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Nine strategies for students with disabilities
Scholastic Administration Magazine
The U.S. Office of Special Education Programs recently announced a major shift in the way it oversees the effectiveness of states' special education programs. Under this new framework, known as Results-Driven Accountability, the federal office has tilted the balance from a system focused primarily on procedural compliance to one that emphasizes improved educational results for students with disabilities.
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Looking to share your expertise?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of THE LD SOURCE, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of LDA and/or reader of THE LD SOURCE, your knowledge of learning disabilities and related issues lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit. Our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.

Starting the new year: Begin anew by cycling back
By Pamela Hill
It's a new year once again. Most traditions say to begin anew. Put aside old ideas and behaviors that did not work. In special education, it is important to build upon what has been taught successfully. Do not start with something entirely new, rather cycle back and refresh with students what they know and what they have learned. Celebrate what is strong in memory and practice, while observing students for what needs to be taught again or differently. Then add new learning, but link it to what is known.
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  "ACHIEVE" it all at SIU!

Thinking about college? Do you struggle with learning difficulties or organizational skills? The Achieve Program provides comprehensive academic support for college students with learning disabilities, autism, and ADHD. Call us at 618-453-6155 or visit our website at to discover how Achieve can help you!

Differentiation doesn't work
Education Week
Let's review the educational cure-alls of past decades: back to basics, the open classroom, whole language, constructivism, and E.D. Hirsch's excruciatingly detailed accounts of what every first- or third- grader should know, to name a few. It seems America's teachers and students are guinea pigs in the perennial quest for universal excellence. Sadly, though, the elusive panacea that will solve all of education's woes has remained, well, elusive.
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 In the News

Report: Students with disabilities and non-whites suspended more frequently than peers
Vermont Public Radio
Vermont students lost over 8,000 days of classes in one school year due to suspension and expulsion. That's according to a new report, and perhaps most telling in that report is the fact that those disciplinary actions were two to three times more likely to be taken on students with disabilities. The report, called "Kicked Out — Unfair and Unequal Discipline in Vermont's Schools" also found that non-white students were more likely to be suspended than white students.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword ADHD.

Why emotional learning may be as important as the ABCs
Thomas O'Donnell's kindergarten kids are all hopped up to read about Twiggle the anthropomorphic Turtle. "Who can tell me why Twiggle here is sad," O'Donnell asks his class at Matthew Henson Elementary School in Baltimore. "Because he doesn't have no friends," a student pipes up. And how do people look when they're sad? "They look down!" the whole class screams out. Yeah, Twiggle is lonely. But, eventually, he befriends a hedgehog, a duck and a dog. And along the way, he learns how to play, help and share.
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  Student-Paced, Mastery-Based Math

Since 2004, Math-U-See has worked with intervention and special education teachers to reach struggling special needs math students. Math-U-See corresponds to math ability rather than traditional grade levels, so it can be used with students of any age. We provide tools and training for an explicit, structured, systematic, cumulative program using multi-sensory teaching techniques. MORE

Busting the student data privacy myth
Scholastic Administrator
Tracking student data gives educators the power to make more informed decisions in their instruction for better student outcomes. But with great power comes great responsibility. That's why schools and ed tech companies alike are increasingly making student privacy a top priority. Still, many remain wary about data privacy issues — often due to confusion or lack of information on how the issue has progressed.
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4 common dyslexia myths debunked using neuroscience
The Huffington Post (commentary)
Priya Kalra, a contributor for The Huffington Post, writes: "Although scientists now understand dyslexia better than ever before, it is still a condition shrouded in myth and misunderstanding. I first came to see our flawed perceptions of dyslexia while tutoring a fourth-grader. Despite normal intelligence and effort, he could not read. I saw how the frustration this caused him affected his general behavior and attitude toward school."
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  Unique Approach to Reading Problems

See how a sandwich and a cake can help your students learn to read! The Stevenson Reading Program uses proven methods in unique and imaginative ways to address the needs of LD students. It often succeeds with students who have struggled with other specialized approaches. Visit our website here or call 800-343-1211 for info.

What is bullying?
District Administration Magazine
When we talk about bullying, what do we mean? Unfortunately, the answer is far from clear. Educators are taught one definition, while most state statutes have yet another definition. Worse, surveys are based on a variety of definitions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Education, and Health Resources and Services Administration partnered with bullying experts to develop a uniform definition of bullying.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Student reading practices lag far behind national goals (THE Journal)
Why active listening should be an integral part of the daily lesson plan (By: Shirley Veldhuis)
Common sense for the Common Core (Scholastic Administrator)
Gifted and dyslexic: Twice exceptional (Reading Today Online)
How can we help children with ADHD control their aggression? (Healthline News)

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

Why schools should pay more attention to students' grit and self-control
The Huffington Post
It may be just as important to evaluate schools based on students' levels of motivation and perseverance as it is to judge them based on students' standardized test scores. A report released by the National Bureau of Economic Research in December argues that policymakers tend to focus too much on test scores even though noncognitive skills, like motivation and perseverance, are just as predictive of students' future success.
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Arne Duncan bringing in key players as 'senior advisers'
Education Week
"Senior adviser" to the U.S. Department of Education. Get used to that title. It's becoming very popular these days. Robert Gordon, who played key roles at the Office of Management and Budget from 2009 to 2013, was nominated as assistant secretary for planning, evaluation and policy way back in May. But the Senate hasn't given him the okay, so Gordon has been working as a "senior adviser" at the Education Department since September.
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What will sink and what will survive as states test Common Core?
PBS Newshour
In 2008, a set of academic standards for U.S. public schools called the Common Core was created for states to voluntarily implement. Intended to raise the bar for American students and teachers, many states that originally signed on are now rewriting the standards or opting out altogether. Special correspondent John Tulenko of Learning Matters reports.
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LDA does not recommend or endorse any one specific diagnostic or therapeutic regime, whether it is educational, psychological or medical. The viewpoints expressed in THE LD SOURCE are those of the authors and advertisers.

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Hailey Golden, Senior Education Editor, 469.420.2630   
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