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Each week, LD OnLine gathers interesting news headlines about learning disabilities and ADHD issues. Please note that LD OnLine does not necessarily endorse these views or any others on these outside websites.

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Special Education Teachers in High Demand

Boston Globe

The fastest-growing teaching segment is in special needs. While growth in student enrollment overall is expected to slow, special education needs are rising, in part because of better and earlier diagnoses of developmental problems. Teachers trained in specialty areas, such as teaching children with autism or those with multiple disabilities, are expected to be in particular demand.

Special Education Teachers Refocus Strategies to Passing State Tests

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)

Part educators, part cheerleaders, Kopp and her colleagues in Arrowhead's special education department work with students with disabilities to be sure they pass the state test. They cajole students to finish their math homework, help them learn new reading strategies and prepare them for the state's annual testing regimen. The tests are given late in the fall to sophomores, meaning there's tension in the first months of the school year. Much of the tension revolves around reading.

Special Education: Schools Taking Ruling in Stride

The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio educators don't expect much to come from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling reaffirming that parents can send special-needs students to private school on a public school's dime. Parents still will have to appeal to the state to force unwilling school districts to cover private-education costs, state officials said. But special-education advocates called the ruling a small victory, and experts said it will put districts on notice that they must provide a "free and appropriate public education," a requirement under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Special Educators Borrow from Brain Studies

Education Week

While some educators remain skeptical, brain research is slowly migrating from the lab into the classroom, both in predicting which students may have learning difficulties and intervening to help students diagnosed with disabilities.

Special Educators Look to Tie IEPs to Common Core

Education Week

The widespread adoption of common-core academic standards is expected to accelerate a growing movement among educators to link individualized education programs for students with disabilities directly to grade-level standards. "Standards-based" IEPs allow individualized instruction in pursuit of a common goal: helping students with disabilities move toward meeting the same grade-level academic standards that general education students are supposed to meet.

Special Need that is Hard to Diagnose, Impossible to Cure

The Eureka Reporter (CA)

Mikey is a special needs child, part of a growing population in Humboldt County. This article looks at what the National Institute of Mental Health has to say about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), how California is addressing the problem, and how it impacts local educators and families like Mikey's.

Special Needs Charter Pitched for Albany

Times Union (NY)

A local group wants to open the city's first charter school for special education students, a proposal that comes after years of criticism from opponents who accused school operators of shunning special needs students because of the higher cost to educate them.

Special Needs in the Lecture Hall

Burlington Free Press (VT)

Accommodations for students with disabilities aren't entirely new to higher education, but technological advances are making more learning aids possible, and not a moment too soon. Rather than retrofitting a course every time, professors might want to consider designing the course in advance for virtually everybody. The prevailing term for this in higher education is "universal design for learning," or UDL.

Special Reading System Gives NJ Student Hope

Press of Atlantic City (NJ)

Samantha Ravelli loves to read the Cheetah Girls books, and her mother, Beth, is more than happy to buy them for her. The books represent not just a pre-teen trend, but a major learning accomplishment. Three years ago Samantha, dyslexic and in third grade, could not read. Help for her came in the form of the specialized Wilson reading system.

Special Report on Entrepreneurship: All in the Mind

The Economist

Entrepreneurs share some surprising psychological traits. Julie Logan, of the Cass Business School in London, found in separate surveys in 2001 and 2007 that 20 percent of the British entrepreneurs and 35 percent of the American entrepreneurs she studied were dyslexic.

Special School to Cater to Youngsters with Dyslexia

The Clairon-Ledger (MS)

Cena Holifield wants to reach out to dyslexic kids in the Hattiesburg, Mississippi area and is working with the city of Petal to make it happen. Holifield is the director of a new school set to open in Petal in August. The school will be called Dynamic Dyslexia Design: The 3-D School.

Special Schools for Special Needs

The Globe and Mail (Canada)

In this special report on private schools, the newspaper looks at private schools that offer intensive programs for children with learning disabilities.

Special with a Capital 'S' Describes Retiring LD Teacher

Hudson Star-Observer (WI)

Since she started full time at Houlton Elementary fifteen years ago, countless students have benefited from Louise Hermansen's unique style of finding just the right method of teaching for them. Most of the time she is creating projects, educational games and curriculum units on the fly to meet individual student needs.

Special-Ed Advocates Fear Children Will Suffer in Budget Crisis

Chicago Tribune

Special-education advocates fear that as the budget crisis in Illinois filters into classrooms, more school districts will skimp on services to children with disabilities — or take money from regular education programs to pay for them.

Special-Ed Advocates Sue Schools Over Placement

Boston Globe

Even as it prepares to open five new classrooms for special education students this week, the Boston public school system is facing a class-action lawsuit in federal court asserting that the district routinely violates state and federal law by delaying evaluations and classroom placements for preschoolers with special needs.

Special-Ed Funds Redirected

Wall Street Journal

Florida's Broward County Public Schools saved as many as 900 jobs this school year. Nevada's Clark County School District just added more math and tutoring programs. And in Connecticut's Bloomfield Public Schools, eight elementary- and middle-school teachers were spared from layoffs. These cash-strapped districts covered the costs using a boost in funding intended for special education, drawing an outcry from parents and advocates of special-needs children.

Special-Ed Problems Continue In District

Washington Post

Some D.C. public charter schools continue selective admissions practices that discourage special-needs students from enrolling, and students citywide with possible disabilities still face delays in special education evaluations, a federal court monitor said last week.

Special-Education Programs in 3 Central Jersey Schools Honored By State

Courier News (NJ)

Three Central New Jersey school programs focusing on different forms of team-building and personal development were among a dozen from around the state honored Monday during the eighth annual Innovations in Special Education program.

Special-Needs Kids Victimized By Peers

The Post and Courier (SC)

In a study of 300 children, researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina and The Citadel, found that children with special needs are more often the subject of bullying and exclusion. "Parents often under- reported bullying and ostracism concerns," said lead author, Dr. Kimberly Twyman, a researcher in MUSC's Department of Pediatrics. She stressed the importance of asking children directly about these problems.

Special-Needs School: Learning Lessons of Life

The Salt Lake Tribune (UT)

More than half of Utah's special-education students have learning disabilities, said Jennie Gibson, associate director of the Utah Parents Center in Salt Lake City, which helps parents navigate the educational system for their children with special needs. The vast majority of special-education students graduate high school, but those with significant problems in need of transition skills can extend their education up to the age of 22.

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