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March 6, 2012
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News for special education professionals

  Curriculum & Instruction 
  • Researchers study learning paths of students with disabilities
    Researchers at Kansas University are studying the learning patterns of students with significant cognitive disabilities, as part of a national effort to improve standardized tests for students in elementary and secondary schools. The researchers are creating dynamic learning maps -- showing the multiple paths students can take to learn a single skill -- which will then be incorporated into the new tests. Lawrence Journal-World (Kansas) (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Parents of children with special needs differ on school choices
    School-voucher programs for students with disabilities are drawing a mixed reaction from parents of children with special needs, some of whom choose to take advantage of such programs, while others feel they are unneeded and are opting out. The parents of one Arizona student with autism prefer the instructional model offered at a private school, which they can now afford because of the state's new voucher program. Meanwhile, the mother of an Ohio student with a disability says her son is thriving in public school. "It really depends on the best thing for your child," Cheryl Bowshier said. Education Week/On Special Education blog (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Are your students bored? Beat Boredom gives you proven, out-of-the-box strategies and activities for engaging high school students in any class. You'll see how to generate active engagement and move way beyond traditional passive memorization of information. Informed by a survey of 800+ high school graduates. Preview the entire book!
  Educational Leadership 
  • Opinion: Why value-added evaluations should be scrapped
    The value-added evaluations recently released from New York City schools harm teaching, says Linda Darling-Hammond, the Charles E. Ducommun professor of education at Stanford University and co-director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. She writes that the evaluations, which have a high margin for error, do not reflect teachers' abilities or what students have learned. In addition, the test scores, which are the basis for value-added rankings, are determined by several factors, including students' home lives, health and attendance. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Special educator speaks out on teacher evaluations: Brooklyn, N.Y., special-education teacher William Johnson writes in this opinion article about the many challenges he faces in the classroom and in his school, where budget cuts and policy changes have increased his workload and added new pressures about student performance and job security. Johnson, who last year received an "unsatisfactory" rating, questions the many mixed messages he has received about his performance and argues that evaluations should be used to support and provide feedback to teachers, rather than remove those who are not providing top test scores. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
The Right Way to Intervene
RTI at Work Institutes offer unprecedented access to nationally recognized experts. Through interactive activities and engaging keynotes, they will show you how to build a powerful, tiered system of support that meets every student's learning needs. Register today
  Technology Trends 
  • Engineering students develop devices for athletes with disabilities
    Engineering students at Imperial College in London have designed and created new gadgets and sports equipment for athletes with disabilities competing in future Paralympic Games. Their inventions include a special helmet equipped with electrodes that allow athletes with disabilities to control a bobsleigh. Another is a chest strap equipped with Global Positioning System -- or GPS -- technology that vibrates to warn runners with visual impairments about obstacles. The Telegraph (London) (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

"Wow! What a book!" (Teacher Leaders Network) Put Thinking to the Test helps you prepare for high-stakes tests while teaching reading comprehension strategies—without compromising your beliefs about good instruction. Click here to read Chapter 1 online!

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

  Policy News 
  • Protesters rally in support of culture of those who cannot hear
    A group of advocates for individuals who cannot hear staged a rally in downtown St. Louis, Mo., where a meeting is being held on nationwide efforts to diagnose and treat children who have hearing impairments. The protesters said they oppose an emphasis by policymakers on treatment for hearing impairments. "We have a culture," said protester Ruthie Jordan, a leader of a group called Audism Free America. "We have a language -- American Sign Language." Organizers of the meeting said their efforts are focused on ensuring that families understand their options. St. Louis Post-Dispatch (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Retention disparities are seen in new civil rights data from schools
    Black and Hispanic students are more likely than white students to be held back a grade in school, according to data released today by the Education Department. The disparities were seen particularly in elementary and middle schools, and were most significant for black students, who accounted for 56% of all fourth-graders retained at the end of the 2009-10 school year. According to an Education Department analysis also released today, black and Hispanic students were disciplined or expelled at a higher rate than their white counterparts. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Eye on Exceptionalities 
  • Children's age may influence ADHD diagnosis, treatment
    Data from 937,943 children in British Columbia ages 6 to 12 between 1997 and 2008 showed that boys and girls born in December -- typically the youngest in their class, due to cut-off dates -- were 30% and 70% more likely to be diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder than those born in January. Researchers also found that boys and girls born in December were 41% and 77% more likely, respectively, to be prescribed ADHD drugs that those born in January. The study appears in CMAJ. News (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Research ties autistic behaviors in toddlers to preteen psychosis
    Nearly 20% of children who had speech problems and ritualistic behaviors at age 7 experienced psychotic episodes by age 12, according to a study in the journal Schizophrenia Research. Researchers noted that the psychosis risk increased by 33% for each autistic trait in a toddler and by 66% for each trait still present at age 7. Family Practice News (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  CEC Spotlight 
  • Proposed amendment to the CEC constitution and bylaws
    Members have the opportunity to comment on a proposed amendment to the CEC Constitution and Bylaws relating to the elimination of the External Member position on the Board of Directors and to remove all other provisions in the Constitution and Bylaws related to the External Member position. Comments welcomed until April 30. Find out more information. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Jessica on Reality 101: When teamwork goes wrong
    Jessica talked about the importance of teamwork last week, but what happens when the team doesn't agree? For special educators, how do you deal with parents who do not agree with the recommended services for their child? Jessica discusses her struggles from the parent and teacher side of these disagreements. Read all about it on Reality 101, CEC's blog for new teachers. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Assistant/Associate Professor - Special EducationDePaul University, College of EducationChicago, IL
Inclusive Early Childhood (IEC) Program CoordinatorBowling Green State UniversityBowling Green, OH
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Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears."
--Albert Camus,
French author, journalist and philosopher

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