This great link was passed to me by Linda Perlstein, the public editor for the Education Writers Association. It's a breakdown of how much every school district in the country would receive in special education dollars under the stimulus bill recently passed by the House of Representatives. The "American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill" includes $13 billion for special education funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act--a hefty infusion, considering the government's contribution this year was around $11 billion. The link also provides information on Title I and construction funds that would flow to schools under the proposal. Based on ...


This blog is a another great response-to-intervention resource; the last several posts have focused specifically on what researchers know about best practices for response to intervention at the secondary level. It was a good resource for me as I was writing my latest RTI article, published just this week, which focused on high schools in Colorado that are attempting to implement an RTI framework....


Edweek.org is sponsoring a chat from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday on working with students with autism. The confirmed guests are Marcie W. Handler, the director of home and school consultation at May Institute; Paula Kluth, a consultant, teacher, author, and advocate on the topic of autism spectrum disorders; and Stephen Shore, author of Understanding Autism for Dummies and Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Shore, who has autism, is a professor at Adelphi University. You don't need special equipment to participate in and ask questions during the chat, just a computer with an ...


Arne Duncan couldn't have had a smoother path to his confirmation today: he was lauded by Republicans and Democrats alike for his school reform efforts. But a disability advocacy group in Chicago, the district he led for 7 years, has a different view of Duncan's legacy in that city. The group also has some suggestions to offer the new secretary of education as he starts in his new role. Access Living, which represents people with disabilities of all types across the age spectrum, has had tough words for the Chicago Public Schools' efforts with children in special education. This recent ...


Alison Tepper Singer, formerly the executive vice president for communications and outreach for the powerful New York-based advocacy organization Autism Speaks, announced today that she was leaving the organization based on a disagreement over the need for further research into vaccines as a potential cause of autism. Autism Speaks would like to see more research into a possible link between the two. Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative once used in childhood vaccines, is considered a culprit by many, though no studies have shown a connection. Others believe that the number of vaccines, and the ages at which they are administered to ...


Remember them? They were created in the 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The department was to give 15 states the opportunity to develop ways to cut down on individualized education program paperwork for teachers and districts. I last wrote about this in 2006, and never heard about the pilots again. Will they be revived under a new secretary of education? I was thinking about paperwork reduction as I was reading the policy prescriptions included in the last chapter of Thomas Hehir's 2005 book, New Directions in Special Education. Hehir, now a professor at Harvard University, is ...


I wrote a blog post in December that referred to a CNN.com report on seclusion in schools. A poster called "NYS Teacher" posted a comment yesterday that I thought was worth bringing to the top: You know...this really makes me mad! We have had 'chill rooms' as you call them, for years. In some cases, we have had to use restraint. What are we supposed to do as Teachers??? Any ideas?? Do we allow students to throw things at us, spit at us, hit us, kick us, pinch us, bite us, punch us, use an instrument to attack ...


Happy New Year, everyone! I'm taking a reporting trip this week that will have me posting lightly until Jan. 12 (teaser: it involves RTI!) But you won't have to go without special education reading. Here's some blog posts I have picked up in the past few days: Jay P. Greene, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, slices and dices numbers in a blog post that rebuts the idea that special education costs are to blame for rising per-pupil costs. School officials — people who should know better — play upon this popular prejudice to rationalize their failures. They would never dare ...


University of Virginia professor and friend-of-the-blog John Wills Lloyd has a thoughtful entry on his own blog about the difference between pursuing "access" for people with disabilities, as opposed to "success." He explains it would be a "cruel irony" if the focus on access for students with disabilities -- for example, "talking books" or use of scribes -- overshadowed the pursuit of genuine academic achievement for students in special education....


Project Forum, a federally-funded project under the auspices of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, has released reports on several areas, including special education and homeless students, resolution meetings with parents, and support for students with disabilities in private schools. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as well as the McKinney-Vento Act, call for educational services for students who are homeless. Unfortunately, there are many barriers to getting these students the help they are entitled to, as we saw during Hurricane Katrina, for example. This report outlines the problems and offers some potential solutions: for example, having ...


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