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Report: More than half of students struggle with reading
eSchool News
Nearly half of minority students and students from low-income families enter the fifth grade without basic reading skills, according to a new report urging Congress to focus on students' literacy development beginning in early childhood. Noting that 60 percent of both fourth- and eighth-graders currently struggle with reading, the report from the Alliance for Excellent Education notes that Congress should put an emphasis on students' literacy development from the early years and up through grade twelve as it works to rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act.
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Report: States lack consistent standards for literacy teacher preparation
THE Journal
Only 18 states require elementary teacher candidates to complete specific courses in literacy education, according to a report from the International Literacy Association. The report, "Preliminary Report on Teacher Preparation for Literacy Instruction," is the first of a two-part report by the association's Teacher Preparation Task Force, which is examining the education and practical training of teachers in the United States and the requirements set out by the state departments of education. Although the results are preliminary and the task force is conducting further investigation, the report reveals a lack of coursework and practical requirements for preservice teachers in many states.
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Testing doesn't measure up for Americans
PDK/Gallup Poll
Student engagement at school and whether students feel hopeful about their future are far better factors to consider when evaluating schools than using standardized test scores, according to the results of the 47th annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. Overall, most Americans believe there's too much emphasis on standardized testing in public schools, and they rank standardized testing lower than other approaches to measuring student progress such as examples of student work, grades awarded by the teacher, or written observations by the teacher.
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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.

 LDA News

Upcoming Law School Admission Tests
U.S. Department of Justice
The next Law School Admission Test is scheduled for Sat., Oct 3, with the test available for Saturday Sabbath observers only on Wed., Oct. 7. The deadline for registration is Aug. 28. The last test available in 2015 is scheduled for Sat., Dec. 5, with the test available for SSBO on Tues., Dec. 8. Deadline for registration for the Dec. tests is Oct. 30. Due to a recent opinion by The U.S. District Court, Northern District of California the Law School Admission Council agrees to systemic reforms and $7.73 million payment in penalties and damages to thousands of individuals who requested testing accommodations over the last five years. One of the more important points agreed upon was that LSAC would streamline its evaluation of requests for testing accommodations by automatically granting most testing accommodations that a candidate can show s/he has previously received for a standardized exam related to post-secondary admissions (such as the SAT, ACT or GED, among others)... The original article was written May 20, 2014 and updated on August 6, 2015.
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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

 In the News

Common Core testing takeaways
District Administration Magazine
How can districts use the Common Core-aligned assessments to improve education if the results won't be available until later this fall, after the current school year is well underway? That's the question district administrators have been asking themselves for months, ever since millions of American students took the first round of Common Core-aligned assessments earlier this year.
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The surprising initial results from a new Common Core exam
The Hechinger Report
The results have started to come in from some of the new Common Core-aligned exams given this spring. And the news is good. Surprisingly good. Two multi-state groups, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and Partnership for College and Career Readiness, spent years making standardized tests to judge how well students have mastered the Common Core, a set of educational standards which detail what students should be able to do in math and English in each grade.
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  Leveled Guided Reading - 93% Decodable

Help struggling readers build ACCURACY! Go Phonics teaches a strong foundation of phonics and language arts, applied in 7 volumes of leveled, phonetically sequenced, decodable stories. The phonics sequence minimizes confusion (Orton-Gillingham compatible). Lesson plans, 50 phonics fluency games, worksheets prep them for success. Sample Stories/Overview download:

New law requires schools to screen students early for dyslexia
Portland Tribune
The first time Lincoln High School senior Emery Roberts realized she was different was in kindergarten. She and a "frenemy" were neck-and-neck in a reading contest. Emery even remembers which book proved an insurmountable hurdle; it had a tiger on the cover. "I remember it very specifically," says Emery, founder of the LHS Dyslexia Student Union. "I didn't pass that book for months." The 17-year-old, who wasn't diagnosed with dyslexia until the end of fourth grade, will graduate soon with a high GPA and a substantial amount of private tutoring under her belt. She's hoping that the next generation of Portland Public Schools students will have an easier time of it than she did. Two bills passed during the 2015 Oregon legislative session should help.
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Why pushing kids to learn too much too soon is counterproductive
The Washington Post (commentary)
Given the nationwide push to teach children more and more complex concepts at earlier and earlier ages, you'd think that there surely must be an extensive scientific literature to support these efforts. Not only does no such data exist, but an emerging body of research indicates that attempts to accelerate intellectual development are in fact counterproductive. Recently, a lead editorial in one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world, Science, questioned why middle school children were being taught college and even graduate-school-level cell biology concepts when their developing minds were not yet ready to receive this complex information.
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McLean School Transforms Lives
K-12 college preparatory school supporting bright students’ individual learning styles.
3D Learner Program
We now offer Reading Plus® to further improve reading speed and comprehension. We also leverage both Recording For the Blind and Dyslexic and Talking Books. MORE

More than reading: Integrating art into your curriculum
By: Debra Josephson Abrams
Overwhelming evidence undergirds the need for integrated curriculum based in multiple intelligences and learning styles. However, too often, curricula rely instead on artificially compartmentalized courses — usually categorized as reading-writing and listening-speaking, with grammar awkwardly given its own class. What, then, can a teacher do to integrate compartmentalized classes with positive, purposeful activities while fulfilling the requirements of the curriculum?
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Kids' headaches spike in back-to-school season, researchers say
CBS News
If heading back to school gives your child a headache, new research suggests he's not alone. A new study finds headaches in children do increase in the fall, when academic stress, changing bedtime routines and other triggers may kick in. Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, analyzed about 1,300 visits to the hospital's emergency department from 2010 to 2014. They found the number of visits for headaches among children ages 5 to 18 stayed about the same for most of the year, but jumped more than 31 percent in the fall.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Special education training efforts to get millions (Disability Scoop)
How much homework is too much? (The Christian Science Monitor)
Teacher shortages spur a nationwide hiring scramble (credentials optional) (The New York Times)
Why you shouldn't waste your time with 'learning styles' (opinion) (EdSurge)
Study: Warmth, not punishment, helps middle-school students learn (

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

Helping students with mental-health issues return to school
Education Week (commentary)
As we prepare this August for the start of another academic year, it's important to acknowledge an often invisible, seldom-talked-about population of students: young people who are recovering from mental-health disorders and are transitioning back to school after a time away. Mental-health challenges in young people are common, and they create major barriers to learning. But as is true with adults suffering from such problems, the young can and do recover — even those with serious challenges. As educators, we can provide critical support in their recovery and help them as they work to integrate back into classes and get on with learning and with life.
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Why young kids need less class time — and more play time — at school
The Washington Post (commentary)
It seems counter-intuitive to think that less classroom time and more outdoor play would lead to a better education for kids. But longer time on task doesn't equate to better results, only greater burnout. For years, educators have tried different unsuccessful strategies — more testing, more instruction — to reverse these trends. The answer, however, is not more class time. It's more play. Other countries have figured this out. In Finland, for example, students take a 15-minute break for outdoor play after every 45 minutes of classroom time. In East Asia, most primary schools give their students a 10-minute break after 40 minutes or so of instruction.
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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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