All of the stories on Education Week are available to non-subscribers until through Sept. 7. This gives those of you who haven't yet committed to subscribing a chance to read all our stories about response to intervention, Reading First, the presidential campaign, and anything else that strikes your fancy. While I'm in promotion mode, let me also point out to fans of this blog that you can follow On Special Education in an RSS reader by clicking on the orange icon under my picture, on the right, that says "Get RSS." (My RSS reader of choice is Google Reader.) And ...


Happy back-to-school! I know many of you may have been back for a week or two, but Labor Day seems to be a true sign that the lazy days of summer have come to a close. I recently learned about a classroom management technique with younger kids that is quite successful, but so simple I can hardly believe that it shows such positive results: the "good behavior game." From the summer 2008 newsletter from the American Institutes for Research: To play the game, the teacher breaks the classroom into teams of between four and seven students. The game is played ...


No matter which party wins the White House this fall, it'll be making history: the Democrats would be able to claim the first African-American president, and the Republicans could have the first female vice president. Edweek's Campaign K-12 blog has a entry on Gov. Sarah Palin's education bonafides. UPDATE: Here's a link to Education Week's web story on the selection, which delves more deeply into her education record. Most intriguing for my professional interests is that Palin, a 44-year-old self-described "hockey mom," PTA leader-turned-mayor-turned-governor, is also the mother of a 5-month-old with Down syndrome. (She has four other children, ages ...


Those of you who have followed the blog for a while know that I've been mesmerized with the goings-on in a tiny Michigan town where a school board member was suing his own district over his son's individualized education program. The case at the one-school, 150-student Northport district, dragged on for months and could cost the district $250,000 if it loses. Now, the board member, Alan Woods, has been recalled, by a decisive 2-to-1 margin. Here's an article where both the recall initiator and Woods make their respective arguments. His argument that he is trying to be a watchdog ...


I always know when I'm at a conference of teachers and former teachers. No matter what, there always seems to be a time when a speaker commands the audience to get up for a little game or musical interlude. Old classroom habits die hard. So at today's Office of Special Education Programs Leadership Conference in Baltimore, even though the special education administrators in attendance had likely long since left the classroom, I wasn't surprised that a presentation on a reading program in North Carolina ended with the audience being asked to sing...about reading. But that was just one light ...


Gov. Ted Strickland, the Democratic governor of Ohio, vetoed a bill last year that would have authorized a special education voucher program similar to one already in the state for students with autism. But a new bill that mirrors the vetoed legislation is back and making its way through the Ohio legislature. Instead of being open just to students with autism, it would be available to all special education students. Strickland has promised to veto the bill again if it comes back to his desk. The bill is scheduled to be up for a full vote sometime this fall. In ...


At two recent town hall meetings, both Barack Obama and John McCain reiterated their desire to see more money go to special education. Obama's comments, made Aug. 19 in Raleigh, N.C., were posted on YouTube: An audience member told Obama, a Democrat, about her experiences with her 3-year-old son, who has Down syndrome. She said she was told by doctors that her son was lucky to be getting benefits because he "wasn't really going to be anything in life." She then asked Obama his views on the word "retardation" and on including children with disabilities in daily life. A ...


...somewhat. This information has been available for a while from different sources, but the Council for Exceptional Children has created a voter guide (pdf) that lists the education platforms of the presidential candidates. But don't look for anything from Charles "Chuck" Baldwin (Constitution), Bob Barr (Libertarian) or Cynthia McKinney (Green); their websites are silent on the issue, the CEC says. Barr said he did support that Texas district that is allowing teachers to carry guns to school, though. For more political news, be sure to tune in to the Campaign K-12 blog. My colleagues will be closely following the Republican ...


Edweek.org has just posted an article based on a human-rights group's investigation of corporal punishment in public schools. Human Rights Watch is a strong opponent of paddling in schools, so its report is not a place to find out about the "good side" of paddling. It was joined in the report by the American Civil Liberties Union. Paddling is legal in 21 states, though primarily used in the South, according to statistics gathered for the report from the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights, which tracks corporal punishment. The report also includes many witness accounts. In ...


The 12,500-student West Aurora district in Illinois plans to expand its co-teaching model this school year, and the teachers involved seem all for it: West Aurora High School teacher Nancy Brown can't wait for the school year to start. "It's the first time in a long time that I've been so excited," she said. The cause of Brown's excitement? A new and improved collaborative teaching program that West High will debut this school year, where special education and general education students will learn side by side in classes taught by two teachers. Brown and nine other teachers have been ...


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