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Questions surround vouchers for students with disabilities
Disability Scoop
Some students with disabilities may get a chance to leave the public school system here — but advocates and parents aren't sure it will improve their education. Lawmakers in Mississippi will soon debate a bill to give special education students vouchers for private schools, which supporters say will boost their options and opportunities. Opponents, though, say vouchers will simply send students with disabilities to ill-equipped, unregulated schools and ultimately absolve the state of responsibility for some 54,000 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.

The power of observation
By: Pamela Hill
How do we know that a student is learning? What behaviors must they demonstrate for the teacher to draw the conclusion that the student has learned? Who determines learning? The teacher, the curriculum and the standards do. The current measure of learning is assessment. The student must indicate what they know by answering questions in a test format. However, there is a piece missing that is important to determine if a student has learned and is learning.
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  Phonics Approach & Tools Build Accuracy

With Go Phonics confidence soars as struggling/dyslexic beginning readers get the prep to build reading fluency and accuracy: 50 phonics games, worksheets, and over 90 decodable stories. Orton-Gillingham based explicit, systematic, multisensory phonics lessons steer the course, applying skills in reading, spelling, comprehension, language arts... Sample Lessons/Overview download:

Early childhood programs found to significantly lower likelihood of special education placements in third grade
AERA via Science Daily
Access to state-supported early childhood programs significantly reduces the likelihood that children will be placed in special education in the third grade, academically benefiting students and resulting in considerable cost savings to school districts, according to new research published today in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association.
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 In the News

ESEA would see $2.7 billion increase under FY 2016 budget
eSchool News
President Barack Obama's FY 2016 budget request includes four focus areas for education, including increasing equity and opportunity for all students; expanding high-quality early learning programs; supporting teachers and school leaders; and improving access, affordability and student outcomes in postsecondary education. Education Technology State Grants would receive $200 million to support models that use technology to help teachers improve instruction and personalize learning for students.
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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

Red flags raised on plan to let Title I aid follow students
Education Week
Education groups are fighting a proposal on Capitol Hill that would allow federal funding to follow disadvantaged students to the public schools of their choice — an idea that school district advocates see as a pit stop on the highway to Voucherville. The policy — known as "Title I portability" — is included in a draft bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act introduced by U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate education committee.
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Study looks to tap strengths of ADHD students
Medical Xpress
People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, some studies suggest, are more creative and more willing to take risks. Those traits are exactly what the field of engineering needs, say a team of researchers, but the traditional model of teaching is driving away potential pioneers in the field. With funding from the Research in Engineering Education, a program of the National Science Foundation, they're embarking on a study designed to find a better way to teach these students.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword ADHD.

  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.

The toxic threat lurking inside school buses
We've all inhaled sickening exhaust fumes when driving behind a diesel school bus. But those fumes can also get sucked inside the bus, exposing children to high levels of pollution. Riding such "leaky" older school buses can lead to respiratory illnesses and even cancer, which is why the Utah legislature is considering legislation to replace 450 of the worst-polluting buses in its 2,500-vehicle fleet.
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Final testing count: More than half of students will take non-consortium exams
Education Week
More than half of the students in the country live in states that will not be using the PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessments this year. As you can see from EdWeek's updated chart below, 51 percent of students live in states that will be testing the common core — or whatever standards they chose — with tests designed for them, or purchased off the shelf. More than one-quarter of U.S. students live in states that will be using the Smarter Balanced assessment to gauge mastery of English/language arts and mathematics; 18 percent are in states using PARCC.
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Pregame analysis: The coming federal education debate
The main federal education law may finally get its long-overdue makeover in Congress this year, and we're going to be hearing and reading a lot about it. Formally, it's the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA. The last time it got a major overhaul was in 2001, with President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act. But nothing much has been done with the law since 2007. If Congress does finally get to it this year, What can we expect?
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Will digital accessible books improve reading for students with dyslexia? (EdSurge)
Tanya always forgets. What's wrong with her? (By: Howard Margolis)
Mindfulness exercises improve kids' math scores (Time)
Common pesticide may increase risk of ADHD (Rutgers University via Science Daily)
Efforts underway to fully fund IDEA (Disability Scoop)

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

Lawmaker calls for more teacher training, resources to help students with dyslexia
Deseret News
Natalie Pollard couldn't understand why her son, Aran, was having an especially hard time learning to read in first grade. Aran had a good teacher. He had supplemental instruction. He studied long hours after school with his mother. But his progress was slim. In fact, many times he seemed to be losing ground. "I was at a loss as to what to do," Pollard said. The summer before Aran entered second grade, the Pollard family met a dyslexia eduction specialist who had moved into their Layton neighborhood. Not long after, an answer emerged: Aran had moderate dyslexia.
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Energy drinks significantly increase hyperactivity in schoolchildren, study finds
Yale University via Science Daily
Middle-school children who consume heavily sweetened energy drinks are 66 percent more likely to be at risk for hyperactivity and inattention symptoms, a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health has found. The finding has implications for school success and lends support to existing recommendations to limit the amount of sweetened beverages schoolchildren drink. The authors also recommend that children avoid energy drinks, which in addition to high levels of sugar also often contain caffeine. The study is published in the journal Academic Pediatrics.
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8 steps to combat the bullying epidemic
October was National Bullying Prevention Month in the U.S. But shouldn't every month be bullying prevention month? Shouldn't we do more about this problem — this epidemic — than raise awareness about it during one month out of 12?
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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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