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Mount Vernon News (OH)
Statewide testing mandates involve the printing and distribution of millions of test and answer forms for each subject area being assessed. Sometimes, glitches occur, as happened in some areas with the spring administration of Ohio Achievement Tests; not enough of certain test forms for students needing special accommodations were received by schools.
Jason Cunningham and his wife, Tracy initially resisted the thought of medicating Jason's two sons, Christopher and Patrick, for their attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Once they tried it and saw the difference it made, they were sold. But occasionally, it was like the medication was taking a day off. Patrick had been sick with a cold, and to help relieve his symptoms he had been given a cold medication that contained pseudoephedrine. As it turns out, pseudoephedrine is a medication that cancels out the effects of the ADHD medication that Christopher and Patrick take.
While attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a real and pervasive condition, new research suggests there is a cluster of kids and adults who successfully fake the condition either to get drugs or gain special privileges in school.
Los Angeles Times
With schools under intense pressure from state and federal mandates such as No Child Left Behind to raise test scores of low-achieving pupils, the educational needs of gifted students who usually perform well on standardized tests too often are ignored, advocates say. Nationally, about 3 million kindergarten through 12thgrade students are identified as gifted, but 80% of them do not receive specialized instruction, experts say.
The Daily Citizen (AR)
Strip the binder from an anthropology textbook, feed the 350 pages into a converter of sorts, and a day later, a computer will read the material to a student who learns a bit differently than most. And that's only one of the aids available to the hundreds of University of Arkansas students with a variety of learning disabilities.
Parents are often the last to know when a child has attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD). Not because they're unintelligent, but because their love blinds them to certain realities that others easily perceive. If you've been wondering whether your child has ADHD, it might help to ask yourself: "Does my child have friends? Does he get invited over to play with other children?"
Courier & Press (IL)
If your child is struggling in school, you might be tempted to try to help your child figure things out. But the parent-child relationship is often too emotionally charged. Instead consider a tutor. Here's a few things parents should know when looking for a tutor.
Essex Echo (U.K.)
A pupil who is battling dyslexia has praised her teachers for their expert help in diagnosing and guiding her through her condition. Sophie Goddard, 13, was tested by teachers when she joined Belfairs High School in Leigh and was found to have the condition.
Hemel Gazette (U.K.)
Reg Stickings book about soul music in the North of England in the 60's sold out its first print run before publishers had even advertised it. The 54-year-old says he has always had trouble with literacy, but was determined to finish the book. "Apparently people who can't read and write well have really good memories to compensate, which I think is why I have been able to recall everything for the book. And because I had to dictate it, it's written how I speak."
The Arizona Republic (AZ)
Arizona's state speaker of the House is asking that the governor call lawmakers back to the Capitol for a special session aimed at saving a pair of embattled private-school voucher programs for disabled and foster-care children.
Abbotsford Mission Times (Canada)
Tyrone Brown, 13, and his younger brother Lyndon, 11, reached deep into their hearts and found the strength to communicate their undying respect for veterans with beautifully written Remembrance Day poems. But, the boys' poems are unlike any other, for Tyrone and Lyndon both suffer from severe dyspraxia, which prevents them from being able to talk.
Advocates for students with disabilities have a full agenda for U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, including rolling out long-awaited regulations for educating young children and cracking down on the use of restraints and seclusion as school disciplinary measures.
Bit by bit, the U.S. Department of Education is trying to pull down the walls that have traditionally separated general and special education. One facet of the plan is the department's support of "response to intervention," or RTI, an educational technique that bolsters the skills of academically struggling students before they fall so far behind that they need special education services.
The Education Department, in recently released guidelines, suggests that special education aid under the stimulus measure be used for one-time expenditures. "There's a huge opportunity to help train regular education teachers to better work with special education children," Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the House Budget Committee. But spending on short-term projects may leave school administrators in the position of buying equipment with one pot of money, while laying off teachers at the same time.
Publishers Weekly (NY)
In response to the urgency of special-needs problems, including autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (4%–12% of school-age children, reports the American Academy of Pediatrics), upcoming seasons offer an array of new titles, ranging from the Mongolian adventures of an autistic boy and his parents (The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson) to preeminent child psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan's Overcoming ADHD.
Educators sometimes ask me about the virtues of print versus screen reading. Unfortunately, the basic summary of my position is "we don't know enough and the technology changes too fast to learn" Studies take a long time to put together and technology moves faster than the research. There are some great studies comparing print to CRT monitors; these may or may not be so useful anymore. Studies are often conducted in labs rather than in real-life conditions, limiting the usefulness of the findings. There certainly isn't any clear consensus.
Houston Community Newspapers – Pearland Journal (TX)
Concerned residents who spoke to the school board at their regular meeting April 8, lobbying for special education services they say are lacking in the district. "I'm hoping more people will join so the District will realize [special education] isn't as good as they think," said parent Amy Sabalesky.
Tulsa World (OK)
Some of the most scathing and legally damning findings in an investigative report released this week about the Tulsa Academic Center of Tulsa, Oklahoma involve the treatment of special education students. A summary of an investigative report prepared for the Tulsa school board details repeated violations of federal and state laws, as well as Tulsa Public Schools' own policies and procedures for safeguarding the rights of students with disabilities.
Salem News (MA)
Local school superintendents are looking at a cash infusion from the federal government to help some of their neediest students. For the moment, they're looking at it cautiously. "It can sure be put to excellent uses," Salem Superintendent William Cameron said. "But we lack information about the rules for expending these funds beginning July 1."
New Haven Register (CT)
If New Haven, Connecticut residents don't appropriate $250,000 to cover a pending deficit in the special education budget, there will be immediate layoffs and program eliminations in the schools, Superintendent SaraJane R. Querfeld says. Querfeld said the money, which would be tapped from the unappropriated fund balance, will cover educational costs for nine special education students who have been placed by the state Department of Children and Families, the court system or a hospital.