Many of you may already be familiar with the Government Accountability Office, the congressional "watchdog" agency that recently released a report on restraints and seclusion. Less well-known is the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, which communicates directly with Congress. Though funded with taxpayer dollars, that office's reports are not made available to the public in the same way that GAO reports are. To get them, you have to request them from your congressional office—assuming that you know what report to ask for, because there is no centralized list of all the CRS reports that are available unless you're willing to ...

These programs, created to lure people into hard-to-fill professions, are feeling the effects of a bad economy.

Slowly, the Education Department is starting to fill out its top ranks. Just yesterday, it announced the names of nine new education officials, which you can read about here on the Politics K-12 blog. But there's been nothing but silence, so far, on the appointment of a new assistant secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Right now, the office is headed by Andrew J. Pepin, an executive administrator "delegated the authority to perform the functions of Assistant Secretary for OSERS." One of the branches of OSERS is the Office of Special Education Programs, which is pretty ...

While I was away, the Government Accountability Office released its report (pdf) on restraints and seclusion used on students. What was noteworthy to me was what how much the government does not know: There are no federal policies on the use of such techniques, and there is not one entity that collects information on all of these cases, though the GAO found hundreds of cases of alleged abuse over the past 20 years. Though there's no nationwide recordkeeping, a handful of states keep their own statistics on how often restraints and seclusion were used on students. According to the GAO ...

I'll be returning May 26. See you then!...

I check these links frequently when writing about special education and the stimulus.

A parent advocacy group has created a Web site intended to track special-education stimulus funds.

The government is seeking guidance on the direction of disability research.

The issue is scheduled to get a hearing on Capitol Hill.

Writing disorders are about as common as reading disorders, according to a study in Pediatrics.

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