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A life well lived...
This week's thoughts are both difficult and yet an honor for me to write. Fred Weintraub, a great man in our profession passed away on May 2, 2014. Fred was a long time CEC and CASE member and really so much more. I first learned of his illness in an email he sent just as we were getting ready to start all that is the CEC Convention and Expo. The email was so typical of Fred's thoughts, attitude and humor, let me quote his opening paragraph:
"For the first time, since 1967, I will miss the pleasure of seeing you and my other CEC colleagues at the Convention. Since Philadelphia is where I grew up, my absence will be even more disappointing. As some of you know my health has been declining for the past year leading to a near death system collapse in February. Since then I have been regaining my health and strength. However, we have found that the culprit for all the problems is Pancreatic Cancer, that is currently inoperable. While the chemo I am receiving may be of some help, I am not planning on submitting a session proposal for next year's Convention."
How many people can say they have attended any convention for 46 years? And who can make such a devastating announcement in such a way the recipients shed tears and laughs in the same breath! Fred Weintraub could! For those of you who may not know Fred Weintraub, let me give you just a brief and very incomplete rundown on the amazing contributions he has made to the field of education and specifically special education.
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Special discount offer to CASE members!
CASE is a national outreach partner on the Who Cares About Kelsey? film and education project. CASE members can receive a 50 percent discount on the Who Cares About Kelsey? Education DVD Kit, which contains the film, 11 mini-films and extensive educational materials. Who Cares About Kelsey? documents the lives of students with emotional/behavioral challenges, and shows innovative educational approaches that help these students to succeed — while improving the overall school culture and climate. All films included in the Project are directed by Dan Habib (creator of Including Samuel). To learn more and to purchase the Kit, go to www.whocaresaboutkelsey.com/dvd. To receive your 50 percent discount, please use the coupon code: Fledgling50. This opportunity is made possible by a grant to the Who Cares About Kelsey? project from the Fledgling Foundation, and will last only until the first 200 discount coupons are utilized.
Special Education Symposium — July 21-25
The Bresnahan-Halstead Center
The Bresnahan-Halstead Center at the University of Northern Colorado is sponsoring a week long Special Education Symposium the week of July 21-25 at the Lion Square Lodge in beautiful Vail, Colorado. Participants in the Symposium will have the opportunity to hear and interact with Don Deshler, Steve Kukic, Beth Harry, Michael Epstein, and Harvey Rude who address the topic of: "Instructional Excellence for Improving Learner Outcomes." Session attendees will walk away with an action plan to apply innovative strategies that work, and produce the outcomes of results and learning for individual learners, including those with disabilities. To receive additional information, please contact Bresnahan-Halstead Center Business Manager, Lorae Blum at Lorae.Blum@unco.edu or visit our website at: http://www.unco.edu/bresnahan-halstead.
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Bookshare has just launched a social media blog on staying connected
In this blog, you'll get the scoop on all your favorite online hotspots like the Bookshare blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest so that you can quickly reach our staff, get timely answers to your questions, learn about Bookshare products, trainings and events and connect with the broader community that supports people with print disabilities. Are you fully connected? If not, join us now!
IEP/ARD Facilitation & Conflict Prevention Training
Ed21 Consulting Services
Key2Ed, Inc., in partnership with Ed21 Consulting Services, is sponsoring a training on IEP/ARD Facilitation & Conflict Prevention, June 25-26, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. IEP/ARD Facilitation & Conflict Prevention Training focuses on the value of a facilitated IEP meeting and how when it is used proactively and routinely, it benefits school personnel, parents, and, most importantly, students! As a result of participation in this training, attendees will have (1) an understanding of the FIEP process; (2) an understanding of the value and use of the FIEP process; and (3) actionable information necessary for process implementation in their program. This training has been developed by Key2Ed, Inc., foremost experts and practitioners in the field of facilitated IEP. Registration is limited to 70 participants, so please act quickly to secure your spot. Participants will receive a continuing education certificate in IEP/ARD Facilitation & Conflict Prevention. Download the Registration Form. For more information about the training, contact Cassie Velasquez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PowerUp WHAT WORKS
Center for Technology Implementation
We're excited to share our news about PowerUp WHAT WORKS (www.PowerUpWhatWorks.org), developed by the Center for Technology Implementation at the American Institutes for Research. PowerUp WHAT WORKS is a free professional learning website that offers teachers, PD facilitators, and administrators' resources for helping struggling students, especially those with disabilities, meet the Common Core State Standards. The focus is on linking evidence-based practices and technology in English language arts and math.
Join CEC, lawmakers in urging Obama to invest in IDEA
Does your Representative in Congress support increasing funding for IDEA?
Now's the time to find out!
Use CEC's Legislative Action Center to ask your Representative to join a bi-partisan group of lawmakers in urging President Obama to increase funding for IDEA in his FY 2015 budget proposal, which is expected next month.
Led by Congressmen Huffman, D-Calif., Polis, D-Colo., McKinley, R-W.Va., and Harper R-Miss., this letter to President Barack Obama recognizes that Congress has failed to fulfill its pledge to fully fund IDEA and presses the President to get IDEA on a path to reaching full funding in ten years.
Please join CEC in advocating for increased IDEA funding by asking your lawmakers to sign this letter — it only takes a minute using CEC's Legislative Action Center!
Teacher Educators and Accomplished teachers
Pearson is in need of educators to score edTPA! edTPA is designed for the profession by the profession, edTPA was developed by teachers and teacher educators from across the nation, in collaboration with faculty and staff from Stanford University, to support candidate learning and preparation program growth and renewal. Aligned with the Common Core State Standards and InTASC Standards, edTPA assesses teaching that promotes student learning in diverse contexts.
New mathematics sample lessons and activities focused on fractions
NCII has posted a new resources to assist special education teachers, interventionists, and others working with students with intensive mathematics needs. The materials include intervention guidance, sample activities and companion materials necessary to complete the activities. The mathematics materials are aligned with the Common Core State Standards and cover a range of skill areas. These materials are not intended to be used as an intervention, but can provide support for developing and customizing lessons to meet student needs. At this time, NCII has posted collections focused on Fractions as Numbers and Computation of Fractions. Additional collections as well as resources focused on reading and behavior will be added to the NCII website on a rolling basis. View the sample math lessons and activities on the NCII website.
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Registration is open for next NCII webinar: So What do I do Now? Strategies for Intensifying Intervention when Standard Approaches Don't Work
Register now for NCII's next webinar on Tuesday April 29, 2014 from 3:00–4:15 p.m. ET. The webinar, So What do I do Now? Strategies for Intensifying Intervention when Standard Approaches Don't Work, will be presented by Dr. Sharon Vaughn of the University of Texas Austin and Dr. Rebecca Zumeta of NCII. In the webinar, Drs. Vaughn and Zumeta will discuss approaches to intensifying academic interventions for students with significant and persistent needs. The presenters will address four categories of practice for intensification, with an emphasis on combining cognitive processing strategies with academic learning. Special educators, school psychologists, interventionists, classroom teachers, and school and district leaders are encouraged to attend. Click here to register.
CEC 2014 Strand I Presentations: Using Intensive Intervention to Meet the Academic and Behavior Needs of Struggling Learners
Did you miss the Strand, Using Intensive Intervention to Meet the Academic and Behavior Needs of Struggling Learners, that NCII presented at CEC 2014 Convention and Expo? The Strand provided participants with an overview of how principles of intensive intervention may be applied to students with severe and persistent learning needs across reading, mathematics, and behavior and included three content-oriented sessions focused on reading, mathematics, and behavior and one panel session covering common implementation issues associated with provision of intensive services. The presentations and handouts for each of the sessions is available for download on the NCII website.
Check out CEC's video tribute to special educators
CEC Policy Insider
In recognition of Thank a Teacher Day, CEC's created a video tribute to special educators, You Are Special Education. Watch it and share it with your favorite special educators to let them know how much you appreciate their hard work.
US Department of Education seeks feedback on New Preschool Development Grants Competition
CEC Policy Insider
the U.S. Department of Education posted Executive Summaries for the New Preschool Development Grants Competition and is seeking public comment on both by May 16 at 5p.m.
Obama appoints new members to National Council on Disability
CEC Policy Insider
Recently, President Barack Obama appointed three new and one returning member to the National Council on Disability. NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices and procedures that affect people with disabilities.
How teaching students with special needs makes a better teacher for everyone
For some parents, the idea of having their child educated in the same classroom as a student with a disability can be off-putting. Parents may believe that meeting the needs of students with disabilities requires extra attention and support that detracts from their own child's learning. But educating children who don't have special needs in the same classroom as those who do, which happens more and more because of recent special education reforms, can be an opportunity for greater learning for all students — if teachers get creative.
Kids' use of behavioral meds on the rise
A new survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds 7.5 percent of American children are taking medication to address behavioral or emotional difficulties and in most cases parents say the drugs are making a big difference. Boys and children who are white are most likely to be prescribed medication for behavioral or emotional issues. Children in low-income families and those insured by Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program are also taking the drugs in greater numbers. The findings are based on interviews with parents of kids ages 6 to 17 across the country who participated in the National Health Interview Survey in 2011 and 2012.
Many bullied teens carry weapons to school, study finds
Large numbers of U.S. high school students who are bullied take weapons to school, a new study finds. "Victims of bullying who have been threatened, engaged in a fight, injured or had property stolen or damaged are much more likely to carry a gun or knife to school," said study senior investigator Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York. The researchers analyzed data from more than 15,000 U.S. high school students who took part in a 2011 survey. They found that teens who suffered many types of bullying are up to 31 times more likely to bring weapons such as guns and knives to school than those who have not been bullied.
Secretary Duncan and Attorney General Holder issue guidance for school districts to ensure equal access for all children to public schools, regardless of immigration status
U.S. Department of Education
Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder announced updated guidance to assist public elementary and secondary schools to ensure enrollment processes are consistent with the law and fulfill their obligation to provide all children — no matter their background — equal access to an education.
How our 1,000-year-old math curriculum cheats America's kids
Imagine you had to take an art class in which you were taught how to paint a fence or a wall, but you were never shown the paintings of the great masters, and you weren't even told that such paintings existed. Pretty soon you'd be asking, why study art? That's absurd, of course, but it's surprisingly close to the way we teach children mathematics. In elementary and middle school and even into high school, we hide math's great masterpieces from students' view.
Bullies come from all socioeconomic sectors
A new systematic literature review on the association between socioeconomic status and involvement in childhood bullying has led researchers to recommend universal policies to combat bullying. Investigators say the behavior occurs among all socioeconomic sectors and that nearly one-third of all children are involved in bullying. This finding suggests bullying is a significant public health issue which can cause long-lasting health and social problems. The new review, published in the American Journal of Public Health, advises that policymakers should be wary of assuming that bullies are more likely to come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
Why parents shouldn't help kids with their homework
It may feel tempting — proper even — to help your child with homework, but parents who get involved this way don't improve their kids' test scores or grades, and can hurt their academic achievement, two researchers have found. "We need to do away with the assumption that anything parents do will help. That assumes that parents have all the answers, and parents do not have all the answers," Angel L. Harris, one of the scholars, told TODAY Moms.
Is cursive handwriting slowly dying out in America?
Many elementary schools across the United States have dropped cursive instruction altogether as increased testing, the implementation of Common Core State Standards and computers in the classroom take more time and resources. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia use the Common Core's English Language Arts standards. But a few states (California, Idaho, Kansas, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee among them) have recently moved to make cursive mandatory.
What are education tests for, anyway?
Pay attention to this piece. There's going to be a test at the end. Did that trigger scary memories of the 10th grade? Or are you just curious how you'll measure up? If the answer is "C: Either of the above," keep reading. Tests have existed throughout the history of education. Today they're being used more than ever before — but not necessarily as designed. Different types of tests are best for different purposes. Some help students learn better. Some are there to sort individuals. Others help us understand how a whole population is doing.
Beyond grades: Do games have a future as assessment tools?
Most tests represent a snapshot of one moment in the trajectory of a student's academic journey, extrapolating what the student has learned overall. There are plenty of ways educators are trying to supplement those tests with more nuanced, formative assessments. With the advent of game-based learning, educators have been investigating how data collected from video game play could provide insight into the way students think as they explore new concepts.
CASE Weekly Update
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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