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New rule ends 'modified' tests for students with disabilities
Disability Scoop
The U.S. Department of Education is doing away with a policy that allowed states to consider some students with disabilities academically proficient without meeting grade-level standards. The agency said in a final rule published in the Federal Register that states will no longer be allowed to administer tests to students with disabilities that are based on modified academic achievement standards. Previously, states could count up to 2 percent of their students as proficient under the No Child Left Behind Act for taking such exams. But now the Education Department is saying no more to the policy known as the "2 percent rule."
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Students with disabilities face special risk of summer slide
City Limits
Randi Levine, a policy coordinator at the nonprofit Advocates for Children, often counsels the parents of New York City public school students with disabilities who are trying to get the services their child requires from the Department of Education. She recalls a student whose parents fought to keep her school-year services going throughout the summer, demonstrating that she risked a considerable learning loss over the break without the assistance. "We showed the skills that she loses overnight, over weekends, over school holidays, the amount of repetition that she needs, and how quickly she forgets or loses those skills," Levine says.
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New school year brings testing changes
District Administration Magazine
Public outcry over new standards-aligned tests led some states to cut funding, changing the exam landscape for 2015-2016. In 2012, nearly every state was part of either PARCC or the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. As of this July, just 18 states remained in Smarter Balanced, and 10 (plus Washington, D.C.) had stuck with PARCC. Twenty-two states opted to use their own assessments.
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For students with learning disabilities, real life often is more satisfying than high school, study suggests
The Seattle Times
Students with learning disabilities make up the largest slice of the special education pie (about 42 percent nationally), but their needs and capabilities often are misunderstood. They may be written off as lazy or discouraged from taking challenging courses that they could handle with proper instruction and adjustments. A student with dyslexia, for example, may well succeed in honors English if the final involves making a video or a computer app instead of writing an essay.
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 In the News

A lesson plan for helping young children learn to accept differences
Edutopia (commentary)
How do we get young children to accept differences? First, we have to recognize that for many young children, "differences" are disconcerting. Even though a pre-K or kinder student may not be able to articulate it, they are often put off by differences. Sometimes it's because they can't explain what they perceive. Other times, they are not sure of the implications of the differences and may fear for their own safety.
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Growth mindset: How to normalize mistake-making and struggle in class
Carol Dweck's research on growth mindset has become essential knowledge in education circles. The Stanford psychologist found that children who understand that their brains are malleable and can change when working through challenging problems can do better in school. Now, many school districts are attempting to teach growth mindset to their students. At the core of this practice is the idea of "productive failure" (a concept Dr. Manu Kapur has been studying for over a decade) and giving students the time and space to work through difficult problems. Another key idea is to praise the process and effort a child puts in, not the final product.
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  Phonics Approach & Tools Build Accuracy

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Report on chronic absences: Kindergartners miss as much school as middle schoolers
The Atlanta Journal Constitution
A report shows chronic absences — viewed typically as a problem in middle and high school — occur even in kindergarten. The report, "Mapping the Early Attendance Gap: Charting a Course for Student Success," calls for more investigation into children who miss 10 percent or more of school a year, the causes of those absences and possible remedies. "It really is something that affects our youngest children," said Hedy Chang, director of Attendance Works and an author of the report, in a media call this afternoon. "And many of these are excused, not unexcused absences." A lot of children miss school for chronic health problems, such as asthma, obesity and diabetes. Among American students, asthma is the leading cause of absenteeism.
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Report: 30 percent of districts lack anti-bullying policy
District Administration Magazine
Despite national campaigns to combat bullying, 3 in 10 districts still do not have policies that protect students from harassment. And many of these school systems are in states that require such rules by law, according to a report from the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, also known as GLSEN. Most anti-bullying policies are developed on the district level, says Nathan Smith, director of public policy at GLSEN. Every state in the country now has an anti-bullying law, but the regulations vary widely. Only eighteen of these laws prohibit specific behaviors, such as discriminating against students based upon students' race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Report: More than half of students struggle with reading (eSchool News)
The surprising initial results from a new Common Core exam (The Hechinger Report)
New law requires schools to screen students early for dyslexia (Portland Tribune)
Common Core testing takeaways (District Administration Magazine)
Why pushing kids to learn too much too soon is counterproductive (The Washington Post)

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


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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