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March 23, 2012
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News for special education professionals

  Curriculum & Instruction 
  • How the arts can help engage students with learning disabilities
    Arts instruction increasingly is seen as an effective strategy for engaging students with learning disabilities in complex thinking and problem-solving, while also boosting self-confidence and helping them learn other academic subjects. Co-teachers at one inclusive school in Dorchester, Mass., incorporate the arts into the curriculum throughout the school year, staging school plays and other activities that correlate with academic lessons. PBS/The Rundown blog (3/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
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READ 180 Next Generation, the world's most effective system for raising reading achievement, endorsed by CASE, includes new technology, data, and content designed to engage students, maximize teacher effectiveness, and empower leaders. Learn More
  Educational Leadership 
  • N.C. district considers retention bonuses for teachers
    A North Carolina school district is seeking to offer incentives, such as retention bonuses, to keep top teachers at struggling schools. Under the program, teachers would receive the bonuses to remain at the schools for an additional two years. Officials say the incentives are intended to keep quality teachers from transferring after helping make gains in struggling schools. The Charlotte Observer (N.C.) (3/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Maine legislators advance teacher-evaluation bill
    A bill creating a statewide teacher-evaluation system cleared the Maine legislature's Education Committee on Thursday. The proposed system ties effectiveness ratings of teachers and principals to student progress, and allows for those who receive two or more consecutive "ineffective" ratings to have their contracts canceled. The bill, which now heads to the state House and Senate, also calls for more rigorous qualifications for teachers and requires districts to provide professional development for struggling educators. Bangor Daily News (Maine) (free registration) (3/22) 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 
  • App created to improve digital reading for people with disabilities
    AppWriter, a new text editor released Thursday for the iPad tablet computer, includes a specialized font for users with disabilities, text-to-speech capabilities, optical character recognition and other features designed for people with visual and other disabilities. "People with reading disabilities understand the importance of reading, because they don't take reading for granted," said Christian Boer, designer of the specialized font, who has dyslexia. Design blog (3/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Online bullies create fake Facebook profiles
    In Minnesota and elsewhere, a growing number of students are being bullied online by those who have created fake Facebook profiles. Police say, in some cases, students as young as 11 and 12 are creating fake profiles in which they claim to be 13 -- the minimum age required for a Facebook profile -- to bully other students online. Officers say the online problem, which has led to in-person fights in schools, is difficult to track, making it hard to discipline the students. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

It's essential that we explicitly teach kids how visual information works—how to comprehend it and how to communicate with it. I See What You Mean is a practical guide to incorporating visual literacy—maps, diagrams, tables, graphs, and charts—throughout your K-8 curriculum. Preview the entire book online!

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

  Policy News 
  • Duncan criticizes Republican budget proposal
    Education Secretary Arne Duncan warned legislators Thursday of the potential consequences of a new budget plan proposed this week by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. The proposal calls for cuts to overall domestic spending without offering specific cuts to K-12 education. "Passage of the Ryan budget would propel the educational success of this country backwards for years to come and that is a risk we cannot afford to take," Duncan told lawmakers. Education Week/Politics K-12 blog (3/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pa. family petitions district to allow son's service dog on campus
    The family of a second-grade student with Asperger's syndrome in Pennsylvania is petitioning school officials to allow their son to bring a service dog to class. The student's parents say the dog has been trained to calm their son, and they are making their request that the animal be allowed in the school under the Americans with Disabilities Act. KDKA-TV (Pittsburgh) (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Eye on Exceptionalities 
  • Twins with cerebral palsy aim to walk in graduation ceremony
    Twin high-school seniors Tamara and Samara Pires, who have cerebral palsy, are working with physical therapists with the goal of walking across the stage to accept their diplomas on June 1. The two sisters, who are honors students, both participate in many school and social activities and plan on attending college. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (3/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Officials commemorate World Down Syndrome Day
    Officials in the U.S. and across the globe took time Wednesday to commemorate World Down Syndrome Day, supported by a United Nations resolution. In the U.S. Congress, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., spoke on the House floor about raising her 5-year-old son, who has the condition. "Cole's birth has given me a whole new purpose for serving in Congress and he reminds me every day of the significance, the tremendous positive impact that every single person has on this world," she said. Disability Scoop (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  CEC Spotlight 
  • Preconvention Workshop: Culturally Responsive RTI
    Learn how RTI promises important changes in the traditional responses to student needs that are nuanced by culture, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic opportunities, and other factors, in the Preconvention Workshop, "Culturally Responsive RTI: What You Wanted to Know About Research and Practice." It's just one of 13 workshops to choose from at the CEC 2012 Convention & Expo. Register now! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • A co-teaching toolkit for educators
    The evolving process of collaboration in the classroom involves negotiation, respect, trust, and the creation of a level of comfort in the partnership to create the best learning experience for students. "Collaborate Smart: Practical Strategies and Tools for Educators" is a "how-to" guide for every educator for improving co-teaching and collaborative communication among members of teaching teams. Own a copy today! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Executive Director of Special EducationIndian Prairie District 204Aurora, IL
Senior Alternate Assessment SpecialistThe American Insitutes for ResearchWashington, DC
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Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other."
--Edmund Burke,
Irish statesman, writer, orator and philosopher

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