Week in Review - October 9, 2009

WEEK in REVIEW

New NASET Publications and Articles of Interest in Special Education That Were Reported This Week

Dear NASET News,
Welcome to NASET's WEEK in REVIEW.  Here, we provide you with the latest publications from NASET to read and download, as well as some of the most interesting issues that have happened this week in the field of special education.  We hope you enjoy this publication.  Feel free to send us articles for this publication or let us know your thoughts about the WEEK in REVIEW at news@naset. Have a great weekend.
 
Sincerely,

NASET News Team

New This Week on NASET

The Practical Teacher

Points for Grumpy

Teachers often have students in their classrooms who are verbally defianty and non-compliant.  These students will often act out and be disruptive to everyone.  It is important that teachers have specific tools and strategies to work with students who exhibit these types of behaviors.  The focus of this issue of the NASET Practical Teacher is to present one response-cost strategy to use with students who are verbally defiant and non-compliant with the teacher.
To read or download this issue - Click Here   (login required)
 
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Autism Spectrum Disorder Series

Collaborating with Parents 

In this issue you will be provided with information on the development and implementation of effective educational programs that are meaningful for students with ASD involving collaboration with parents. Parents of children with ASD work closely with professionals to obtain diagnoses, early intervention programs and other resources, and are usually knowledgeable about both the disorder and their children. Bringing the experiences and knowledge of parents to the program planning process, serves not only to enhance students' school success, but also creates a climate for ongoing learning, communication and collaboration.
To read or download this issue - Click Here  (login required)

Quick Links To NASET

Autism May Be More Common Than Thought

About 1% of U.S. children, or about one in 91, may have autism or an autism spectrum disorder, according to two new national surveys. The new estimate is a dramatic increase from the previously accepted number of one in 150. But experts who discussed the findings of the two new surveys -- one released today and the other due out before year's end -- urged caution in interpreting the new information about the developmental disorders. A new survey by the CDC found that about 1% of U.S. children are affected by an autism spectrum disorder, says Ileana Arias, PhD, deputy director of the CDC. No further details were available on the CDC survey, due to be released in full later this year. The same prevalence, however, was found in the survey released today, says Michael D. Kogan, PhD, of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration. With his colleagues, Kogan drew on data from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health, a telephone survey of parents jointly conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration and the CDC. To read more, click here

NASET Sponsor  - Mayer-Johnson

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New Rules For Gifted And Talented Programs Are Creating Great Stress For Parents

Advocates for gifted children in the Riverdale section of the northwest Bronx are shaking their heads in disbelief - and disgust. The Department of Education's rules for admission to gifted and talented programs have shut some qualified children in Riverdale out of the program located in their own zoned school. At the same time apparent changes in the rules allow several students who didn't qualify under the city's rules to be added to district's other gifted class at the discretion of that school's principal. Two years ago, the city decided that children would have to meet a citywide standard for admission to gifted programs in each borough. The goal was to increase equity and access to the programs, DOE officials said at the time. The new rules assign applicants to schools based on test scores, a practice that some experts in gifted and talented education, such as Razel Solow, director of the Hunter College Center for Gifted Studies and Education, and her predecessor, Dona Matthews, have told me could be a misuse of these tests. To read more, click here

Securing Funds For Special Education: Part Of A Larger Picture

How much should we spend on special education? Here's how Carolyn Pickens-Andrews, a mother with a child in special education at Lamberton Elementary School in Philadelphia, approaches that question. "Children with disabilities deserve the same quality education as all students," Pickens-Andrews says. "My daughter needs extra services to learn, and I know that the school has to pay more for this. It just makes sense for the school system to invest in what it takes for her to get a good basic education, like her friends. This is the law, but it's also the fair thing to do." Some studies have found that, on average, it costs about twice as much to educate students with disabilities as other students.The studies also show that it's a great investment. To read more, click here

 

Guam Department Of Education Making Progress In Special Education Programs

The Guam Department of Education has announced some progress in its Special Education Program known as SPED.  According to a release from DOE, two letter from the U.S. Special Education Programs (OSEP) Division Director, Ruth Ryder expressed support for the improvments that Superintendent Dr. Nerissa Bretania Underwood has been making in response to the OSEP's April 01, 2009 Verification Letter. Associate Superintendent for Special Education, May Camacho, said it was the hard work of her staff to get SPED back on track. Camacho pointed out results from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE)Validation Site Visit Report which states "GDOE submitted its Annual Performance Report (APR) for FFY 2007 as required on February 02, 2009, and it received a determination of "Needs Assistance" based on the data included in that report. GDOE's determination represented an improvement from its FFY 2006 determination of Needs Intervention." Ryder noted in her letter, regarding OSEP's request for policies and procedures addressing  GDOE's general supervision and assurance, some "next steps" and that GDOE's response in both letters to "Implementation of Grant Assurances...meets the requirements in OSEP's Verification Letter. No further action is required at this time." To read more, click here

NASET Offering Members Two Million Dollar Educator's Liability Insurance

Every day, special educators are faced with the stresses and potential liability issues involved in dealing with children with special needs. As a result you may be vulnerable to lawsuits, which have been on the rise over the last few years, from parents, or students themselves. In the past decade, the number of suits filed against educators and administrators has risen dramatically, causing the cost of insurance to increase as well. While some special educators may feel that they do not need this type of coverage and they are protected by their district, they should think twice. Even if you are 100% innocent of the charges or accusations, legal costs alone could run into the thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. In special education today, parents - and students - are more aware of their rights, and the laws that govern special education and hold teachers/educators to high standards. Don't try to convince yourself that the expense of your professional and public liability protection is unnecessary or unjustified. Experience shows that the cost of such coverage is by far lower than the risk a teacher takes by not having such protection. Why take a chance for less than $10.00 a month? To learn more about educator liability insurance available through NASET's partner the Association of American Educators - click here

Internet Addiction Linked To ADHD, Depression In Teens

Some children and teens are more likely than their peers to become addicted to the Internet, and a new study suggests it's more likely to happen if kids are depressed, hostile, or have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or social phobia. Although an Internet addiction is not an official diagnosis, signs of a potential problem include using the Internet so much for game playing or other purposes that it interferes with everyday life and decision-making ability. (The diagnosis is being considered for the 2012 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the "bible" of mental ailments published by the American Psychiatric Association). Past research suggests that 1.4 percent to 17.9 percent of adolescents are addicted to the Internet, with percentages higher in Eastern nations than in Western nations, according to the study published Monday in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. To read more, click here

Sears, Roebuck, and Co. To Pay 6.2 Million Dollars For Disability Bias

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced the entry of a record-setting consent decree resolving a class lawsuit against Sears, Roebuck, and Co. (Sears) under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) for $6.2 million and significant remedial relief. The consent decree, approved on Sept. 29 by Federal District Judge Wayne Andersen, represents the largest ADA settlement in a single lawsuit in EEOC history. EEOC's suit alleged that Sears maintained an inflexible workers' compensation leave exhaustion policy and terminated employees instead of providing them with reasonable accommodations for their disabilities, in violation of the ADA. "The facts of this case showed that, nearly twenty years after the enactment of the ADA, the rights of individuals with disabilities are still in jeopardy," said Stuart J. Ishimaru, EEOC acting chairman. "At the same time, this record settlement sends the strongest possible message that the EEOC will use its enforcement authority boldly to protect those rights and advance equal employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities." To read more, click here

 

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NYC DISTRICT 75

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More Teachers Take Nontraditional Path To Class

An increasing number of teachers without traditional education degrees are poised to enter Indiana's classrooms. Supporters argue that such teachers bring expertise in subject areas that education schools don't always provide. But critics question whether they're equipped to handle special cases such as helping children who struggle with reading. The programs are enjoying strong political support from Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, and President Barack Obama, a Democrat. Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Eugene White is a believer in the nontraditional teachers. He points to the example of a retired Navy submarine commander who taught for two years at Howe High School, inspiring students to love science and also coaching its science team to two state titles. To read more, click here

Stimulus To Fund Special Education In Dallas-Forth Worth

Imagine a giant wall-mounted computer screen, bigger than the biggest TV but smaller than the video board at Cowboys Stadium. Megan Jacobs' second-grade classroom in Mesquite has one. On it, red and green apples block out the dates on a calendar. Students go to the front of the room and, with a special electronic pen, write dates, move words around and change colors. "This is fabulous," said Jacobs, a teacher at Lawrence Elementary School. "It reaches so many different learning styles. I wish I'd had this a long time ago." Federal economic stimulus money will shower the devices, known as interactive white boards, on Mesquite teachers. The district plans to spend about 40 percent of the expected more than $13 million in stimulus funds on technology. Like most districts, Mesquite expects to get two pots of federal money. Under federal regulations, one will go to Title I schools, those with a high percentage of poor students. The other will go to special needs students. The money will be used over two school years. To read more, click here

Report Finds 13 Million Premature Births Worldwide Each Year

Nearly 13 million babies, or about 10% of total worldwide births, are born prematurely each year, presenting a major and growing challenge for health systems and governments, according to a report by the March of Dimes. The study, based on data gathered by the World Health Organization, says about one million infants die each year as a result of pre-term birth, or about 28% of all deaths that occur within the first month of life. Millions of others face a heightened risk of lifelong physical and mental problems including blindness, learning disabilities and respiratory illness. "This is an issue of incredible magnitude" that affects countries and regions regardless of economic status or the sophistication of their health-care systems, says Christopher P. Howson, vice president for global programs at the March of Dimes, a nonprofit group working on birth defects and maternal and infant health based in White Plains, N.Y. He said more research and resources are needed to address the problem. To read more, click here

Board Certification in Special Education - Available to NASET Members

Through an agreement with The American Academy of Special Education Professionals (AASEP), NASET members now have the opportunity to achieve AASEP Board Certification in Special Education - (B.C.S.E.) at a reduced fee.  AASEP Board Certification in Special Education - (B.C.S.E.) is a voluntary choice on the part of the candidate. The candidate for Board Certification wishes to demonstrate a commitment to excellence to employers, peers, administrators, other professionals, and parents. From the standpoint of the Academy, board certification will demonstrate the highest professional competency in the area of special education. Board Certification in Special Education establishes a much needed standard for professionals, across disciplines, who work with exceptional children.   For more information on Board Certification in Special Education, click here

D.C. Special Education: Judge Might Reduce Federal Oversight

A U.S. District Court judge said Friday that he might reduce federal oversight of the District's special education system "in the next year" because officials have improved the speed at which complaints are resolved about educational services for students. But he said substantial concerns remain. Judge Paul L. Friedman said the most recent evaluation of the special education program was "extremely thorough, and, in many aspects, it's a very positive evaluation." Still, Friedman said, the District schools and the state superintendent will have to improve more before he reduces federal oversight of the system. During the 2008-09 school year, D.C. schools and the state superintendent's office devoted more staff members and resources to special education and reduced the backlog of cases in which hearing decisions had not been implemented. To read more, click here

Food for Thought........

Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.
                       John Updike

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