 2015 conference. Among other things, teachers shared how they use Google Docs, Google Slides and Ngram Viewer, a graphing tool that "takes all the literature Google has chronicled and picks out the words [you search for] and gives you some trends about them." eSchool News (free registration) (03/24)


9. Omega-3 fatty acids show benefits for children with ADHD

SmartBrief on Special Education | Mar 23, 2015

A small study in Neuropsychopharmacology says boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder improved their attentiveness if they regularly ate food rich in omega-3 fatty acids. However, study author Dienke Bos cautioned that the benefit was modest and that omega-3s did not improve impulse control or aggression. HealthDay News (03/19)


10. Should schools use data analytics for hiring?

SmartBrief on Special Education | Mar 23, 2015

More schools are using data analytics to make hiring decisions, asserts Jonah Rockoff, a Columbia University associate professor of finance and economics who studies teacher-hiring systems. However, more research is needed to determine whether the programs are effective, he says. District Administration magazine online (03/23)




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