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Educating children with Language Learning Disabilities and Learning Differences


 Top Stories

GOP leaders in Congress outline education priorities
Education Week
After easily capturing the number of seats they needed take control of the U.S. Senate — and padding their majority in the House of Representatives — congressional Republicans have laid out an aggressive education policy agenda that includes overhauling the long-stalled No Child Left Behind law and the mammoth Higher Education Act. While divided government will remain, as the White House is in Democratic hands at least until President Barack Obama finishes his second term, the new political calculation in Congress will likely spur movement on education bills.
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Study: Smarter Balanced field tests didn't mirror classroom learning
Education Week
High school students who took the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium field test last spring found it far more difficult than younger students did, especially in mathematics, according to a new report. The report released by the consortium includes some interesting "lessons learned" from the field test of 4 million students. The report is based on responses from 19,000 students and 5,000 teachers and administrators. But it includes responses from only 13 of SBAC's 22 member states, and each state created its own survey, so the collected responses can't be seen as representative of the consortium population.
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Reports: District leaders are hedging their bets on Common Core assessments
THE Journal
According to two new reports by the Center on Education Policy at George Washington University, district leaders in states belonging to one of the Common Core assessment consortia appear to be hedging their bets on the impact of the consortia-developed assessments. Both reports are based on a survey of a nationally representative sample of school districts in states that had adopted the CCSS in the spring of 2014. The first report focuses on district preparations for the CCSS-aligned assessments being developed by Smarter Balanced and PARCC. The second report examines districts' efforts to obtain CCSS-aligned curriculum materials and provide professional development services for teachers and principals.
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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.

 In the News

Air pollution linked to rising ADHD cases
The Weather Channel
Air pollution might be linked to increasing cases of ADHD in children, a study of New York City women and children found. Exposure to pollution before birth might be the key, researchers from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found, after a look at prenatal levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, a component of air pollution, and ADHD symptoms in children later in life. Mothers exposed to high levels of PAH during pregnancy had five times the odds of symptoms that characterize inattentive ADHD in their kids at age 9. The study is the first to examine prenatal PAH exposure and behavior in children over time. Although it shows a potential link between the two factors, it does not demonstrate that air pollution exposure causes ADHD.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword ADHD.

States listen as parents give rampant testing an F
The New York Times
Florida embraced the school accountability movement early and enthusiastically, but that was hard to remember at a parent meeting in a high school auditorium here not long ago. Parents railed at a system that they said was overrun by new tests coming from all levels — district, state and federal. Some wept as they described teenagers who take Xanax to cope with test stress, children who refuse to go to school and teachers who retire rather than promote a culture that seems to value testing over learning.
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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

New one-to-one initiative transforms special education
eSchool News
Hunched over their iPads, the three seventh-graders took turns reading the document displayed on their screens. One, Sam Seifert, followed along, while her special education teacher Jessica Waterstreet did the talking — Seifert has difficulty reading on her own. Seated near the center of the table, Blake Hanna recited the words softy, rushing through them quickly. Jacob Voracek, opposite Seifert, took the text more slowly, pronouncing each word with precision and care.
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Just 4 minutes of fun exercise improves learning and behavior in the classroom
Medical News Today
Four minutes of physical activity can improve behavior in the classroom for primary school students, according to new research by Brendon Gurd. A brief, high-intensity interval exercise, or a "FUNterval," for Grade 2 and Grade 4 students reduced off-task behaviors like fidgeting or inattentiveness in the classroom. "While 20 minutes of daily physical activity is required in Ontario primary schools, there is a need for innovative and accessible ways for teachers to meet this requirement," says Dr. Gurd, lead researcher and professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Dyslexia in the general education classroom (Edutopia)
Brain 'architecture' differs in kids with dyslexia (Futurity)
Common Core math can be a mystery, and parents are going to school to understand it (The Washington Post)
Intervention programs target students with dyslexia (USA Today)
Student self-assessment: Understanding with purpose (By: Pamela Hill)

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

Features of classroom design to maximize student achievement
SAGE Publication via Science Daily
With so much attention to curriculum and teaching skills to improve student achievement, it may come as a surprise that something as simple as how a classroom looks could actually make a difference in how students learn. A new analysis finds that the design and aesthetics of school buildings and classrooms has surprising power to impact student learning and success.
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New laws strengthen protection of student data
District Administration Magazine
States are ramping up student data privacy laws, with lawmakers in the 2014 legislative cycle passing 30 of 120 proposed bills aimed at protecting personal information. The most comprehensive law was passed in California in September. It prohibits educational sites, apps and cloud services from selling or disclosing students' personal information. The data also cannot be used to target advertising to students.
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Evaluating Maryland kindergartners has become a one-on-one mission
The Washington Post
Isaac Jackson, 5, walked slowly behind Kendra Sarris, his kindergarten teacher, into the hallway outside Room 19 at Accokeek Academy. The pair then sat at two tiny desks facing a concrete wall. It was testing time. "You're going to listen carefully to the directions and try your best," Sarris told Isaac as he settled into his chair. Then Sarris slowly began reading from the script for the new Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, a comprehensive test that has been expanded in Maryland to include one-on-one interaction and is designed to evaluate students in the areas of language, literacy, math, science, social studies and physical well-being.
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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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