Dear Readers, I am very happy to welcome back writer Christina Samuels, who has just returned from her fellowship to resume covering special education and gifted education for Education Week. I have enjoyed covering the rich and complex topic of special education and gifted education in her absence. I think the way the nation handles educating students with different needs says a lot about the future of education. It has been fascinating to see trends emerge like the use of Response to Intervention programs that base education on the individual needs of students along the entire spectrum of abilities in ...


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Educators are looking for ways to make tiered intervention work for preschoolers.


The reductions comes from a rule change at the state level.


Hello blog friends! After eight months away at a wonderful fellowship at the University of Michigan for mid-career journalists, I've returned to Education Week and I'm back on the special education beat. Thanks so much to Lisa Fine for taking good care of the blog while I was away! I followed many of my favorite special education bloggers while I was away, and I wanted to draw attention to this pointed entry by friend-of-the-blog Mark Miller at Special Needs Truth '08. Mark wrote about the District of Columbia's admission that the school system was fumbling in its efforts to remove ...


Why should there be outdated or offensive language in the very laws designed to protect the civil rights of individuals with disabilities? That's what some lawmakers are discussing on Capitol Hill this week. Senators are preparing to eliminate all references in federal law to the terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded individual," The Hill newspaper reports. New legislation, called Rosa's Law, would replace those terms with "intellectual disability" and "individual with an intellectual disability," the article says. The bill was introduced by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) last November after promising a constituent she would act if the Maryland legislature passed ...


The Chicago public schools this week announced a new leader for the special education department, as part of an overhaul of how students with disabilities are served in the district, according to the Chicago Tribune. On Monday, the district named Richard Smith as head of the office of specialized services, the Tribune reported. He will replace Deborah Duskey in the role. Smith, a former principal, most recently served as a chief area officer at the district overseeing special education schools. The Tribune said he will begin overhauling special education by enforcing a more collaborative attitude toward students and parents. Education ...


I wanted to point readers interested in autism to news of two new studies linking the use of infertility treatments to increased risk of autism in children, according to an article in the May 20 issue of Time Magazine. One study, conducted by a team at the Harvard School of Public Health, found that autism was nearly twice as common in the children of women treated with the ovulation-inducing drug called Clomid, or other similar drugs, than in women who did not receive fertility treatment. The study, presented Wednesday at the International Meeting for Autism Research in Philadelphia, said the ...


The Georgia Board of Education has proposed new rules about the use of restraint and seclusion in schools that could be approved as early as its July meeting. The proposed rules would prohibit the use of seclusion, chemical restraints such as prescription drugs, mechanical restraints, or prone restraints. Physical restraint would only be allowed in extreme situations when students are in imminent danger to themselves or others, according to the Georgia School Boards Association's Capitol Watch online. If the policy is approved, Georgia would no longer be one of the nearly 20 states that do not regulate seclusion and restraint ...


A study in Detroit showed that low-performing students have higher levels of lead than other students, the Detroit Free Press reported on Sunday. About 60 percent of Detroit Public Schools students who performed below their grade level on 2008 standardized tests had elevated lead levels, the story said, according to the study conducted by Detroit Public Schools and the city's Department of Health and Wellness Promotion. The study also showed that students in special education programs were also more likely to have blood tests results that showed elevated levels of lead. "For years, we've blamed the schools and the teachers ...


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