October, 2004 Special Educator e-Journal

Message from the President –

Dr. Roger Pierangelo

Welcome to the October 2004 edition of the Special Educator E-Journal.  Our Special Educator for this month is very comprehensive, covering numerous areas of interest to those who teach children with special needs.  In particular, his month, NASET will be keeping a very close eye on The Individuals with Disabilities Act and its potential reauthorization.  Whether this gets accomplished is based on many factors but the clock is ticking and time is running out.  See our What’s New with IDEA section for more details.  We here at NASET hope your transition back to school has been a smooth and enjoyable one.  What we do as educators is so vital to the future of this country. Every day, we are positively impacting students in ways that we often cannot understand.  The profession of teaching children and students with special needs is one of the most (if not the most) influential and important jobs.  Never lose sight of this-We make a difference to many, especially the exceptional children with whom we work.

What's New with IDEA? -

The Latest Update on

IDEA Reauthorization

As you know, several months ago both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed separate bills to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Since then, we've been waiting for the House and Senate to reconcile these two versions of IDEA. To do so, they need to select representatives from both the House and Senate to work on a conference committee. It's the conference committee that works out the differences between the two versions of the bill. The result---one version of the bill---then goes to the President for signature.

On September 21, the Senate decided that all members of the Senate HELP committee (see below) would sit on the conference committee that will work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of IDEA.

That's half of one critical step toward reauthorization. The other half requires that the House of Representatives select its committee members. Meetings of the conference committee can then be scheduled. No one can predict how soon these activities will take place.

Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Committee Chairman-Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Senator Bill Frist (TN)
Senator Mike Enzi (WY)
Senator Lamar Alexander (TN)
Senator Christopher Bond (MO)
Senator Mike DeWine (OH)
Senator Pat Roberts (KS)
Senator Jeff Sessions (AL)
Senator John Ensign (NV)
Senator Lindsey Graham (SC)
Senator John Warner (VA)

Senator Edward Kennedy (MA), Ranking Member
Senator Christopher Dodd (CT)
Senator Tom Harkin (IA)
Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Senator James Jeffords (I) (VT)
Senator Jeff Bingaman (NM)
Senator Patty Murray (WA)
Senator Jack Reed (RI)
Senator John Edwards (NC)
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY)

Education Resources Information

Center (ERIC) Update

The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, returned to the World Wide Web this September. For the first time, visitors can search the entire ERIC database from one Web site. The ERIC database (1966-July 2004) contains 1.1 million bibliographic citations to a broad collection of education-related resources, from government reports to journal articles.

More free content will be available soon. By October, more than 107,000 full-text non-journal documents (issued 1993-2004), previously available through fee-based services only, will be available for free. By December, the collection of full-text articles will include journal articles from 2004.

Try the new ERIC for yourself, at: www.eric.ed.gov

Legal Issues Corner

Court to Hear ADA Suit Over Cruise Ships:  Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to consider whether foreign cruise lines sailing in U.S. waters must comply with a federal disabilities law requiring better access to passengers in wheelchairs. The case seeks to determine what Congress intended when it passed the landmark American Disabilities Act in 1990 barring discrimination against the disabled in the enjoyment of services in places of "public accommodation." Disabled groups, who boarded a Norwegian Cruise Line in Houston in 1998, say they weren't given adequate access to ship pools, restaurants and emergency equipment. In other situations, they alleged they were forced to pay additional fees for wheelchair accessible rooms, inhibiting their rights to "participate fully in society."   For more detailed information, go to http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2004-09-28-cruise-scotus_x.htm or http://www.adn.com/24hour/nation/story/1691838p-9475314c.html

Settlement Agreement in Noon v. State Dept of Ed in Alaska

On August 2, 2004, the parties in the Alaska high-stakes testing lawsuit announced that they had reached a settlement. To read the settlement agreement, read the complaint, learn about the Alaska High-Stakes Testing Lawsuit and the temporary settlement in April 2004 go to http://www.wrightslaw.com/news.htm

Mother sues, alleges abuse in special education

Today, Ann Gaydos looks back in horror and asks herself how she could have kept sending her child back into that classroom.  Her daughter, Paige, has a form of autism that put her in a special education class in Cupertino. Over several months, Gaydos said, Paige's teacher subjected her to a series of abuses -- ranging from pushing her to the floor and sitting on her, to rubbing a burrito in her face.  Gaydos has filed a civil suit to be heard in November against Cupertino Union School District, for unspecified damages. To read the full article, go to http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/living/education/9778849.htm?1c

No Child Left Behind Update

President Bush Announces New Education Proposals

Building on the reforms of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, President Bush revealed last month his new education plan, which includes:
by giving priority federal funding to states that have a coordinated early childhood plan comprising Head Start, pre-kindergarten and childcare services;

Improving K-12 education by requiring (as a condition for receiving federal funding) state assessments in grades 3 through 11, which would phase in two tests in high school over several years, the costs for which would be covered by $250 million in annual federal funds;

Rewarding high-quality teachers by providing a $500 million incentive fund to states and school districts that choose to reward effective teachers in high-need schools and in high-ranking schools that meet adequate yearly progress;

Increasing opportunities for online learning with an e-learning clearinghouse, which would allow students to search for specific courses based on various criteria, including price, schedule and type of provider (non-profit, for-profit and higher education establishments); and

Broadening access to higher education by establishing a community college access grants fund at $125 million to promote dual-enrollment programs that allow high school students to earn college credit and policies that make it easier for students to transfer community college credits to four-year institutions.

For a complete summary of the president's proposals, visit


On the Horizon
October 19
8:00-9:00 p.m. E.T.
Education News Parents Can Use monthly broadcast will focus on supplemental educational services. Visit www.ed.gov/news/av/video/edtv or call 1-800-USA-LEARN for details.

U.S. Department of

Education Update

The U.S. Department of Education Summer Workshops Tour is now over, but the Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative is just hitting its stride!  Due to positive feedback and tremendous demand, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige has decided to provide additional workshops this fall.  The schedule is as follows:Oct. 9 - Bentonville, Arkansas
Oct. 16 - Wheeling, West Virginia
Oct. 23 - Redmond, Washington
Nov. 6 - Madison, Wisconsin

Sign up here: http://www.teacherquality.us/TeacherToTeacher/T2THome.asp

Many teachers were not able to attend our summer workshops, but that does not mean they have missed out. Eleven of the sessions from the workshops will be available online. Currently two of the 11 video courses are available free of charge so teachers throughout the country can receive on-demand professional development. The sessions will increase teachers' content knowledge and teaching skills for improving student achievement in reading, mathematics and science. Additional sessions will be filmed and added during the month of October and throughout the fall.  For more information visit:  http://www.ed.gov/teachers/how/tools/initiative/index.html

Right now The U.S. Dept of Education is planning for next summer's Teacher-to-Teacher Workshops.  These will be held in San Francisco, Washington, DC, Phoenix, Cleveland, Tampa, Fla., and Minneapolis.  Watch for announcements in future NASET Special Educator E-Journals about presentations and registration.

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $10 million grant to Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development to conduct the first federally funded national center to study school choice. http://www.vanderbilt.edu/news/releases?id=14124

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has issued its latest report on international education. The report shows that U.S. fourth graders perform above the international average in reading literacy but, the older they get, the less competitive they become. The goals of No Child Left Behind are helping to close both the achievement gap and the “aspiration gap,” according to U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige.  http://www.oecd.org/document/31/0,2340,en_2649_201185_33710751_1_1_1_1,00.html

Reading Is Fundamental, which receives a grant from OII, has launched a new initiative to promote early childhood literacy among Latino families. “Un futuro brilliante empieza en un libro” includes a website and a 30-minute educational parent video in Spanish.

Registration forms are currently available for evaluators who would like to be included on the What Works Clearinghouse Registry of Outcome Evaluators, an online database of individuals and organizations who conduct research on the effects of educational interventions.

The U.S. Department of Education will participate in the Partnership for Public Service’s “Extreme Hiring Makeover” designed to improve how the federal government recruits and hires talented workers. http://www.ourpublicservice.org/pressroom/pressroom_show.htm?doc_id=239276

The new “Writing Successful Grants Knowledge Base” online resource is designed to guide educators through the process of seeking public and private grants to support programs in their schools and communities. This is a project of the Region VII Comprehensive Center, which is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. http://www.helpforschools.com/grants/login.shtml?redirect=http://www.helpforschools.com/grants/index.shtml

Two hundred and fifty schools have been named the No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools of 2004. These schools are recognized for making significant progress in closing the achievement gap or for having students who achieve at very high levels. The awardees include public, as well as private schools. http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2004/09/09172004.html

U.S. Office of Special

Education Update

Students with Disabilities to Gain Improved Access to Learning

July 27, 2004-Students with blindness, low vision and print disabilities are expected to gain improved access to textbooks under a voluntary standardized format for electronic files, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige announced today. On behalf of Secretary Paige, Deputy Secretary of Education Gene Hickok discussed the new standard at an event commemorating the 14th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The event was co-sponsored by the Departments of Commerce and Education in Washington, D.C.

"President Bush believes that every single child can learn and deserves the opportunity to learn—that's why he pushed for the historic education reforms of the No Child Left Behind Act," Secretary Paige said. "Today, we're taking another step toward this goal with a new, voluntary standard that will enable students and teachers to more quickly access general curriculum materials, thereby opening more doors of opportunity to students."

When textbooks and classroom materials are produced using this voluntary standard, they will be in a standard electronic format that can be adapted to products ranging from Braille editions of textbooks to on-screen displays of text and graphics. In past years, the lack of a standardized format meant that publishers had to produce materials in multiple formats—often causing delays that meant students with disabilities did not receive their textbooks in time for the beginning of the school year.

To address these challenges, the Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs provided funding to the National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum at the Center for Applied Special Technology, Inc. to convene an expert panel to establish a voluntary, standardized format for materials. The 40-member panel included educators, publishers, technology specialists and advocacy groups.

In addition to establishing the new standard, the Department of Education will fund two centers to support further development and assist states with implementing the voluntary standard, thus improving academic results for students with disabilities.

The No Child Left Behind Act is the bipartisan landmark education reform law designed to change the culture of America's schools by closing the achievement gap among groups of students, offering more flexibility to states, giving parents more options and teaching students based on what works. Under the law's strong accountability provisions, states must describe how they will close the achievement gap and make sure all students, including students with disabilities, achieve academically.

For more information on the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard, please visit http://www.cast.org/NFF/NIMAS/.

National Institute of

Health Update

Volunteers Needed for Study of Gesture Recognition

Researchers at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) are seeking deaf volunteers for a research study examining how the brain distinguishes hand gestures. The study will use brain imaging to investigate the areas involved in processing hand gestures, such as those used in American Sign Language (ASL).  This is an outpatient study that will take place at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD. Participants will attend one scanning session, lasting three hours. An ASL interpreter will be available during admission and testing. There is no cost for participation, and volunteers will be compensated for their participation in the study.  For more information, visit http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/research/faculty/gestures.asp

Youth Drinking Trends Stabilize, Consumption Remains High

Although the prevalence of underage drinking has decreased since its peak in the late 1970s, drinking by youth has stabilized over the past decade at disturbingly high levels. The findings, part of a new analysis of youth drinking trends by researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), appear in the September, 2004 issue of "Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research".  "While these data confirm the reduction in underage drinking rates since the 1970s, they also underscore the need to redouble our efforts against this important problem," says Ting-Kai Li, M.D., Director of the National
Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the NIH. "The authors have demonstrated an important means for monitoring long-term changes in alcohol use patterns that will serve us well in these efforts."  This NIH News Release is available online at:

Research Indentifies Factors Related To Inhalant Abuse, Addiction

New research shows that young people who have been treated for mental health problems, have a history of foster care, or who already abuse other drugs have an increased risk of abusing or becoming dependent on inhalants. In addition, adolescents who first begin using inhalants at an early age are more likely to become dependent on them. The study by Dr. Li-Tzy Wu and her colleagues is published in the October 2004 issue of the "Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry". The study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services.  The most commonly used inhalants reported by participants were glue, shoe polish, and gasoline. Other inhalants used by the participants included nitrous oxide, lighter fluid, spray paints, correction fluid, and paint solvents. Boys were more likely to have ever used gasoline or nitrous oxide, while girls favored glue, shoe polish, spray paints, correction fluid, and aerosol sprays.  This NIH News Release is available online at: http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/sep2004/nida-28.htm

Early Childhood Update

Children Follow Same Steps To Learn Vocabulary, Regardless of Language Spoken

Regardless of the language they are learning to speak, young children learn vocabulary in fundamentally the same way, according to a study by researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.  The researchers found that, for the seven languages studied, nouns comprise the greatest proportion of 20- month-old children's vocabularies, followed by verbs and then adjectives.  The findings appear in the July-August issue of "Child Development"."  This study shows that while languages may differ greatly,
the sequence by which young children learn the parts of speech appears to be the same across different languages,"said Duane Alexander, M.D., Director of the NICHD. "  By learning about the normal progression of language development, we may be able obtain information that will help children who are having difficulty learning language."  This NIH News Release is available online at:

Close-Up: No Child Left Behind—Early Reading First

Last month, the U.S. Department of Education awarded 32 Early Reading First grants, each averaging $2.8 million, to eligible agencies and organizations across the country that were successful in a grant competition. The funding goes to help early childhood education programs prepare young children to enter kindergarten with the necessary language, cognitive and early reading skills, thus preventing reading difficulties and ensuring school success.

Part of the president's Good Start, Grow Smart initiative, Early Reading First is designed to transform existing early education programs into centers of excellence that provide high-quality, early education to young children, especially those from low-income families. The program was one of two reading programs created under the No Child Left Behind Act. Its cohort, Reading First, targets K-3 students to ensure that all children learn to read well by the end of the third grade.

Among its goals, the Early Reading First Program seeks to promote language and literacy activities developed from scientifically based reading research and that support the age-appropriate acquisition of oral language (vocabulary, expressive language, listening comprehension); phonological awareness (rhyming, blending, segmenting); print awareness; and alphabetic knowledge.

For more information, visit www.ed.gov/programs/earlyreading/index.html or call 202-260-4555.

Starting School After Early Childhood Education

Got a little one moving up in the system? You may be interested in Terrific Transitions: Ensuring Continuity of Services for Children and Their Families. The booklet is designed for caregivers and early childhood educators interested in improving transitions and creating continuity of services for young children and their families. It includes a brief history of the transition movement, important details to consider when planning for transition (e.g., home culture and language), and suggested strategies for improving continuity of services. Sections address the transitions specifically for children with special needs.

Terrific Transitions is available from SERVE, one of the 10 Regional Educational Laboratories. Call the SERVE Publications Office at 1.800.352.6001 for a copy of the booklet, or download it for free at:

From The National Dissemination

Center for Children

with Disabilities

Topic of Interest:  Special Education Research

Where to Start?

These days, we hear more and more about the importance of using research to make decisions regarding children with disabilities. That certainly makes sense---research can point us in the right direction of "what works" and what doesn't in any number of areas where decisions must be made. And there are a lot of areas! From the parent to the administrator, from the advocate to the occupational therapist, from the teacher to the early interventionist, our decisions span a spectrum of issues, concerns, systems, children, and outcomes. We hope that improving our decisions---or at least basing them on evidence of effectiveness---will improve our service systems, which in turn will lead to an even deeper bottom line: Improving educational and life outcomes for children who have disabilities.

But where to start unraveling the mysteries of the research that's out there? It's important to be aware that research isn't something you can take off a shelf and apply wholesale to your circumstances. There are many factors to consider before deciding that a specific research approach matches your situation, your students or teachers, your socio-economic setting, your local needs. If you're unsure what we mean, or wonder how to weigh the research you find to see if it's a good match with local conditions, then you may wish to take a good hard look at the first category below: Research Basics. It'll set the stage for wading into what we know--or think we know.

Thus, this page of resources is designed as a "Starter Kit" to research in general and the special education field in particular. These resources are intended to lay down the basics before we all rush off in our different directions, wearing our parent, teacher, administrator hats.

Research Basics

As we said above, it's important to know a bit (well, a lot!) about research, if you're going to read it and apply it to your local circumstances. We've been steadily building a collection of research pages to help our visitors do just that. So to lay the groundwork before plunging into unexpectedly deep water, you might want to start with these basic NICHCY Connections pages:

Research 101
These resources will answer the question: What makes for good research?
Research 102: Adding Up the Evidence

It's a standard research practice to look across a variety of studies to see what kind of conclusions we can draw from the body of research on a subject. The resources in our Research 102 explain how researchers combine the findings of multiple research studies to draw more solid conclusions than any one study can tell you.

Making Sense of Statistics in Research

Don't let the stats throw you. Here's a cheat sheet to what all those terms mean.
Weighing Info for Its Worth

As we've mentioned, it's not a good idea to take research purely at its face value. But how do you weigh what you're reading to judge its credibility? Here are some tips to help you become a savvy consumer.

Of course, NICHCY is just wading into the waters, too. So here are a few more resources on the basics you might find helpful.

Looking for Good Ideas: A Guide for Teachers to Interpret Experimental/Intervention Research Reports.

Courtesy of the Council for Learning Disabilities.
Scientific Research in Education.
From the National Academies Press, 2003. Available online at: www.nap.edu/execsumm/0309082919.html

Understanding and Using Education Statistics: It's Easier (and More Important) Than You Think.

From the Educational Research Service, 2003. Order by calling 1.800.791.9308, or order online at: www.ers.org

Evidence Matters: Randomized Trials in Education Research.
From the Brookings Institution, 2002. Available online at: www.brookings.edu/press/books/

Applying Research

Okay, you've got the basics under your belt. Now you want to take the research you've read about and actually use it. How do you do that? Easier said than done, but here are some resources that are sure to help.
Using data to drive and inform school change.

The Data Drive Reform Network at the Education Reform Network connects you to resources and publications on how and why to use data as the basis for decision making. The materials are organized into the following categories: accountability systems; analyzing school data; building capacity for data use; standards-based instruction; standardized testing; state standards; success indicators; public engagement; technology; and school, district, and state report cards.
Implementing results-based decisionmaking: Advice from the field.

This report was published jointly by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and The Finance Project. More than 50 leaders in the field provide advice on measuring the success of their supports for children and families by the results or outcomes they achieve for individuals, families, and communities. It covers various dimensions of results-based decision-making, including strategic planning that logically connects strategies to the outcomes.
Using research and reason in education: How teachers can use scientifically based research to make curricular and instructional decisions.

from the Partnership for Reading, May 2003.
Help for schools.

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires that schools take certain steps towards improvement. The School Improvement KnowledgeBase at the link above contains information and resources to help schools accomplish these tasks using a step-by-step, well-designed process. If you're in the driver's seat---or anywhere in the car!---you'll wanna come here.
It's a workshop online, not a publication, but have you heard... ?

The National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform offers Identifying Research-Based Solutions for School Improvement, a workshop that aims to provide educators with the skills they need to find, identify, and make good use of the best available educational research.
A Policymaker's Primer on Education Research: How to Understand, Evaluate, and Use It.

A joint effort of Mid-Continent Research for Education (McREL) and the Education Commission of the States, 2004.
Identifying and Implementing Educational Practices Supported by Rigorous Evidence: A User Friendly Guide.
from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, 2003.
Improving Student Learning: A Strategic Plan for Education Research and Its Utilization.
Available from the National Academies Press.
Order by calling 1.888.624.8373, or order online at: http://books.nap.edu/catalog/6488.html

Remembering the Reason Why We Do Research

Why is getting research into practice so important? Certainly, it make great good sense to use what's effective and to spread the word so that others benefit from our knowledge. In the end, though, it's really about the well-being of the infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities who are our sons and daughters, family members, clients, friends, and responsibility. They will be the primary beneficiaries of improving our practice.
Who are these children---literally, millions of individuals. For a closer look at who they are, you might find these current research studies of interest.
The children in special education.
Read about the SEELS study, a 5-year investigation of the children receiving special education services, ages 6 to 12. The study's being conducted by SRI International. NICHCY's summary of the study can be found online at: www.nichcy.org/pubs/research/rb2txt.htm. The SEELS Web site is found at: www.seels.net/

The children in early intervention.
SRI is also conducting the NEILS study, which is following more than 3,338 children with disabilities or at risk for disabilities and their families through their experiences in early intervention and into early elementary school. Visit the NEILS site and see what SRI is finding, at: www.sri.com/neils/
And then there's transition!

SRI follows up their previous transition studies with this new one--the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2)! Over the next several years, NLTS2 will document the experiences of a national sample of students as they move into adult roles.

Read about the study and track its results at: www.nlts2.org/. The first wave of reports emerged in January 2004. These provide information on the characteristics and experiences of youth with disabilities in secondary school.

Read a synopsis of the study available from the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET), at: www.ncset.org/publications/default.asp
As of May 2004, NLTS2 data tables have been made available on-line. Users can view and download the tables, which cross-tabulate a large number of selected variables by disability, age, gender, income, and ethnicity. All NLTS2 data are weighted estimates for students receiving secondary special education and generalize to the national population. Find the data tables at: www.nlts2.org/
Check out NLTS2's reports exploring important findings from the parent interviews and school data collection activities. In 2004, these include: Services and Supports for Secondary School Students with Disabilities (May 2004) and Changes Over Time in the Secondary School Experiences of Students with Disabilities (April 2004). Both are online at: www.nlts2.org/reports/reports_collapsed.html

What do we know about youngsters' mental health and pyschosocial problems?
The Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA takes a deeper look at what data exist on young people's mental health and what conclusions we can draw (or not). Read CMHS's brief online at:

Summing it all up.

Every year, Congress receives an annual report on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), our nation's special education law. Wanna know who's being served, for what disability, by whom, where, and to what outcome? Visit the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), which oversees implementation of the law and reports the state of affairs to Congress. You'll find the last eight annual reports to Congress online as well as the annual data tables.

Where Do We Look First?
So...we know why it's important to care about research and who we're caring for. Now where do we find special education research? Disability-related research? What are the primary sources we can turn to, for these initiatives? Where's the research happening? And what's it focusing upon? (What it's finding is a whole separate section!)

Government-funded research into disabilities.
Did you know that a searchable database exists online of the discretionary projects supported by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) under IDEA? Nearly 1100 projects are included. Find out what's being investigated by these projects, at: www.cec.sped.org/osep/database/

NIDRR research can be helpful, too.
NARIC, the National Rehabilitation Information Center, offers an online searchable database of more than 300 projects funded by NIDRR (National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research), including their products. If you want to know about disability, rehabilitation, and promoting independence and employment for individuals with disabilities, NARIC is the place to visit. Search the database, at: www.naric.com/search/pd/

And don't forget the ERIC system when you're looking for research on an educational subject.
ERIC is an acronym for the Educational Resources Information Center. The ERIC database contains descriptions of over 1 million educational materials, including research-based findings published in journals and related to children with and without disabilities. Search the database for the research that interests you, at: www.eric.ed.gov

Try this database of interventions and policy evaluations.
Its acronym is C2-RIPE, which stands for Register of Interventions and Policy Evaluation. Developed by the Campbell Collaboration (get it? C2?), the database provides researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and the public with access to reviews and review-related documents in the following areas: Education, Crime and Justice, Social Welfare, and Methods. Go to:

Scientific research related to schools and education.
Visit the Child Development Center, which organizes and briefly describes current research related to schools and education according to the following groupings: learning research, educational issues, school curriculum issues, and school governance and safety issues. Choose which one you'd like to view at:

NASET Member Accomplishments

C’mon NASET members-Don’t be shy!!  Tell us about your accomplishments-We want to hear from you and so do your colleagues.  We’ll put your information on the NASET website in Members in the News and in the next edition of The Special Educator E Journal.  Visit “Got News You Want To Share?” under the NASET News navigation link on the home page at www.naset.org.  We really want to know about you!

Articles of Interest for

Special Educators

Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities

This summer the National Organization on Disability (NOD) and the U.S. Government created the Individuals with Disabilities Emergency Preparedness Council as part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This council will work to ensure that the special needs of individuals with disabilities are included in plans for preventing and reacting to natural and man-made disasters.

Read the Executive Order and see the functions of the new Council at:

Learn more about emergency preparedness and disability through The Emergency Preparedness Initiative Guide for Emergency Managers, Planners & Responders, available on the NOD site at:

Young Drivers with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

The statistics regarding teenage drivers with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) may make parents of such a driver nervous, especially when that driver is inexperienced. Don't panic yet! There are expert resources available. SchwabLearning.com has recently posted a series of articles that address young drivers with AD/HD:

Teaching Kids with LD to Drive: A Complex Family Matter

Teen Drivers with AD/HD: Realities and Risk Factors

When Teens with AD/HD are Learning to Drive: Parent Strategies

Keeping Licensed Teenage Drivers With AD/HD Safe: Parent Strategies

There are driving schools with instructors trained to work the special needs children, including those with AD/HD. Some schools also provide specially equipped vehicles for drivers with physical disabilities.

Home Schooling

The estimated number of K-12 children being educated at home in the U.S. increased by 29 percent between 1999 and 2003, growing to 1.1 million students and 2.2 percent of the school-aged population, according to a new study by the National Center for Education Statistics. http://www.christiantimes.com/Articles/Articles%20Sep04/Art_Sep04_05.html

Why Special Education Teachers Should Care about Foster Care

The United States Department of Health and Human Services reported that an estimated 528,000 youth reside in foster care. The literature confirmed that the youth’s academic and behavioral needs warrant intervention services often associated with special education and include programs that serve students with learning disabilities.  To read more details of this article by John Paladino, Ph.D., visit http://www.ldonline.org/article.php?id=898&loc=51

Antidepressants for Children Must Have Warnings: FDA Advisers

Antidepressants prescribed to children should carry a clearly stated warning that they can sometimes trigger suicidal thoughts or actions in pediatric patients.
That was the unanimous recommendation handed up Tuesday by members of two U.S. Food and Drug Administration panels convened jointly to examine the risks of giving medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors to children, according to wire service reports.  http://www.healthcentral.com/news/NewsFullText.cfm?id=521229 and http://aolsvc.health.webmd.aol.com/content/article/94/102656.htm

Using Research Evidence to Support Professional Development

Nurture Growth: Professional Development Rooted in Evidence Supports Teaching and Learning is the Spring 2004 issue of Learning Point magazine, published by the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL). Highlights of the issue include a step-by-step approach to evidence-based professional development, a new survey tool for needs assessment, tips for fund-seekers, and a story of high school literacy success. For a complimentary copy of the issue, contact NCREL at 1.800.252.0283, or read it online at:

Update from The National Center

 on Secondary Education and


The Characteristics, Experiences, and Outcomes of Youth with Emotional

The National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS) provided the first national picture of the lives of youth with disabilities in their high school years and in their transition to early adulthood. NLTS analyses from the early 1990s showed tremendous variation across disability categories in the experiences and achievements of youth, yet the outcomes of youth in the primary disability category of emotional disturbance (ED) were found to be “particularly troubling” (Wagner et al., 1991, p. 11:3).

The National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) provides another opportunity to take a look at youth with ED. How have their experiences changed in the years since NLTS? This Data Brief takes a fresh look at selected characteristics of youth with ED and their households that distinguish them from other youth with disabilities and/or from youth in the general population. It also describes aspects of their school histories and their current school programs and experiences, as well as indicators of their academic performance and social adjustment at school. Finally, the activities of youth with ED outside of school are highlighted.

The Emergence of Psychiatric Disabilities in Postsecondary Education

An unprecedented and growing number of postsecondary students report psychiatric disabilities. How can postsecondary personnel support the success of these students?  To find out, visit http://www.ncset.org/publications/viewdesc.asp?id=1688

Putting Interagency Agreements into Action

Interagency agreements among educational and noneducational agencies can help maximize resources and services for transitioning youth. What are the components of successful interagency agreements, and how can they be implemented?  To find out, visit http://www.ncset.org/publications/viewdesc.asp?id=1689

Upcoming Events and


For more details on these (and all conferences over the next year), go to the Conferences Navigation site on the NASET web site (www.naset.org)

October 2004

Selective Mutism Group--Child Anxiety Network Conference-October 2, 2004 to October 3, 2004

New Hampshire Branch of the International Dyslexia Association Conference: "Brain Imaging of Reading and Reading Disabilities-October 2, 2004

International Reading Association Plains Regional Conference (31st)-October 6, 2004 to October 9, 2004

Council for Learning Disabilities International Conference (26th)-October 7, 2004 to October 9, 2004

ProLiteracy Worldwide Annual Conference: "The Many Faces of Literacy"-October 7, 2004 to October 9, 2004

American Printing House for the Blind Annual Meeting-October 14 - 17, 2004

Association of Teacher Educators National Academy: "Teacher as Researcher: School and University Collaborations"-October 15, 2004 to October 16, 2004

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Conference on Teaching and Learning: "What Works in Schools: Sustaining Student Success"-October 15, 2004 to October 17, 2004

U.S. Department of Education Annual National Meeting on Alcohol, Other Drug, and Violence Prevention in Higher Education (18th)-October 16, 2004

Council for Exceptional Children/The Council for Educational Diagnostic Services Annual Topical Conference-October 21, 2004

Michigan Association of Learning Disabilities Educators Fall Conference (31st): "Annual Yearly Program: Measuring Our Successes"-October 21, 2004 to October 23, 2004

Council for Exceptional Children/The Council for Educational Diagnostic Services Annual Topical Conference-October 21, 2004 to October 23, 2004

National Association of State Directors of Special Education Annual Conference (67th)-October 24, 2004 to October 26, 2004

National Association for Multicultural Education Annual International Conference (14th)-October 27, 2004 to October 31, 2004

West Tennessee Restructuring for Inclusive School Environments Project Annual Beyond Access Inclusion Conference (8th): "Equity and Excellence: One Size Does Not Fit All"-October 28, 2004

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Annual National Conference (16th): "A Student With a Dream is a Student With a Future"-October 31, 2004 to November 3, 2004

November, 2004

International Dyslexia Association Annual Conference (55th) November 3, 2004 to November 6, 2004

National Association for Gifted Children Annual Convention (51st): "Inspiring Vistas, Inspiring Minds" November 3, 2004 to November 7, 2004

International Reading Association Southeast Regional Conference (23rd) November 7, 2004 to November 10, 2004

National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference  November 10, 2004 to November 13, 2004

Public Information Resources Conference: "Learning and the Brain" November 10, 2004 to November 13, 2004

National MultiCultural Institute Fall Conference: "Building Personal and Professional Competence in a Multicultural Society" November 14, 2004

TASH: Equity, Opportunity, and Inclusion for People with Disabilities Conference: "Blazing the Trail November 18, 2004 to November 20, 2004

Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented Annual Professional Development Conference for Educators and Parents (27th) November 18, 2004 to November 20, 2004

Controversial Issues in Special

Education:  Zero Tolerance: Does

 It Work?

An increasing number of youth are being denied educational opportunity under the principle of "zero tolerance," which is intended to send a strong message that certain behaviors will not be tolerated. But is zero tolerance actually effective in promoting school order and safety?

The issue has been studied and written about by researchers, policy analysts, advocates, and public commentators. A growing body of research indicates that schools with a comprehensive approach to school safety that encompasses all points on the prevention-intervention continuum can effectively prevent and address school violence and disorder, without excluding students from school. Read more to find out more.

Advocating for Reform of Zero Tolerance Student Discipline Policies: Lessons from the Field

And there's more about zero tolerance at the American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Center.

Read Beyond Zero Tolerance at the American School Board Journal:

National Collaborative on

Workforce and Disability for

Youth (NCWD/Youth) Update

Serving Youth with Hidden Disabilities

People with non-apparent disabilities, which include specific learning disabilities, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injuries, emotional disorders, and chronic illnesses, make up the largest numbers of individuals with disabilities. Because of the nature of hidden disabilities, identification and the assignment of needed interventions and supports are more difficult. Parents and professionals often have an inadequate understanding of the nature of hidden disabilities or useful accommodations. Most importantly, youth with hidden disabilities are less likely than others to disclose their disability because they want to avoid being stigmatized or being labeled. Consequently, youth with these disabilities may enter educational, training, and employment programs without communicating their disability and need for accommodations or special assistance.

According to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs, of the approximately 6 million children in special education programs in the United States, almost one half, or 2.9 million, have learning disabilities. (There are several studies that suggest workforce development and particularly programs focused on literacy probably include a substantial proportion of participants (ranging from 50% to 80%) with learning disabilities). Therefore, for this population alone, it is important that workforce development programs and youth service practitioners have a working knowledge of how to:
identify and screen for hidden disabilities;
assure that appropriate formal diagnosis occurs, if needed; and
ensure that appropriate accommodations and support services are provided in the career preparation process.

The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth's recently released Career Planning Begins With Assessment: A Guide for Professionals Serving Youth with Educational & Career Development Challenges discusses in detail specific learning disabilities (SLD). More information can be found at http://www.ncwd-youth.info/resources_&_Publications/assessment.html.

Youth Development Symposium

The 5th Annual Youth Development Symposium (formerly sponsored by DOL/ETA Region 5), sponsored by the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) and the Great Lakes Employment and Training Association (GLETA), will be held in downtown Chicago November 16-18. The symposium will provide "best practices" information, program models, WIA guidance, and response to the issues that concern workforce development professionals who plan and deliver youth programs. More information and registration is available at http://www.nawdp.org/YD04SavetheDate8-04.htm or on the Event Connection website at http://www.theeventconn.com/events/index.php.

Parenting Page-Resources to Use

 to Help Parents

October Topic of Interest:  Got the Homework Blues?

Homework, at times, can bother parents as much as kids claim it bothers them. Looking for some suggestions on how to cope with your child dragging his or her feet to the study table, that project due next month, the required nightly reading, or those book reports we all remember putting off to the last moment? Here are some resources that may help.

A series of articles on the subject.

Think you're alone? Naaahhh. Try the PTA's FAQ.

Advice from the National Education Association (NEA).

The impact of homework on families of struggling learners.

Homework and students with disabilities.
Research Connections in Special Education from 2001 offers help.

Surviving the homework war with children with AD/HD.
At the top right, select “Homework” from the drop-down menu box asking you to “Select a topic to search.”

More on AD/HD.

For your adolescent with AD/HD.

Students with LD will love this page!

Ever tried accessible books?

There are a number of notable sources of materials specially designed for individuals with reading or physical disabilities that impede their use of print text. Try:
the National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped at the Library of Congress, at: www.loc.gov/nls

Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, at: www.rfbd.org
bookshare.org, a Web-based system supplying accessible books in digital formats designed for people with disabilities, at: www.bookshare.org 
the Accessible Book Collection, at: www.accessiblebookcollection.org/default.htm

The Helping Your Child publication series aims to provide parents with the tools and information necessary to help their children succeed in school and life. These booklets feature practical lessons and activities to help their school-age and preschool children master reading, understand the value of homework, and develop the skills and values necessary to achieve and grow.  Copies are available to order online at ED Pubs.  Many teachers find the series to be a very helpful tool for increasing parental involvement and give copies to their students' parents.


"Portions of this e-mail newsletter were excerpted from:

U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Education-The Education Innovator
U.S. Department of Education-The Achiever
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Office of Special Education
The National Institute of Health
The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition
The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth

The National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) thanks all of the above for the information provided for this month’s E-Journal

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