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September 20, 2012
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News for special education professionals

  Curriculum & Instruction 
  • Can "exam schools" help meet the needs of students who are gifted?
    The U.S. public education system should establish more "exam schools" to better meet the needs of students who are gifted, writes Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. In this op-ed, Finn suggests that such schools -- which currently amount to 165 out of more than 20,000 high schools in the U.S. and educate about 1% of the country's students -- could offer rigorous programming to students who are gifted from all socio-economic backgrounds. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (9/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • N.J. districts promote inclusion of students with special needs
    Officials in two New Jersey school districts are working to maximize inclusion of students with disabilities in their public schools. Both the Verona and Cedar Grove districts strive to include such students in mainstream classes whenever possible, providing additional supports where needed. "They are going to grow up and live in society, and we want them to be able to do it," said Libby Skinner, Verona's director of special services. "And we want their peers to know that we all have special needs." (Hackensack, N.J.) (free registration) (9/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Free Reading Curriculum Trial for Struggling Readers
Read Live is a comprehensive reading intervention program that focuses on fluency and supports vocabulary and comprehension. Brought to you by Read Naturally, the research-based strategy has over 20-years of proven effectiveness. Try Read Live with your students with a free 60-day trial.
  Educational Leadership 
  • Edcamps are the new way to professional development
    Edcamps are the new and trending way to achieve professional development, elementary-school principal Peter DeWitt writes in this blog post. DeWitt explains how teachers and administrators can organize their own edcamps without fees, while focusing on the particular needs of their school or district. "Money is short, and many of us have always believed that our best resources are within our own schools... or we probably wouldn't have hired them in the first place," he writes. Education Week/Finding Common Ground blog (9/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Do teacher bonuses result in improved math scores?
    Researchers conducted a study in the struggling Chicago Heights, Ill., school district to examine whether teacher bonus pay affects student math performance. Some teachers were given no incentive, some were promised a bonus if students did well on math assessment, and other teachers were given $4,000 upfront and told if performance did not improve they would have to return the money. The University of Chicago researchers found that the teachers who were given the money upfront showed the greatest improvements in student performance and attributed it to a psychological concept known as loss aversion. National Public Radio (text and audio) (9/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Implementing A District-Wide Science Success
Veteran education leader Mike Dillon has helped his school district continue on a steady path of success in science. The Smithsonian’s Science and Technology Concepts program and kits, available through Carolina Biological, have ensured that an entire district maintains a culture of high academic achievement. Read the case study.
  Technology Trends 
  • La. course choice program could benefit students in special education
    A new program to expand online and other alternative course offerings for Louisiana students also could benefit some of the state's 82,000 students in special education, state officials said during a Special Education Advisory Panel meeting. Some panel members noted that online classes and other potential programs could be especially useful for students with individualized education programs. However, others raised concerns about transportation and instructor training credentials. The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) (9/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Disability complaint by university students focuses on online access
    The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights this week confirmed that they are investigating a complaint over the accessibility of online courses and other technology for students with disabilities at the University of Montana. The investigation was prompted by a complaint filed in May by the Alliance for Disability and Students at the University of Montana, describing difficulties faced by students with disabilities in accessing the technology. University officials say they respect the actions of the student group and are working to increase and improve access. Missoulian (Missoula, Mont.) (9/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Policy News 
  • Should achievement goals vary by race?
    Officials with Washington, D.C., schools say new standardized testing achievement goals vary by race and ethnicity because current levels hold variations. While the new goals have been criticized as setting the bar too low, school officials and others say goals should be attainable, and take into account how campuses are currently performing. "What we have to be very honest about is that schools, and groups of students within schools, are starting at different places right now," said Daria Hall of the Education Trust, a nonprofit group that supports the variations in achievement goals. The Washington Post (9/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Eye on Exceptionalities 
  • Heavy pacifier use can delay boys' emotional development
    U.S. researchers conducted three experiments exploring the psychological consequences of pacifiers and found that frequent use can stunt the emotional development of boys. They said that the use of pacifiers may prevent babies from using mimicry for facial expressions at a young age. The findings appear in the journal Basic and Applied Social Psychology. Medical News Today (9/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Exciting news! World-famous educator Ron Clark will be the keynote speaker at SDE's 2013 National Professional Development Conferences in Las Vegas. Ron's passionate stories about his teaching experiences in North Carolina, Harlem, and at the Ron Clark Academy are remarkably uplifting and inspirational. Register early to save. Questions? Call 1-800-462-1478.

What Are You Thinking? showcases nine reading conferences—each with a different instructional focus—between author Patrick Allen and his fourth-grade students. Viewers will see how to connect with kids, monitor progress, and differentiate instruction. Includes a viewing guide. Click here to watch one of the conferences!

Interested in learning more about advertising in CEC SmartBrief? Contact Joe Riddle at (202) 407-7857 or  

  CEC Spotlight 
  • Get your work published in TAG's journal
    Get published in the official publication of The Association for the Gifted (TAG), Journal for the Education of the Gifted, which supports the goals of TAG and offers information and research for diverse ideas and points of view on gifted education, counseling and parenting. Submit your work today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Position TitleCompany NameLocation
American University Curriculum and Instruction: Open Rank Special EducationAmerican UniversityWashington, DC
Resource Teacher Special EducationAnchorage School DistrictAnchorage, AK
Assistant Professor Special EducationUniversity of San FranciscoSan Francisco, CA
Special Education Specialist (Autism)Loudoun County Public SchoolsAshburn, VA
Construction Trades TeacherThe Menta GroupCountry Club Hills, IL
Click here to view more job listings.

Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless everybody gets there."
--Virginia Burden Tower,
American writer

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