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So much happening at CASE
CASE
Facebook CASE had such a successful CASE Winter Conference and yet we arrived back at the office with a full plate. Here are some of the major opportunities from the CASE office:

Are You Ready for March Madness?

A highly regarded DC budget guru has labeled the upcoming fiscal collision "Fiscal March Madness," an apt description for what may happen if Congress fails to act again. Since the passage of the 2011 Budget Control Act, Congress has been unable to reach agreement on how to sensibly address deficit reduction. This poses a serious threat to all federal programs. In the next CASE Newsletter, Myrna Mandlawitz will go into more detail on the meaning of sequestration. Hopefully Congress will head all of our many emails and phone calls on not allowing this disastrous across the board cut from happening on March 1. But just last night I heard a commentator say it was all hype. I couldn't believe my ears when he said it really meant was funding would just stay level and we wouldn't get the "increases!" I don't know what country he is living in but education has not been getting increases, we have been getting cuts. There is a group out there who has decided maybe it would be good in the long run if Sequestration went through and the general population suddenly realized all they did have to give up ... Maybe a verbal uprising would be a good message to congress.

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San Antonio, here we come
CASE
Have you made your reservations to attend the CEC Convention in San Antonio, TX April 3-6? CASE, as always, will be very busy at the convention. Our annual combined member and Board of Director meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 3 — starting with a sponsored breakfast. We will be voting on some constitutional changes (click here for a summary) that are now posted on our CASE website in the members only section. Be sure to check them out. We will also be announcing the results of the CASE election for secretary — watch our website for important information on this office and the electronic vote to be held in March.

Our SHOWCASE Session will be on Thursday, April 4 and will once again feature Julie Weatherly, Esq. CASE Night will be a San Antonio Adventure, sponsored by Cambium Learning Group and will include an afterhours tour of the Alamo, appetizers and dinner at the historic St. Anthony's Hotel and ending the evening with a DJ and experienced line dancing instructor. CASE Night tickets are on sale NOW at the www.casecec.org As always, we will have a great giveaway at the CASE booth — the place to hang out in the convention exhibit hall. On Friday, April 5, an annual CASE tradition, the Aspiring Administrators Panel, will be another great session you will not want to miss and you will want to encourage the teachers who are attending to mark this as a must be in session. See you on the River Walk.

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Not too early to be saving the dates
CASE
Speaking of dates ... the July Educational Legislative Leadership Seminar is just around the corner on July 14-17, 2013 at the Old Town Hilton, Alexandria, Va. Watch for more details in the next week.
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Education Talk Radio archive
CASE
Larry Jacobsen, of Education Talk Radio, has taken an interest in CASE and Executive Director Luann Purcell has done several of his radio shows. The most recent one was Friday, Feb. 22 and you can access this free show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edutalk/2013/02/22/special-education-administration. This is a very interesting program that invites various speakers each week. Go to http://educationtalkradio.wordpress.com/ for the schedule and for other archived programs you might be interested in. One note you may be interested in, on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 9:00 a.m. EST the guest will be from the iNACOL (International Association for K-12 On Line Education) — those of you who joined us either on site or virtually for the CASE Conference will remember Matt Wicks speaking on online learning was from this organization.
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CASE Night
CASE
CASE Night April 4 in San Antonio ... Tickets ($65) are now on sale on the CASE Website, www.casecec.org. If you are going to CEC be sure to get your ticket for this wonderful evening of Texas Adventures. We will be doing an afterhours tour of the Alamo — and then move over to the historic St. Anthony's Hotel to have appetizers, hear a Jazz band and have dinner. After dinner we will have a DJ and a Line Dance Instructor help us dance the night away. Remember, CASE Night typically sells out so get your tickets now.
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Center on Online Learning
CASE
Online learning programs for K-12 students are enjoying rapid growth nationwide, but there is little understanding of the effectiveness of these programs for students with disabilities. Recognizing the need for research in this area, the Office of Special Education Programs within the U.S. Department of Education created the Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities one year ago. The Center aims to improve the accessibility and engagement of K-12 online learning for students with disabilities through a focus on learner variability.
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Special Education Law Symposium
CASE
Designed for a national audience, this intensive one-week, well-balanced program is available on both a noncredit and graduate-credit basis and provides a thorough analysis of the leading issues under the IDEA and Section 504. Among the 19 symposium sessions are the following "hot topics": RTI; discipline, including a mock manifestation determination hearing;child find; transitional services; tuition reimbursement and other remedies; disability-­related bullying; and autism.
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Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income
U.S. Department of Education
The U.S. Department of Education just posted a Public Input Notice at www.ed.gov/PROMISE inviting interested persons and organizations to provide input on a new competitive grant program, Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income. The purpose of this program is to fund model demonstration projects in States to promote improved outcomes for children who receive SSI and their families. Under this program, projects must form strong and effective partnerships among State agencies responsible for programs that play a key role in providing services to child SSI recipients and their families and provide coordinated services and supports designed to improve the education and employment outcomes of child SSI recipients and their families.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  READ180

READ 180 is a comprehensive system of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development proven to raise reading achievement for struggling readers in grades 4–12+. Designed for any student reading two or more years below grade-level, READ 180 leverages adaptive technology to individualize instruction for students and provide powerful data for differentiation to teachers. READ 180 helps target the specific skill deficits and unique instructional needs outlined in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Learn More
 


CEC Policy Insider


House Democrats unveil principles for gun violence prevention
CEC Policy Insider
Recently, the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, a group of 12 democratic lawmakers led by Rep. Mike Thompson, unveiled their plan to reduce gun violence set forth in 15 principles. Of particular note to special/gifted educators is the plan's theme on providing additional support to schools to address the mental health needs of students.
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Senate bill would expand mental health services — Attempts to tackle stigma
CEC Policy Insider
Recently, a bi-partisan group of senators — led by Sens. Stabenow, D-MI, and Blunt, R-MO — introduced the Excellence in Mental Health Act, legislation that, among other things, would ensure that federally qualified community behavioral health centers include mental health services, including 24-hour crisis care, integrated physical-mental-substance abuse treatment and additional support for families of individuals living with mental health issues.
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Support social and emotional learning today
CEC Policy Insider
Educators understand the importance of addressing the social and emotional needs of students, especially as it relates to success in school and in life. Now, urge your Representative to sign on to a letter — spearheaded by Rep. Tim Ryan, D-OH — supporting social and emotional learning to U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Online Universal Screening and Progress Monitoring

Get fast and accurate measures of your students' proficiency with Path Driver for Reading™ and Path Driver for Math™ — powerful, Online Assessment Systems for Universal Screening and Progress Monitoring. Say no to messy and time-consuming paper and pencil tests; say yes to online assessments and online management with Path Driver. Click to learn more.
 


Sequestration is fast approaching: CEC shares concerns with White House
CEC Policy Insider
Sequestration, the D.C. name for $85 billion dollars of across the board budget cuts, is less than 10 days away. If Congress and the administration fail to act, the U.S. Dept. of Education will lose $2.5 billion dollars on March 1. On Feb. 19, CEC attended a speech that President Barack Obama delivered at the White House in which he urged Congress to take all needed steps to ensure that sequestration cuts, which he described would have the impact of a "meat cleaver" do not occur.
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Speak out on behalf of special and gifted education — Share your story with CEC
CEC Policy Insider
Every year, CEC publishes the Federal Outlook for Exceptional Children, providing an overview of federally-funded programs — IDEA and Javits grants — that impact the lives of children and youth with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. The Outlook is distributed to members of Congress, federal agencies and other leaders in the education community with the hope that a better understanding of such programs will lead to increased federal funding for special/gifted education programs.
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
New online assessments to include accommodations for students with disabilities
eClassroom News
One of the two state consortia developing next-generation assessments to be taken online is seeking comments on a draft policy that proposes accommodations for students with disabilities who need help expressing themselves in writing or typing on a computer. The proposal comes from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, a 22-state effort to develop new online assessments in English and math, aligned with the Common Core State Standards, that will test a full range of student performance on skills necessary for college or career readiness.

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The other achievement gap: Children with learning disabilities
Education Week
Just in time for Learning Disabilities Awareness Month, a new report is out that discusses how to help more children with dyslexia become proficient readers. Without these students — who combined with other students with learning disabilities make up about 5 percent of the school-age population — schools can't overcome the achievement gap, the report notes.

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Treatment for traumatized kids? Best way to help children heal is unknown
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post
Shootings and other traumatic events involving children are not rare events, but there's a startling lack of scientific evidence on the best ways to help young survivors and witnesses heal, a government-funded analysis found. School-based counseling treatments showed the most promise, but there's no hard proof that anxiety drugs or other medication work and far more research is needed to provide solid answers, say the authors who reviewed 25 studies. Their report was sponsored by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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Hot Topics


The value of natural play
By Gordon MacIntyre
Children today do not play outside as much as even a generation ago. It is a function of the way society, parenting and, therefore, children are developing. As parents, we worry about the boogeyman syndrome, that if we let our children out of our sight, someone will harm them. We worry about the evil in the world and about the safety of children, and so, albeit with good intentions, we restrict them. We don't let them explore on their own. We structure the majority of their time, too often placing our own rules on them, leading their play. But natural play is nourishment to a child's soul, and here's why.
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Community Pulse: Do today's children spend too much time indoors?
answer now


To read better, dyslexics may need to speed things up
Discover Magazine
"Slow down. Sound it out." This is the mantra for most dyslexic students learning to read. But results from a new computer training program suggest that the opposite may be true for dyslexics once they've learned to read — going faster could improve reading skills and comprehension. Researchers in Israel compared the reading skills of dyslexic and nondyslexic university students, before and after using a custom computer training program. The program's premise is this: a sentence appears on the computer screen, which the participant is supposed to read silently.
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ADHD treatments not working for most young children
HealthDay News
Most young children being treated for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder — either with or without medication — still have serious symptoms of their condition, according to a new long-term study. The neurobehavioral disorder interferes with the ability to concentrate. ADHD also causes restlessness, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior, which can have lasting effects on children's intellectual and emotional development.
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New online assessments to include accommodations for students with disabilities
eClassroom News
One of the two state consortia developing next-generation assessments to be taken online is seeking comments on a draft policy that proposes accommodations for students with disabilities who need help expressing themselves in writing or typing on a computer. The proposal comes from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, a 22-state effort to develop new online assessments in English and math, aligned with the Common Core State Standards, that will test a full range of student performance on skills necessary for college or career readiness.
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Robots help children 'attend' school despite illnesses
The Associated Press via Silicon Valley Mercury News
Devon Carrow's life-threatening allergies don't allow him to go to school. But the 4-foot-tall robot with a wireless video hookup gives him the school experience remotely, allowing him to participate in class, stroll through the hallways, hang out at recess and even take to the auditorium stage when there's a show.
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Urban school-based asthma treatment cost-effective
HealthDay News via Doctor's Lounge
A program to administer asthma medication each day to urban children with asthma reduces symptoms and is cost-effective, according to research published online Feb. 11 in Pediatrics. Katia Noyes, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of Rochester in New York, and colleagues analyzed data from the School-Based Asthma Therapy program, a study involving 525 children (3- to 10-years-old) with asthma attending urban schools who were randomized to receive either usual care or one dose of preventative asthma medication at school each school day.
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Massachusetts challenges school using shock therapy
Disability Scoop
Officials in Massachusetts are taking steps to clamp down on a controversial school that uses electric shocks to address behavior problems in kids and adults with developmental disabilities. In a legal filing, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley moved to end a court order that has limited the state's regulatory authority of the Judge Rotenberg Center since the 1980s. The Canton, Mass. facility, which serves children and adults with developmental disabilities and those with behavioral and emotional problems, is believed to be the only one in the country using electric shocks to address behavior issues.
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Legislation


Advocates, administrators divided on dyslexia bill
The Topeka Capital-Journal
Advocates of children with dyslexia are hoping this could finally be the year that lawmakers pass a bill on how schools serve dyslexic students. For years, parents who say their children aren't receiving adequate services have been calling for change, arguing that many children with dyslexia go undiagnosed. Moreover, even when diagnosed, they say, those students often don't receive the specialized instruction they need. A bill in the Kansas Senate Committee on Education would seek to remedy that.
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Obama proposal reflects shift in views on early childhood education
The Washington Post
President Barack Obama's call for universal preschool in his State of the Union address underlines a national shift in thinking about early childhood education, driven by advances in neuroscience and a growing urgency about the need to close the achievement gap between poor and privileged children. A small but increasing number of states have invested tax dollars in preschool during the past decade, and millions of parents are walking their 3- and 4-year-old children into classrooms instead of keeping them at home or with a babysitter.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Treatment for traumatized kids? Best way to help children heal is unknown (The Associated Press via The Huffington Post )
Obama warns of cuts to special education (Disability Scoop)
Anxious about tests? Tips to ease students angst (MindShift)
Warning signs and help with dyslexia (First Coast News)
Common Core technology requirements outlined (Education Week)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


Report suggests broadly expanding federal K-12 education spending
San Jose Mercury News
In a sweeping vision to broaden educational opportunity, a panel of national education leaders has recommended boosting teacher pay and training, widening access to preschool and adding an unprecedented level of federal involvement in schools. Among the reasons cited by the federal advisory commission for its bold proposal: poor achievement and the yawning achievement gap.
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In the News


Study: NCLB waiver weaken grad rate accountability
The Associated Press via ABC News
Many states granted waivers from the No Child Left Behind law are relaxing or ignoring federal regulations designed to hold schools accountable for the number of students who graduate from high school on time, according to a new study. When No Child Left Behind was signed into law in 2002, states used so many different ways to calculate graduation rates it was almost impossible to know how many students in the U.S. finished high school with a regular diploma in four years.
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Report: State school funding unfair
Stateline
A recent report commissioned by Congress found that states don't fund education fairly across jurisdictions, need to do a better job intervening in struggling school districts and encouraging better-qualified teachers to enter the profession — and stay. "In far too many communities, in far too many cities, in far too many states, there are inequities," said U.S. Education Secretary Duncan. "This report doesn't just compel us to think and talk, but to act." The report, overseen by a broad commission that includes academics, education advocates, state and federal officials and labor leaders, targets five major areas for improvement: school funding, teacher quality, preschool, resources in high-poverty communities and school governance and accountability.  
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New report continues the dialogue on testing integrity
ED.gov Blog (commentary)
Academic assessment plays an important role in making decisions about the education of our children. We — parents, educators and administrators — all depend on valid and reliable data. Yet a series of high-profile cheating incidents over the last several years has raised concerns about the integrity of those testing data. And even though every state has made an effort to prevent cheating, states haven't always had access to a library of test security strategies that are most likely to work.
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Mississippi requires dyslexia screening
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
Another piece of improving literacy is targeting services to students with dyslexia. Last year, the Mississippi Legislature passed a law to give greater attention to helping students with the learning disability that makes it difficult for them to read. It requires schools to screen all students for dyslexia during the spring of their kindergarten year and the fall of their first-grade year. Those who fail the test are eligible for placement in a dyslexia therapy program within their schools or in another public school or nonpublic special purpose school, with state-sponsored scholarships available.
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Class struggle — How charter schools get students they want
Reuters
Students may be asked to submit a 15-page typed research paper, an original short story, or a handwritten essay on the historical figure they would most like to meet. There are interviews. Exams. And pages of questions for parents to answer, including: How do you intend to help this school if we admit your son or daughter? These aren't college applications. They're applications for seats at charter schools. Charters are public schools, funded by taxpayers and widely promoted as open to all. But Reuters has found that across the United States, charters aggressively screen student applicants, assessing their academic records, parental support, disciplinary history, motivation, special needs and even their citizenship, sometimes in violation of state and federal law.
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Arizona lawmaker: Make schools get consent to use isolation rooms
Arizona Daily Star
When Leslie Noyes stopped by her son's Glendale elementary school last year, she said she found him lying face-down on the floor of an enclosed, 5-by-5-foot structure in the back of the special education classroom. Noyes said she had no idea the school had been regularly putting the 7-year-old in what's commonly referred to as an isolation or seclusion room in response to his behavior issues. "Finally I was able to carry him out of the room and it was like, 'What is this? Why don't I know about this?'" she said. A Arizona lawmaker said she wants to spare other parents from being surprised to learn that a school is using isolation rooms to address student behavior.
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UPCOMING EVENTS





Event       Location     Dates Notes

CASE EC       San Antonio     April 2 More information to come.

CASE Member/BOD Meeting       San Antonio     April 3 More information to come.

CASE Night       San Antonio     April 4 More information to come.



 

CASE Weekly Update
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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