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Special education funding lopsided, report finds
Disability Scoop
The level of federal special education funding sent to states varies widely thanks to an outdated model that favors some locales over others, a new report finds. The method that the federal government uses to dole out special education dollars has gone largely unchanged since 1997. As such, it's leaving significant disparities among schools, according to a new analysis of 2011 data that was conducted by the New America Foundation. Currently, federal dollars to educate students with disabilities are allocated to states based on a formula that takes into account the funding level they received in 1999, the state's population and its share of poverty. There are also minimum and maximum amounts in place as well as a requirement that no state's distribution goes down year over year unless total spending on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act drops.
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  Student-Paced, Mastery-Based Math

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English issues mistaken for learning disabilities in Boston schools
Boston Herald
Even as the state braces for a wave of unaccompanied immigrant children, school systems, including Boston, are failing in assessing and educating non-English speaking students they already have. More than one in five children of immigrants who are learning English in Boston schools have been placed in special education classes in what advocates say is a costly waste of taxpayer dollars that could also be robbing hundreds of bright students of any chance to go to college and create better lives.
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Right and wrong methods for teaching first graders who struggle with math
The Hechinger Report
To help young kids who struggle with math, well-intentioned teachers often turn to nontraditional teaching methods. They use music and movement to involve the whole body. They use hands-on materials such as popsicle sticks to help the students understand tens and hundreds. Or they encourage students to come up with different strategies for solving 7 + 8. One complicated way could be starting with 10 + 10 and then taking 3 away (because 7 is 3 less than 10) and then taking 2 away (because 8 is 2 less than the other 10). After many steps, the right answer emerges. And the students came up with it themselves. Good teaching, right?
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 In the News

Hear Jane read: New meaning given to semantics
Rutgers University via Science Daily
For years a key way of diagnosing dyslexia has been how well a person reads aloud. Similarly, the reading skills of adult readers also have been assessed by having them read words aloud. "The idea is that the more you read in English, the more you will encounter words that don't follow standard rules of pronunciation, so it's an index of reading exposure and, presumably, ability," explains researcher William W. Graves. But are you a better reader if you pronounce a word based on its meaning, or based on its spelling? Does it make a difference? And why? Those are the questions Graves is seeking to answer.
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Poll shows more students in summer programs
Data from a national poll conducted for the Afterschool Alliance show that a third of families with school-age children enrolled at least one child in a summer program in 2013. That is an increase from five years earlier when only a quarter of families enrolled their children in summer programs. The data were collected this past spring as part of a survey to determine how many households with school-age children enrolled them in after-school programs. A full report on the data will be released in the fall.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Data is key to improving outcomes for students with special needs (The Huffington Post)
ADHD and kids: 5 tips for setting appropriate rules (Psych Central)
ADHD classified into 3 types based on kids' personalities (LiveScience via Yahoo News)
The same genes influence children's reading and math abilities (Medical News Today)
Where have all the summer reading assignments gone? (eSchool News)

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

How much do kids learn in summer school? The answer's not always clear
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Thousands of children have spent much of this summer in St. Louis-area classrooms taking enrichment classes or trying to catch up in reading or math. What's unclear is just how much they've learned. Like education departments in most states, neither the Missouri nor the Illinois education departments collect data to see whether they're getting a good return on their summer school investment. Assessment data provided by more than a dozen districts in the area paint very different pictures about how much students learn by the end of summer school. And there are gaps in what even districts themselves know.
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New research: Students benefit from learning that intelligence is not fixed
Teaching students that intelligence can grow and blossom with effort — rather than being a fixed trait they're just born with — is gaining traction in progressive education circles. And new research from Stanford is helping to build the case that nurturing a "growth mindset" can help many kids understand their true potential. The new research involves larger, more rigorous field trials that provide some of the first evidence that the social psychology strategy can be effective when implemented in schools on a wide scale. Even a one-time, 30-minute online intervention can spur academic gains for many students, particularly those with poor grades. The premise is that these positive effects can stick over years, leading for example to higher graduation rates; but long-term data is still needed to confirm that.
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Why poor schools can't win at standardized testing
The Atlantic
You hear a lot nowadays about the magic of big data. Getting hold of the right numbers can increase revenue, improve decision-making, or help you find a mate — or so the thinking goes. In 2009, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a crowd of education researchers: "I am a deep believer in the power of data to drive our decisions. Data gives us the roadmap to reform. It tells us where we are, where we need to go, and who is most at risk."
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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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