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January 21, 2010
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News for special education professionals

  Curriculum & Instruction 
  • School for students with learning disabilities plans expansion
    A Massachusetts private school for students with language-based learning disabilities is experiencing a rise in enrollment despite the recent economic downturn and has purchased another facility to expand its programs -- adding a grade and including up to 100 more students. The Carroll School offers classes of six to eight students who receive individualized instruction to strengthen their written and oral language skills; they also receive a core curriculum that includes physical education and arts instruction. The Boston Globe (free registration) (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Students in Pennsylvania gifted program celebrate Shakespeare
    Students who are gifted at a suburban Pittsburgh elementary school recently participated in a daylong Shakespeare festival, where they provided an audience with a creative adaptation of the playwright's "A Midsummer's Night's Dream." Multiple students provided interpretations of each role in a performance enhanced with narration, dance numbers and modern-day pop music. The event also featured word games that gave students a chance to craft insults and praise in the dialect spoken during Shakespeare's time. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Hands-on science in a digital world
Science education is no longer confined to the pages of a textbook. Students are interacting with science concepts through physical objects and digital platforms, and using this knowledge to solve real-world issues. Get insights for making this work in your classroom in this SmartFocus on Hands-on Science.
  Educational Leadership 
  • Duncan marks first year in office as reform agenda advances
    Education Secretary Arne Duncan is completing his first year as the nation's top education official, and many are wondering whether he will be successful in achieving an ambitious education-reform agenda -- backed by nearly $10 billion in federal grant programs -- and revising the No Child Left Behind law. Duncan's detractors say his reforms are heavy-handed, but even critics of Duncan's policies say he is effective at promoting them. "My report card is that he gets an A for being effective and a D-minus for the bad ideas," education expert Diane Ravitch wrote recently. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (1/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Gifted class that adopted Haiti school finds out students are safe
    Pam Ross, a gifted-education teacher at Pennsylvania's Marshall Middle School, and her students adopted a Haitian school as a class project and had been awaiting news about the fate of the school's teachers and students in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. All students and teachers at the school and orphanage were reported to be accounted for and safe. "All the children are fine ... Every single one is safe," Ross said. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Technology Trends 
  • Students who cannot see can experiment with accessible lab equipment
    Students with visual impairments at a Canadian high school are participating in science experiments with the help of specially designed lab equipment their school purchased to make the lessons more accessible. "In junior high, we wouldn't be able to participate much in labs at all," one student with visual impairments said. "We'd be the people who just record the information or hold things. It was frustrating for us and frustrating for our lab partners, as well, because they'd end up doing all the work and we'd just be sitting there." The Edmonton Journal (Alberta) (1/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Expert: Virtual-school movement can transform education
    Virtual schools can change the face of education because they present a model for learning unlike those already seen, and they target a population of students whose needs may be ignored in traditional schools, Nova Southeastern University professor Michael Simonson writes. The educational-technology expert argues that that online schools can transform education by building on the strengths of traditional schools while addressing future student needs. eSchool News (free registration) (1/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Policy News 
  • N.J. district spends stimulus cash on special-education upgrades
    A New Jersey school district is spending federal stimulus money on upgrades to its special-education programs. Those improvements include purchasing new computers that have speech recognition and other specialized capabilities and hiring two staffers to help students make smooth transitions after graduation and provide training in assistive classroom technology. Program officials said the grant money -- earmarked for one-time expenses -- may also be used to purchase interactive whiteboards for the district's high schools and middle schools. (Hackensack, N.J.)/The Item (Millburn and Short Hills, N.J.) (free registration) (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Cuts could close advocacy group for people with hearing impairments
    Officials with the Idaho Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing say their organization will not survive the budget cuts proposed by Gov. Butch Otter, and the group says its closure could leave the state vulnerable to lawsuits from those who rely on its services. Over four years, the group would lose more than $150,000 in annual state aid, which is the group's entire yearly budget. "We have stretched our budget almost to the breaking point, but I am very proud of the work we have done," the group's executive director said. KTVB-TV (Boise, Idaho) (1/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

3-Minute Motivators is a collection of over 100 simple, fun activities for any grade that will help you use "a little magic" to take a quick break, engage students, and refocus them on the task at hand. Click here to browse Chapter 1 online!

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

  Eye on Exceptionalities 
  • Vermont teen with visual impairments wins scholarship
    Vermont high-school student Dillon Hawley has not let his visual impairment interfere with his academic achievement or his participation in activities such as theater, chorus and running track and cross country. Hawley has been recognized as a top student in many of his courses and recently received a $10,000 college scholarship, one of 16 given to students nationwide by the Jewish Guild for the Blind. "What separates him from everyone else is not his disability, it's his commitment to his studies," one of his teachers said. Bennington Banner (Vt.) (1/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  CEC Spotlight 
  • Call for papers is extended for international conference in Riga, Latvia
    "Embracing Inclusive Approaches for Children and Youth with Special Education Needs," to be held from July 11 to 14 in Riga, Latvia, will bring together practitioners, researchers, policymakers and nongovernmental organizations from around the globe to discuss the current state of educating children and youth with special needs. The submission deadline has been extended to Jan. 30, and registration is now open. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Multicultural Institute to address education needs of students from diverse populations
    New this year, CEC is proud to offer a daylong Multicultural Institute on April 21 that will explore topics related to the education of students with exceptionalities from culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Led by Alba Ortiz of the University of Texas at Austin and Donna Ford of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., this institute will present successful strategies for addressing disproportionate representation -- both over-representation and under-representation -- in schools. Register for the Multicultural Institute when you register for the CEC Convention & Expo. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Special Education Doctoral Program in EBDUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincoln, NE USA

Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!"
--Nathaniel Hawthorne,
American author, from the novel "The Scarlet Letter"

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