Week in Review - June 3, 2011


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

June 3, 2011 - Vol 7, Issue 20


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In This Issue

New This Week on NASET............

U.S. Department of Education to Set Guidelines on Student Restraint, Seclusion.....................
Study: Autism Leaves Molecular Marks on the Brain..................
Multiple Exposures to Anesthesia May Increase Risk of ADHD, Learning Disabilities in Young Children....................................
State Aid for Special Education in New Jersey: The Underfunding Continues....................................
In Jamaica, Disabilities Act Crawls Towards Enactment.............................

Students Receiving Special Education Services Can 'Skew' Graduation Statistics........................................

Pilot Program in Denver Helps Fine Tune Special Education Teachers' Evaluations.......
TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK...................
Schooling Options Increased for Arizona's Gifted Learners.....................................
Ohio House Passes Legislation for Early Detection, Assistance to Children Diagnosed with Dyslexia.......................
Juvenile Bipolar Disorder Identification Helps Heal Children and Families...................
Research into Dyscalculia Doesn't Add Up..............
'Glee' Stars Take on R-Word in New Public Service Announcement..............................
Bahamas Must Find Ways to Address the Growing Increase in Autism Numbers..................
University Life Coaches Help Students with Disabilities Adjust to College...................
Israel Public Transportation Companies Under Fire for not Making Buses Blind-Friendly......................................
NYC Saving Money by Reducing Funding and Increasing Special Education Class Sizes............................................
Job Stress in Teachers Linked to Student Achievement......................................

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Welcome to NASET's WEEK in REVIEW Here, we provide you with the latest publications from NASET to read and or download, as well as some of the most interesting articles 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.org.Have a great weekend.

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  New This Week on NASET

NASET Special Educator e-Journal

In This Issue: 

Update from the U.S. Department Education
Calls to Participate
Special Education Resources
Update From The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
Latest Employment Opportunities Posted on NASET
Upcoming Conferences and Events
Funding Forecast and Award Opportunities

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The Practical Teacher

World History Brain Efficient Word Lists for Word Sorts, Puzzles, and More

Matthew J. Glavach, Ph.D.


World history textbooks contain some of the most difficult words for students to read and understand.  At-risk students often are so discouraged in their attempts to read the textbooks that they stop trying to read and become behavior problems.  Average students also are discouraged.  Currently, many states are adopting common core standards that will include two percent special education students (students without severe cognitive disabilities), requiring them to succeed in regular classrooms.  To meet the new common core standards, "World History Brain Efficient Word Lists for Word Sorts, Puzzles, and More" author, Matthew J. Glavach, Ph.D., offers a reading instruction approach especially for adolescent struggling readers, based on core classroom curriculum.  The approach, which he calls parallel reading intervention, organizes important content area vocabulary words into logical brain efficient word lists that make learning the words much easier.  Students improve word attack and vocabulary skills while improving their ability to succeed in the content area classes, such as history.  The article describes the approach, presents teaching ideas, provides extensive brain efficient word lists for world history, and gives curriculum examples.  (The approach also works well in other curriculum areas.  Teachers can use the article as a model.)  The word sorts, puzzles, and more, are enjoyable and are easily added to regular classroom activities, once or twice a week for thirty minutes, especially at the beginning of the school year. - 

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U.S. Department of Education to Set Guidelines on Student Restraint, Seclusion

The U.S. Department of Education said last week that it will administer guidelines by this fall regarding the use of restraint and seclusion when dealing with student behavior. The measures are used in schools with the intention of protecting students from harming themselves and their peers. Alexa Posny, the DOE's special education official, explained to a federal autism advisory committee why the guidelines are necessary, Disability Scoop reports: There are no federal regulations that exist, so it makes it very hard for us at the Department of Education to go out and say you can and can't do this," Posny told the safety subcommittee of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. "We have no role in enforcement at this point." To read more,click here


Study: Autism Leaves Molecular Marks on the Brain

UCLA scientists announced the first study to reveal how autism makes signature marks at the molecular level of the brain, developing autistic patterns of gene protein encoding that differ significantly from gene expression within healthy brains.  Autism has confounded researchers for decades, ScienceDaily reports, because the neurological disease appears to develop without leaving any physical traces and seems to have as many causes as there are autistic people -- but now a UCLA research team claims they have shed new light into the ways genes and proteins glitch up within brain cells as autism develops, altering the mind. According to the ScienceDaily article about the study's findings that appear in the advance online edition of the journalNatureTo read more, click here

Did You Know That....

A primary principle of special education law is the right of parents of children with disabilities to participate in all aspects of their child's educational decision making. The federal special education law (IDEIA) is very clear regarding the responsibilities of school systems and what they are mandated to do.  


Multiple Exposures to Anesthesia May Increase Risk of ADHD, Learning Disabilities in Young Children

Infants and very young children who are exposed to anesthesia may experience higher rates of learning disabilities and cognitive difficulties than children who are not exposed to anesthesia, according to research and emerging data presented during the SmartTots: Pediatric Anesthesia Neurotoxicity panel at the International Anesthesia Research Society annual meeting in Vancouver, B.C. "We want to impress upon people that there is a very reliable link between the animal and human data that is rapidly emerging," said panel moderator Dr. Vesna Jevtovic-Todorovic, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., Professor of Anesthesiology and Neuroscience at the University of Virginia Health System and SmartTots Scientific Advisory Board member. Studies in nonhuman primates, including rhesus monkeys, have raised serious concerns about the effects of anesthesia on the developing nonhuman primate brain. To read more, click here 


State Aid for Special Education in New Jersey: The Underfunding Continues

The law came out of New Jersey's previous school-funding formula in the 1990's, a way for the state to provide local districts with help for some of their steepest bills: so-called extraordinary special education costs. These are the bills for students with significant special needs, often requiring expensive staffing and other services. The law at the time set the threshold at $40,000, offering up the state's help to bear some of the costs above that amount. More than a decade later, Gov. Chris Christie has proposed raising the extraordinary aid fund to $162.7 million next year, up about 7 percent. But while welcomed by districts, it's also not quite what it seems. To read more, click here


In Jamaica, Disabilities Act Crawls Towards Enactment

After more than six years in gestation the national Disabilities Act could finally see the light of day by December with Parliament expected to pass it into law by March next year.

Legislation to protect the rights of Jamaica's disabled community has been in the works since the tabling of a national policy for persons with disabilities in 2000 under the previous administration. That policy was debated in the Senate in January 2001, and in the House of Representatives in November 2005. In 2006, drafting instructions were issued to the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Council.  Last Tuesday, Labour and Social Security Minister Pearnel Charles, responding to queries from Central Kingston Member of Parliament Ronald 'Ronnie' Thwaites on the status of the Act, said the ministry has since received 10 drafts, the most recent being in March this year. "The final touches are being put on the draft by the Parliamentary Council's office, and the ministry expects to receive a settled draft by the end of May 2011. The process thereafter is that the Bill will be submitted to the legislation committee of Cabinet after which the Attorney General's Chamber will review it. It will then be submitted to Cabinet, seeking permission for it to be tabled in this House for debate," Charles told Parliament. To read more, click here


Did You Know That....

There is no federal requirement that parents must participate in the special education process.  Participation is a voluntary choice on the part of parents.  IDEIA ensures that parents are afforded every chance to participate. How much participation and the extent of involvement on the part of the parent is at the discretion of the parent.  


Students Receiving Special Education Services Can 'Skew' Graduation Statistics

Indiana's Anderson Community Schools, like many other large school districts, takes special education students from surrounding areas. Special education students comprise about 23 percent of ACS's student population. Statewide, about 18 percent of students require special education. ACS Superintendent Felix Chow said his district's graduation rate (60 percent in 2010) is lower than the state average, in part, because of ACS's high volume of special education students. But some districts with a larger special education population have overall graduation rates much higher than Anderson's. Muncie schools have a special education population of 28 percent, while the overall high school graduation rate was 92 percent in 2010. Kokomo schools' overall high school graduation rate for 2010 was 88 percent. Kokomo's special education population that year was 29 percent. To read more, click here


Pilot Program in Denver Helps Fine Tune Special Education Teachers' Evaluations

Feedback provided by teachers in 16 pilot programs is helping Denver Public Schools retool its new teacher performance framework as it prepares to try it at more schools. "We're very happy to see overwhelming support for the system," said DPS superintendent Tom Boasberg. "We look forward to even more constructive feedback." Leading Effective Academic Practice, or LEAP, has been tested for the past four months at 16 schools. It will roll out to 96 percent of the district this fall. Before the pilots were launched, a majority of staff at each school voted to approve participation in the year-long test. "I'm finding it interesting, the extent to which teachers are willing to give this evaluation system a try - and then to provide feedback," said Pam Shamburg, the pilot manager, and Denver Classroom Teachers Association liaison. Under the LEAP framework, teachers are evaluated in part based on four observations per year - two by their principal, and two by peer observers. In the past, teachers were observed once every three years. A 28-page rubric created to guide the observations is being changed over the summer to clarify how elements of effectiveness apply to teachers of English language learners, gifted and talented, or special education students. To read more, click here



Guess the answer to this week's trivia question and we'll recognize you in next week's Week in Review.
Congratulations to: 

Peggy Woodall, Shan Ring, MaryLouise Torre, Ross Jones, Chaya Tabor, Debbie Innerarity, Lois Nembhard, James Hannon, Preston Clark, Sabrina Yacoub, Muronji Inman, Joan Kuhn, Deanna Krieg, Jessica L. Ulmer, Mike Namian, Alexandra Pirard, Christie Miller, and Linda D Tolbert who all knew that you can find IDEIA in the United States Code (U.S.C.) and the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.)



Our nation's federal special education law, Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (or IDEIA--originally called P.L. 94-142, The Education for All Handicapped Children Act), is a funding statute enacted in 1975.  By 1978, 49 of the 50 states had accepted the federal funds and implemented the Act. What was the last state to accept federal funding and implement the Act, in 1984?
If you know the answer, send an email to contactus@naset.org 
All answers must be submitted no later than Monday, June 6, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.


Board Certification in Special Education Available to NASET Members

As 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 Educationestablishes a much needed standard for professionals, across disciplines, who work with exceptional children.  
For more information on Board Certification in Special Education, click here


Schooling Options Increased for Arizona's Gifted Learners

Competition is intensifying among Arizona's school districts, charter and private schools for a group of students who can be more difficult to teach than their education label implies: the gifted learners. About 8 percent, roughly 80,000 of 1.1 million students statewide, have been identified as gifted. "My goal is to get them to think, problem-solve," said Janet Schomaker, who teaches the extended learning program for third through sixth grades at Mesa's Bush Elementary School. "They don't know how to think even though they're smart." Students typically qualify for gifted programs when they test in the top 97 percent of their age group. Schools use various measurements. And they also use various methods to provide that education. To read more, click here


Ohio House Passes Legislation for Early Detection, Assistance to Children Diagnosed with Dyslexia

The Ohio House OK'd legislation Tuesday aimed at providing earlier detection and educational assistance for youngsters with dyslexia, a learning disability that makes it difficult to read. House Bill 96 passed by a vote of 93-1 and heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.


"Individuals with dyslexia will always have dyslexia," said Rep. Ted Celeste, a Democrat from Columbus and primary sponsor of the bill. "But the sooner they are diagnosed, the sooner they can learn methods to read and write despite their difficulties." The bill would establish dyslexia pilot projects, at the direction of the Ohio Department of Education, at one urban school district, one suburban district and one rural district. Selected schools would work with local libraries to provide screening and services to children dealing with dyslexia. Reports on the results would be provided to lawmakers after three years to determine whether the programs should be continued and expanded. " To read more, click here


Juvenile Bipolar Disorder Identification Helps Heal Children and Families

May was National Mental Health Awareness Month, and possibly no one educates, supports or informs Wilton's community more than Aoife Sullivan. As the town's representative and Southwest Regional Mental Health Board member, sworn in last November, she attends regional meetings and reports on mental health services available to Wilton residents through quarterly reports to the first selectman's office. Also, as chairperson for the National Alliance of Mental Illness speaker's bureau for the Stamford and Greenwich chapter for five years, Ms. Sullivan knows who the authorities are on the subject of various mental health disorders. That is why she called on renowned researcher Demitri Papolos, M.D. to speak at a recent lecture series sponsored by NAMI and the Southwest Regional Mental Health Board. To read more,click here


Research into Dyscalculia Doesn't Add Up

Dyscalculia is estimated to affect up to seven per cent of the population, making it as common as dyslexia. But in a review published today in the journal Science, lead author Professor Brian Butterworth and colleagues label the disorder a "poor cousin" of its literary stablemate. "The relative poverty of dyscalculia funding is clear from the figures. Since 2000, the National Institute of Health has spent $US107.2 million ($100 million) funding dyslexia research but only $US2.3 million ($2.16 million) on dyscalculia," the researchers wrote. Professor Butterworth says the lack of funding reflects a view within government that "literacy is more important than numeracy".  To read more, click here


'Glee' Stars Take on R-Word in New Public Service Announcement

Jane Lynch of Fox's "Glee" is speaking out against use of the word "retard" in a hard-hitting public service announcement that's airing on broadcast networks and cable channels nationally. The 30-second PSA produced by the "Spread the Word to End the Word" campaign from Special Olympics and Best Buddies compares the words "retard" and "retarded" to other derogatory terms like "nigger" and "fag." In the spot, Lynch appears beside her "Glee" co-star Lauren Potter, who has Down syndrome and plays the role of Becky Jackson on the show, to explain that using the r-word is not acceptable. "The r-word is the same as every minority slur. Treat it that way and don't use it," says Lynch, who plays cheer leading coach Sue Sylvester on "Glee." To read more, click here


Bahamas Must Find Ways to Address the Growing Increase in Autism Numbers

With an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 Bahamian children afflicted with autism, the country will have to soon find ways to address the fast growing epidemic said Mario Carey, president of Reach Bahamas. "As a society we've got to think if we are ready for it and how we are going to handle it," he said. Carey was at The Beacon School yesterday at the invitation of principal Cheryl Wood to lay the groundwork for a Grand Bahama Division of the support organization for parents with children who have the developmental disability. Parents of children with autism, Beacon School staff, health care professionals and Ministry of Education officials attended the meeting. Carey said that because every island has its own needs, student populations are different and teachers are different, it would be good if each island had its own representation within Reach. To read more, click here


University Life Coaches Help Students with Disabilities Adjust to College

How do you explain the vast and rich experience that is college life to someone whose intellect operates in the most concrete terms only? Arizona State University's Initiative for Inclusive Communities is seeking to draw more people with disabilities to its campus, especially those who have autism or related disorders. This summer, the program will reach out to high-school students with special needs to show them exactly what college life is like through Camp Taylor, a four-day experience on ASU's downtown Phoenix campus. Nan Carle, the director of the Initiative for Inclusive Communities, said many special-needs high-school students don't believe college is viable for them, and Camp Taylor can persuade them otherwise. The initiative, launched last year, became available to the public a few months ago. The program offers life coaching to help participants with postsecondary education, such as study skills and academic planning, as well as housing, communication, recreation and job skills. It also helps students in the Maricopa Community Colleges. To read more, click here


Did You Know That....

Research suggests that collaborative working partnerships between schools and families develop over time when there is a feeling of mutual respect and consideration, and where there's a strong common focus working towards providing an appropriate education for the child.


Israel Public Transportation Companies Under Fire for not Making Buses Blind-Friendly

The Commission for Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities under the auspices of the Ministry of Justice has filed a criminal indictment against the bus companies "Egged" and "Kavim" for failing to make their buses accessible to blind people. The indictment against Egged was filed with the Haifa HaShalom Court and the lawsuit against Kavim was filed with the Tel Aviv HaShalom Court. This is the first time a criminal suit has been filed in response to an infringement of the legislation calling for universal accessibility for people with handicaps.  Each transportation company is individually being blamed for not adhering to the law that mandates they announce each stop, both inside the bus as well as outside it so those on the bus and those wishing to alight it know what bus number it is and where it stops. All buses registered since 2003 must follow this requirement to ensure that individuals with special needs can access public transport. To read more, click here


NYC Saving Money by Reducing Funding and Increasing Special Education Class Sizes

Education officials quietly voted last week to reduce funding and increase class sizes by about 20% for many special education kids in city schools starting next year. Teachers and parents say the new rules could mean less effective instruction for about 175,000 special education students in city schools. "These are our neediest kids and the city is targeting them for cutbacks," said Patricia Connelly of Bedford-Stuyvesant, whose son, Lucky, is a seventh grader at Middle School 51 in Park Slope. Lucky has dyslexia and learning disorders but he's managed to read above grade level due to individualized instruction he received in his classes, Connelly said. Advocates worry that success stories like his will be less common under new funding rules approved by the Panel for Educational Policy last Wednesday. To read more,click here


Job Stress in Teachers Linked to Student Achievement

After 17 years of researching traumatic stress with war-afflicted populations (veterans and civilians) and job stress in the medical profession, Teresa McIntyre, a research professor in the department of psychology and the Texas Institute for Evaluation, Measurement and Statistics (TIMES), at the University of Houston (UH), decided to study another high risk occupation, middle school teachers in seventh and eighth grade. "Teaching is a highly stressful occupation," McIntyre said. "Teacher stress affects various aspects of teacher health and may influence how effective teachers are in the classroom, with potential consequences for their students' behavior and learning. "I started to research the literature on stress and teachers in the U.S. and found very little information. There was no comprehensive study of teachers' stress or even an audit of the percentage of teachers who are stressed. I saw a void here and a need to study." To read more, click here




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Food For Thought..........

Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible. 

                                                         Doug Larson

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