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Education department leaders say special education offers lessons for all
Education Week
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, along with federal leaders who oversee special education, told a conference of special education leaders and parents of students with disabilities that their experiences can help guide a number of national initiatives, including expanded preschool and preparing students for college and work. The audience was gathered here for the yearly IDEA Leadership Conference. Duncan, repeating the administration's focus on creating a $75 billion federal investment in state-run preschool, said that preschool can help reduce the number of students enrolled in special education.
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Study: Some districts to develop own Common Core assessments
District Administration Magazine
Some of the school districts adopting online Common Core assessments to measure academic achievement in 2014-2015 plan to develop their own tests. In a survey released by Enterasys, a company specializing in wireless systems, 42 percent of schools plan to develop their own tests, while 55 percent of schools are likely to work with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers or the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.
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 In the News

Video game 'addiction' more likely with autism, ADHD
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
Boys with autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are more at risk of addictive video game use than typically developing boys, according to new research. The study of nearly 150 boys found that those with an autism spectrum disorder played video games for significantly longer periods each day than typically developing boys — an average of 2.1 hours versus 1.2 hours. Boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder averaged 1.7 hours of video game use daily.
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New Common Core tests: Worth the price?
The Washington Post
Now that both of the federally-funded consortia of states designing standardized tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards have released pricing data for each exam, states are assessing whether they can afford to pay. Already some aren't liking what they see. The 21-state Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, announced how much it would cost for the Core-aligned test: $29.50 a student for summative math and reading tests. More than half of the states in the consortium now pay less for their current assessment tests. When officials in Georgia heard the numbers, they pulled out of the consortium, given that they now spend a total of $12 a student for math and reading tests.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    House GOP pushes through curbs on No Child Left Behind (The Christian Science Monitor)
The genetics of dyslexia and language impairment (Medical News Today)
Yale initiative raises dyslexia awareness in Latino communities (Latina Lista)
House NCLB rewrite contains adaptive-testing provision (Education Week)
Research sheds new light on our unique ability to learn languages (RedOrbit)

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

Disability spending drops for first time in years
Disability Scoop
For the first time in decades, a new report finds that total government spending on individuals with developmental disabilities has declined. When adjusted for inflation, government funding fell 0.2 percent in 2011 as compared to the year prior, according to findings in the 2013 State of the States in Developmental Disabilities, a report produced by the University of Colorado. That's the slowest growth rate documented in at least 35 years, researchers said. Overall government spending on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for 2011 — the most recent year for which data is available — was $56.65 billion, the report found.
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When bad things happen to good NAEP data
Education Week
The National Assessment of Educational Progress is widely viewed as the most accurate and reliable yardstick of U.S. students' academic knowledge. But when it comes to many of the ways the exam's data are used, researchers have gotten used to gritting their teeth. Results from the venerable exam are frequently pressed into service to bolster claims about the effect that policies, from test-based accountability to collective bargaining to specific reading and math interventions, have had on student achievement.
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Why we need a new education law — and why education technology should play a role
eSchool News
The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act has eluded Congress for too long. Without Congressional action, the current administration has seized the moment and used regulatory fiat to implement its policies. But many of us feel that the policies being implemented lack counsel from the educators in the trenches. The voices of teachers, principals, superintendents, and board members go unheeded, and we are on the verge of causing serious harm to an educational system weighed down by federal rules and regulations. The reauthorization effort will re-establish a democratic process that will allow those in the field once again to weigh in with suggestions that might put us back on the road to true education reform.
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Deluged by Common Core 'aligned' materials
Education Week
Educators face quite a challenge as they try to figure out what's good and what isn't in the world of instructional materials for the new standards. Of course this is hardly a new situation. State standards — and the flood of vendor-produced materials that respond to them — have been around for decades now. And caveat emptor applies as much to the educational-materials marketplace as it does to any other swath of the free-market system. But in an era when one set of standards is being used by so many states, vendors have a shot at selling the same product to many states.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword COMMON CORE.

Avoiding Common Core's biggest legal liabilities
THE Journal
Like it or not, massive online examinations are coming to your district. And when they do, it will be for keeps. The reasoning behind that is simple enough: The efficiencies in that delivery model are too large to ignore. But at the same time, so are the risks. There's the risk of large-scale failures compromising controlled testing conditions, sure. But the bigger concerns are about the lack of flexibility to meet local needs, such as accommodating special education students. As these kinds of high-stakes assessments are now central to our collective definition of schooling success, both the positives and negatives of the assessment delivery systems are magnified.
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Common Core meets aging education technology
The Common Core State Standards program represents a huge shift in what teachers teach and students learn in the K-12 grades. The standards, which are focused on college and career readiness, rely heavily on effective use of technology for instruction, collaborative learning, assessment and data analysis. However, as schools and districts across the United States begin to implement the standards — 45 states plus the District of Columbia, four territories and the Department of Defense Education Activity have adopted them — many are finding that there is a significant gap between the technology they need and the tech they actually have.
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Brain study aims to improve dyslexia treatment
Medical Xpress
Neuroscientist Sarah Laszlo wants to understand what's going on in children's brains when they're reading. Her research may untangle some of the mysteries surrounding dyslexia and lead to new methods of treating America's most common learning disorder.

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Reading the brain: FDA approves first scan for diagnosing ADHD
It's the first test to diagnose the behavioral disorder using brain wave patterns, but it won't be the last. The idea of reading the brain's activity for clues to mental illness is gaining ground.

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Not all reading disabilities are dyslexia
Vanderbilt University
A common reading disorder goes undiagnosed until it becomes problematic, according to the results of five years of study by researchers at Vanderbilt's Peabody College of education and human development in collaboration with the Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

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Does grouping by ability work?
Daily Record
The idea of grouping students by ability levels in the classroom — placing high-achievers in one cluster, average students in another and poor performers in still another — was common in more than three-quarters of the nation's classrooms from the early 1960s through the late 1980s. But by the late 1980s and early 1990s, ability grouping had fallen out of favor. Critics argued it stigmatized some students, pigeonholed them throughout their school careers and tended to become self-fulfilling prophecies.
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Perceived risk leaps onto school playgrounds
District Administration Magazine
Standing high on the platform of the school playground's zip line, a student imagines a wild jungle across a craggy, bottomless canyon. Behind, the pack of imaginary tigers leaping from the wall mural is getting so close, the child can see the animals' fangs. The student grabs the handle and zooms through the air like Indiana Jones, reaching the other side with a massive boost in confidence that will pay off for the rest of the school day and beyond. The teacher supervising recess has a clear view of a child who's not really that high, gliding safely over a soft, rubber surface. And it is one of many playgrounds being built on elementary school grounds across the nation.
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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 Sasser, Senior Education Editor, 469.420.2630   
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