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Clear Signs of Digitally Connected School Leaders

Clear Signs of Digitally Connected School Leaders | Special Education | Scoop.it
Are the leaders in your school and/or school district digitally connected? Being a connected educator today is one of the most important hallmarks of effective twenty-first century leadership. How ...

Via Felix Jacomino
Erin Ryan's insight:

Interesting to me that leadership "now-a'days" requires a digitally connected person. I have to admit that this "scoop it thing has turned my facebook into a pedestal for all of my idealistic educational philosophies. It does make me sit back and think deeply about topics that are important in my career but does it make me better at my job and more successful at it? Not so sure. I go back and forth with technology. We have a love/hate relationship. I think it can be distracting and take away from the essence of face to face communication. With that said, it is here to stay so I will continue to brace it.

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Jennifer Colin's curator insight, October 15, 2015 8:47 AM

I did not find this article of much use, as I do not agree with the premise: "Being a connected educator today is one of the most important hallmarks of effective twenty-first century leadership."  Mmmm.... I don't know about that.  Being digitally connected is a positive thing, but I would not concur that it's a major tenet of providing quality leadership.  The author does concede, "Of course simply HAVING a twitter account doesn’t automatically equate to being a connected educator."  In my opinion, Twitter or no, if you're not a good leader, any amount of technology is not going to help you become one. We need to be careful not to overemphasize technology. There is a definite place for it, but it does not replace the core significance of knowledgeable and personable school leaders.  Our administrator has taken our school leaps and bounds over the last decade, and he doesn't even have a Facebook page.

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Every Student Succeeds Act Still Leaves Most Vulnerable Kids Behind

ESSA emphasizes K to 12 accountability over root causes of educational inequality.
Via D. F.
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Mastery Ed Provides Tier 3 Support

Lancaster PA — Response to intervention (RTI) are all the rage among educators these days, especially in areas where students are not performing up to par on standardized tests. The RTI systems allow the administrators to see which students need the most help and direct resources to the areas where those students are going to be able to get the level of assistance that they need to be successful. Masteryed is an online company that is now able to provide Tier 3 support for school districts and parents.

 

Within the RTI system students are broken up into three tiers. Tier 1 is for students who are doing a little below average and who would benefit the most from some small changes in the way the material is presented inside the classroom. Tier 2 encompasses students who need some more individual attention, but most of the material can still be absorbed with some additional instruction in a small group setting. Tier 3 is the place where students need personalized tools to help them overcome gaps in their previous education and to bring them up to speed with their peers.

 

Masteryed is a leader in Tier 3 support for teachers and parents. With a curriculum that can be changed around to meet the special needs of individual students, and a deep wealth of content to pull from, Masteryed offers a better selection of services than most other math instructional programs on the market. Customers can go to www.masteryed.com to see a full listing of the types of services and programs that are currently available.

 

School districts are unlikely to move away form RTI any time soon, so parents and teachers need to get used to this type of tiered instruction. With their wide net, Masteryed is one of the few companies that are able to fulfill the desire for long lasting improvements to test scores that parents and teachers want to see.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.masteryed.com or call (800) 454-6284.


Via John Alle
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Makerspaces for Students With Special Needs - Edutopia

Makerspaces for Students With Special Needs - Edutopia | Special Education | Scoop.it
Maker education is a new school of educational thought which strives to deliver constructivist, project-based learning curriculum and instructional units. Makerspaces can be full high school workshops with a bevy of high-tech tools, or as small and low tech as one corner of an elementary classroom. What defines a makerspace isn't just the tools and equipment, but the learning that happens as students begin making and creating projects. Educators need to design these spaces to reach a diverse set of learners, particularly populations underserved in STEM subjects, and students with neurological differences, learning differences, and special needs. Makerspaces provide a number of benefits and opportunities for typical students. It just so happens that the type of learning Makerspaces promote best is also the type of learning that students with learning challenges need most.

Via John Evans
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Don Wilson's curator insight, October 31, 2014 11:43 AM

The article points out special needs learners, but really it's about how all learners learn best this way.

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Leadership Rituals that Make Each Day Count

Leadership Rituals that Make Each Day Count | Special Education | Scoop.it

Lolly Daskel writes: "Rituals can strengthen and spotlight the values, intentions, and experiences you have chosen to live by; they and can be useful when we are trying to figure out what is important."


Via donhornsby, Ivon Prefontaine, John Michel
Erin Ryan's insight:

Leaders are always growing, developing, thinking, and constantly improving. We do this by be learners ourselves. We read and read- not just reports but articles and blogs that are applicable to our craft. We listen for the sake of listening rather than with intentions of replying, we ask questions and find answers, we mentor others and seek out mentors for our own selves. Leaders give ongoing, rich feedback, we journal and track information, Most importantly good leaders are continuously learning. We practice what we preach.

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John Michel's curator insight, June 6, 2014 12:08 AM

You become a little bit better each day when you make learning a constant ritual. The best leaders are constantly improving, learning, growing and developing. 

Jerry Busone's curator insight, June 8, 2014 8:41 AM

Mice message on" Making it Count" daily

Eliane Fierro's curator insight, June 8, 2014 9:22 PM

Choose your ritual to become who you want to be... 

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Educators speak out on the underfunding of special education | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org

Educators speak out on the underfunding of special education | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org | Special Education | Scoop.it

Forty years ago, federal lawmakers transformed how we educate our special needs students with the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). They also committed to pay 40 percent of the per pupil cost of educating students with special needs.

But the federal government has never met even half of that obligation to the states and the students and families who rely on the critical services and programs that public schools provide. The chronic underfunding of IDEA has forced states and districts to cut elsewhere to fulfill the law’s mandates.

The federal government’s unfulfilled promise cost the states a collective $17 billion for the current school year.

Educators see the effects of the chronic underfunding of special education in their classrooms every day. Here are a handful of educator and parent perspectives shared with EducationVotes:

 

Click headline to read more--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Erin Ryan's insight:

Our region serves students with ASD, EI, VI, CI, HI, OHI, LD, SXI, SPL and the list goes on. We do this with very little funding and with big hearts. It is amazing to me that special education dollars that were promised per IDEA are not being provided to support the learning of our students. No Child Left Behind means just that and even though it is currently being overhauled, well that doesn't mean we stop serving our students. Special education teachers work tirelessly on paperwork regarding the IEP process. provide least restrictive environments, teach 20-23 students (caseloads) to their individual, teach multiple class with multiple preps and they get up everyday to do it again and again. What I believe special education teachers need is time with compensation for the extra they are required to do and training and professional development beyond what the region offers (like CEC, Michigan Transition Conference, etc.) We need opportunities to grow as professionals. Respect, gratitude, and appreciation go along way too.

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Elizabeth Walton Coleman's curator insight, July 31, 2015 8:10 PM

As a special education teacher the larget issue is inclusionary practices.

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How Standing Desks Can Help Students Focus in the Classroom

How Standing Desks Can Help Students Focus in the Classroom | Special Education | Scoop.it
Some educators are finding that standing desks are a simple way help fidgety kids settle down and get to work.

Via Jeff P. Weiss
Erin Ryan's insight:

I love this idea and would be the firs to pilot it! I see first hand in my classes for special education how much learners struggle to sit still. Although order is necessary, the standing desk and stool provide students with an opportunity to engage and still "get their move on!" Sometimes all a students needs is a small fidget and small movement to help focus their energy. I will say I have tried exercise balls and for my middle school students, there was too much jumping around to the point that they were falling off the balls or kicking them around. It just didn't work for the small space I have so I pulled the plugs (my high school students did use them properly so perhaps it is more a maturity thing). I do let students stand and try to adjust the grouping and pace of lessons at least every 15 minutes. Standing up can improvement engagement and also help with the rise of obesity in our young people. I am interested to see some specific data for this as it may be something I promote in my building.

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Jeff P. Weiss's curator insight, October 23, 2014 3:41 PM

We need to consider other ways that students can be in class for hours at a time.

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Things I Wish I Knew My First Year Of Teaching Special Education | Think Inclusive

Things I Wish I Knew My First Year Of Teaching Special Education | Think Inclusive | Special Education | Scoop.it
Nothing prepares you for that first day. I can still remember calling my wife during my lunch break (hey...I taught in California then...breaks were ...

Via Velvet Martin
Erin Ryan's insight:

What I wish I knew and wish I had:

1) Coffee, coffee, and more coffee.

2) Dove Dark Chocolate.

3) Ask for help- you cannot do it alone. And you will not know unless you ask.

4) Find a trusted mentor- someone you can express your feelings and emotions too. And cry on their should if you need to.

5) Keep snacks handy- rewards are very helpful at times.

6) Do not underestimate yourself. You will be surprised at what you can do when you have to.

7) It is normal to have a love/hate relationship with your job.

8) You will learn the IEP process and see its value!

9) Students who need your love and support the most will ask for it the most unloving ways.

10) Consider the student's need first and foremost- always, always. They are the driving force behind what you do everyday.

 

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Barbara Pazey's curator insight, January 22, 2016 6:50 PM

Some good insights here although you might pick and choose, as told from a special education teacher's perspective.

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10 Defusing Phrases to Use at IEP Meetings | Calm IEP Meetings - Understood

10 Defusing Phrases to Use at IEP Meetings | Calm IEP Meetings - Understood | Special Education | Scoop.it
Emotions can run high at IEP meetings. Learn phrases you can use to redirect conversation and defuse potential hot spots with the IEP team.
Erin Ryan's insight:

IEP meeting can be intense at times. What I have found in my previous experiences are that if you act with professionalism, empathy, and follow the law through the IEP process you will most often come up with a plan that best meets your students needs. It is important to use good eye contact, speak directly to people (use names), restate or summarize what is being said, consider all opinions and ideas and most importantly provide solid data to support the goals and services provided. If you provide factual information for why your team is suggesting the plan that it is, parents are less likely to question your expertise. Remember though, you are working with someone's child- someone's baby. Empathy is key- put yourself in their shoes and give them a change to process and express their feelings. 

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Barbara Pazey's curator insight, January 22, 2016 6:52 PM

This would be helpful for a person to have as a repertoire for working with teachers, parents, etc. in any capacity, but especially IEP meetings :-)

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Keeping Students with Disabilities Safe from Bullying | Blog | StopBullying.gov

Keeping Students with Disabilities Safe from Bullying | Blog | StopBullying.gov | Special Education | Scoop.it

As Secretary Duncan has noted, the Department of Education is committed to making sure that all of our young people grow up free of fear, violence, and bullying. Bullying not only threatens a student’s physical and emotional safety at school, but fosters a climate of fear and disrespect, creating conditions that negatively impact learning—undermining students’ ability to achieve to their full potential. Unfortunately, we know that children with disabilities are disproportionately affected by bullying.

 

Factors such as physical vulnerability, social skills challenges, or intolerant environments may increase the risk of bullying. Students who are targets of bullying are more likely to experience lower academic achievement, higher truancy rates, feelings of alienation, poor peer relationships, loneliness, and depression. We must do everything we can to ensure that our schools are safe and positive learning  environments—where all students can learn.

 

To that end, on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, ED’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) issued guidance to educators and stakeholders on the matter of bullying of students with disabilities. This guidance provides an overview of school districts’ responsibilities to ensure that students with disabilities who are subject to bullying continue to receive free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Under IDEA, States and school districts are obligated to ensure that students with disabilities receive FAPE in the least restrictive environment (LRE). This guidance explains that any bullying of a student with disabilities which results in the student not receiving meaningful educational benefit is considered a denial of FAPE. Furthermore, this letter notes that certain changes to an educational program of a student with a disability (e.g., placement in a more restricted “protected” setting to avoid bullying behavior) may constitute a denial of FAPE in the LRE.

 

Click headline to read more--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Erin Ryan's insight:

I have been in the field of special education almost 14 years and this idea of protecting students from bullying through their IEP or 504 plan is new to me. Most of my students who struggle with bullying are either 1) the bully or 2) being bullied. The bully, in my experience, is often dealing with immense emotional instability, impulsivity,  home problems, and/or depression & anxiety. Those bullied are often struggling with similar things but cannot seem to defend themselves. When we work with a student with this level of needs, we typically involve school social work. A behavior plan or student success plan may also be utilized to help students deal with situations- to help them regulate their own feelings and to learn strategies to cope. 

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Dorothy Retha Cook's curator insight, September 28, 2015 12:32 PM

AGAIN AS SAID WHEN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS COMMIT CRIMES THEY CHARGE THE STUDENTS AND/OR THEIR PARENTS, GUARDIANS WITH THEM BULLIED UNTIL SOME BECOME DISABLED BY THE ACTIONS OR FAILURES TO ACT BY THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BUT THE PUBLICS SCHOOLS OFFICIALS KNOWING THEY ARE UNTOUCHABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS CRIMINALLY THEY DO IT WITH  VENGANCE AND LAUGH BECAUSE THEY ARE EXEMPT FROM CRIMINAL PROSECUTION THEMSELVES BUT THE JUST-ICE GOVERNMENT STYLE HAS TO STOP NOW!  THE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS DO THE CRIMES LET THEM HAVE THEIR DAY IN COURT ALSO! IT EQUAL JUSTICE TIME!  AMMEND THE TRUANCY LAWS ALL ACROSS THE WORLD TO INCLUDE THE ACCOUNTABILITY BY CRIMINAL PROSECUTION OF THE CRIMES SUCH AS TRUANCY BECAUSE JUSTICE IS EQUAL AND IN JUST-ICE HAS GOT TO GO!

Dorothy Retha Cook's curator insight, November 11, 2015 10:06 AM

There are complaints filed that fall thru even the U.S. Department of Education cracks but not God ALMIGHTIES! 

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Dogs Teach Empathy, Prevent Bullying to At-Risk Youth in NYC Schools

Dogs Teach Empathy, Prevent Bullying to At-Risk Youth in NYC Schools | Special Education | Scoop.it

For many at-risk youth in New York City, violence and crime is an inescapable fact of life.

But Audrey Hendler is hoping to change that, with the help of about 25 four-legged teaching assistants.

In 2010, Hendler launched A Fair Shake for Youth, a program that brings therapy dogs into middle schools in under-served communities of New York City to teach children empathy and responsibility and help prevent bullying.

Hendler, a certified dog trainer and Canine Good Citizen evaluator, previously worked with Puppies Behind Bars, through which inmates in maximum- and minimum-security prisons helped socialize future working K-9s and service dogs for wounded war veterans.

 

By: Liz Donovan


Via Edwin Rutsch
Erin Ryan's insight:

I love involving students with dogs for so many reasons. This year, we are using the trained dogs to help keep school drug free. It is not a like a huge police raid. The dog servicing our building what brought in for students to meet. We learned about and say him "perform" in an assembly. He was introduced in a non-threatening way as more of a liaison for keeping our school safe. Using animals to educate is a great way to teach students empathy, responsibility and increase confidence. In this article, I interrupted the program to target 12 kids specifically who were in need of skills building relating to bullying and school safety. An administrator would need to be pretty creative with scheduling as missed instructional time in core content areas is difficult. The impact however could be substantial to student's emotional and social growth.

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Bryan Kay's curator insight, October 22, 2015 9:00 PM

I hope this article provides insight on how to confront student issues as an educational leader.

 

This article is beneficial to me because so many students at my current school struggle with empathy. This program could be useful to our school. I definitely want to keep this article in my back pocket.

Shelly Reckow VanVoorst's curator insight, October 24, 2015 9:35 PM

I scooped this article because it involves dogs and children.  I firmly believe that animals can be calming and reassuring for students who are at-risk.  This article is the start of an awesome program that I hope grows and spreads across the country.  I hope that others who read this article will be open-minded enough to realize that dogs, and other animals even, can play an important role in helping students as they grow.  I hope that staff members realize that we are educating the whole child at school now, and not just offering an academic education. 

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What Schools Must Learn From LA's iPad Debacle | Issie Lapowsky | WIRED.com

What Schools Must Learn From LA's iPad Debacle | Issie Lapowsky | WIRED.com | Special Education | Scoop.it

When Los Angeles schools began handing out iPads in the fall of 2013, it looked like one of the country’s most ambitious rollouts of technology in the classroom. The city’s school district planned to spend $1.3 billion putting iPads, preloaded with the Pearson curriculum, in the hands of every student in every school.

Less than two years later, that ambitious plan now looks like a spectacularly foolish one. In August, the Los Angeles Unified School District halted its contract with Apple, as rumors swirled that Apple and Pearson may have received preferential treatment in the district’s procurement process, something the FBI is investigating. Then, this spring, the district sent a letter to Apple seeking a refund, citing crippling technical issues with the Pearson platform and incomplete curriculum that made it nearly impossible for teachers to teach. If a deal can’t be reached, the district could take legal action. (Apple did not immediately respond to WIRED’s request for comment.)

Pearson, whose stock tumbled following the news, has publicly defended the curriculum it provided LAUSD, which included digital learning content for math and English courses 1. LAUSD’s director of the so-called Instructional Technology Initiative, on the other hand, denounced the material as utterly unusable in a memo earlier this year.

But while the the parties involved continue pointing the finger and picking up the pieces, the important question to ask now is what this fiasco means for the future of technology in the classroom. If one of the country’s largest school districts, one of the world’s largest tech companies, and one of the most established brands in education can’t make it work, can anyone?

 

Click headline to read more and access hot links--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Erin Ryan's insight:

Hopefully what we learn from this is that before we buy into any specific programs, curriculum, or technology, we have to do some research first. We need to look specifically at how the tools will be used to enhance instruction and improve student achievement. If the tool is just gadget in a pretty packaged box to make it look good, then say no to implementation. If there is consistent data and research to back the product and it aligns with state standards and curriculum, great- look at moving forward. What I would say though is that remember that this is not one man decision. Teachers, students, community members, parents, as well as administration and BOE need involvement in decision making.

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3 Gigantic Problems that School Principals Can Fix Today - Brilliant or Insane

3 Gigantic Problems that School Principals Can Fix Today - Brilliant or Insane | Special Education | Scoop.it
Most of the stumbling blocks teachers face can be fixed by school principals, and guess what? The solutions are shockingly simple.

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
Erin Ryan's insight:

I never thought to use social media as an avenue to supplement meetings. What an excellent strategy to look at your meeting agenda and determine what information could be given to teachers in a different way versus sitting a lecture style staff meeting. Social media or things like Today' Meet could be excellent ways to take care of the logistical and operational items that just make teachers feel like their time is being wasted. An interesting concept also about creating a quiet zone for uninterrupted work. I cannot see this working effectively as most teachers just want time in their classrooms with their curriculum and materials. 

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Bryan Kay's curator insight, October 22, 2015 8:36 PM

I chose this resource to use for motivation or general ideas to become a better principal and educational leader.

 

School principals directly impact teachers. Teachers ultimately impact their students. It is important to remember how important the job of a leader is in the building. Setting an example and remaining positive and supportive can be the difference between a good school and a great school.

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The Perfect Assessment

The Perfect Assessment | Special Education | Scoop.it

"So what would the perfect assessment be like? If we can design anything–not just digitize multiple choice questions, but start from scratch? What would the perfect assessment do? How would it be formed? What data would it yield? What effect would it have on the student?"


Via EDTECH@UTRGV
Erin Ryan's insight:

The perfect assessment would measure what the students are learning,  It would assess students based on where they are versus where they should be. It would give us information on what the students know and what specifically they do not know. It would provide for us useful data that could be used to adjust instruction and learning to meet all student's needs. The perfect assessment would be engaging and rewarding and make feel students encouraged and hopeful about their futures. It would be ongoing and accessible and be a learning opportunity in and of itself. Current measures of student performance (although better than previously) still measure what the average learner should know. And standards and norms are need to make test results valid, the information on tests often unrelated to what students have actually learned in the classroom. In addition to standardized measures, teacher really need curriculum based measures that show student growth that is individual to their classroom and instruction.

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mohaliarena's comment, October 23, 2015 8:24 AM
Very nice looking
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Using Universal Design for Learning to help diverse students

Using Universal Design for Learning to help diverse students | Special Education | Scoop.it

"Universally designed lessons (UDL) utilize a diverse array of components, like audiovisual options, illustrations, enlarged print, or glossaries, and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) encourages districts to use them to help learners with disabilities in particular."


Via EDTECH@UTRGV
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Mastery Ed Provides Tier 3 Support

Lancaster PA — Response to intervention (RTI) are all the rage among educators these days, especially in areas where students are not performing up to par on standardized tests. The RTI systems allow the administrators to see which students need the most help and direct resources to the areas where those students are going to be able to get the level of assistance that they need to be successful. Masteryed is an online company that is now able to provide Tier 3 support for school districts and parents.

 

Within the RTI system students are broken up into three tiers. Tier 1 is for students who are doing a little below average and who would benefit the most from some small changes in the way the material is presented inside the classroom. Tier 2 encompasses students who need some more individual attention, but most of the material can still be absorbed with some additional instruction in a small group setting. Tier 3 is the place where students need personalized tools to help them overcome gaps in their previous education and to bring them up to speed with their peers.

 

Masteryed is a leader in Tier 3 support for teachers and parents. With a curriculum that can be changed around to meet the special needs of individual students, and a deep wealth of content to pull from, Masteryed offers a better selection of services than most other math instructional programs on the market. Customers can go to www.masteryed.com to see a full listing of the types of services and programs that are currently available.

 

School districts are unlikely to move away form RTI any time soon, so parents and teachers need to get used to this type of tiered instruction. With their wide net, Masteryed is one of the few companies that are able to fulfill the desire for long lasting improvements to test scores that parents and teachers want to see.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.masteryed.com or call (800) 454-6284.


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"Poorly implemented co-teaching practices may be taking the "special" out of special education"

"Poorly implemented co-teaching practices may be taking the "special" out of special education" | Special Education | Scoop.it

Poorly implemented co-teaching practices may be taking the "special" out of special education, say many who train teachers and districts in collaboration.


Co-Teaching On The Rise, But Difficulties Remain.

Education Week (6/10, Samuels) reports that co-teaching, in which a special education teacher and a general education teacher work together in the same class, has led the number of students with disabilities spending most of their day in typical classrooms to rise from around 50% in 2003 to 61% in 2013. Bad in-practice implementation, however, can lead to expectations that special education teachers act in a way that makes them “indistinguishable” from their peers. Collaboration has seen “new urgency” under No Child Left Behind Act, as the Act seeks to make all classrooms have “highly qualified” teachers but gives a break to special education teachers if they are in tandem with a qualified partner. Inclusion rates are being encouraged by the ED, and new standards are pushing students to learn on the standard curriculum.


Via Mel Riddile
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Mel Riddile's curator insight, June 10, 2015 11:02 AM

Simply throwing two teachers together and hoping for the best is a recipe for disaster. Our teacher teams need specialized PD each school year on working together in a general education classroom.

Jennifer McGuff's curator insight, August 1, 2015 4:46 PM

Putting two teachers together and hoping for the best is a recipe for disaster. Our teacher teams need specialized PD each school year on working together in a general education classroom.

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The Adventures of Library Girl: An Open Letter To Principals (Before You Hire A New School Librarian)

The Adventures of Library Girl: An Open Letter To Principals (Before You Hire A New School Librarian) | Special Education | Scoop.it

Jennnifer Largarde writes: "

Look for someone who loves children more than books.  Books are awesome. And your new librarians should love them. But they should love children more.  Look for passion when you talk to them about their job, but make sure that passion revolves around what makes being a school librarian the best job in the world: the opportunity to match kids with the first book to change their lives. "


Via Mary Reilley Clark
Erin Ryan's insight:

Such an excellent point about hiring new people. Good people=good outcomes. It is so easy to get drawn into a candidate based on their skills and knowledge, but to hire someone who can truly related to kids and people of the school community, that is just so critical. Excellent people and communication skills are needed to work in any role in a school. I happen to know someone who walks around almost daily with a grimace on his face, never showing an excitement, complaining and really looking as if he doesn't want to be at work. What message does that communicate to other students and staff? It is really not one of open dialogue and problem solving.  As for librarians, I cannot imagine our school functioning without them.  The author makes an excellent point about need the right person but also need one who is qualified and loves children. I think we forget sometimes that our librarians serve all of our students. I love the idea of providing data to support the practices of the library.

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Mary Reilley Clark's curator insight, May 25, 2015 1:13 PM

Jennifer gives awesome advice that should be shared with every administrator in your district! I am so thankful that she emphasizes finding the right person, not the right degree. If our district paid more for "real" librarians, I'd enroll in an MLIS program tomorrow. 


Rescooped by Erin Ryan from Trends and Issues in Special Education and Leadership
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Here's What Americans Want From A No Child Left Behind Overhaul

Here's What Americans Want From A No Child Left Behind Overhaul | Special Education | Scoop.it
As members of the Senate and House of Representatives work to find compromise on their respective overhauls of the No Child Left Behind Act, Americans are expressing agreement with a central tenet in both

Via Barbara Pazey
Erin Ryan's insight:

What I take from this is that states may eventually have more power over how standardized testing is implemented in their own state (and also determine how it is used to measure success). On one hand, I think our own state government knows the current climate of schools within it best. They should play a significant role in determining what tests are used and what we do with those measurements. (I will not get into my political views of Michigan's current governor). On the other side of things, I think having some ground rules to build from that consistent across the country are important. No matter how this pans out, what we need are continuous supports from the government to improve education for ALL learners- not just high achieving.   

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Common core: Dramatic changes in how special education is done!

Common core: Dramatic changes in how special education is done! | Special Education | Scoop.it

There are going to be some dramatic changes between how special education (at least in my school and other schools I’ve worked in) is done now and how it will be done when the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is completely initiated.


Via Mel Riddile
Erin Ryan's insight:

Common core state standards provide a foundation of which to build from. The accountability piece is what is important in all of these changes in the past few years. Do I like that up to 50% of my evaluation can be based on student achievement? Not really, but I do believe that numbers don't lie. Data will show what is working or not. If a particular curriculum or instructional practice is not working, any good teacher would want to make it better. It is extremely important for teachers to be able to explain what and why they are teaching a certain topic a certain way. It causes us them to evaluate what works best for our learners. A continuous cycle of improvement is needed and CCSS helps us to plan, do, check and adjust according to student's needs.

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Mary Perfitt-Nelson's curator insight, February 6, 2013 1:41 PM

Change.............embrace it!

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How Parents Survive Special Education - Interview

How Parents Survive Special Education - Interview | Special Education | Scoop.it
What is a special education advocate? What is the difference between an advocate and an attorney, and when do I need the services of an advocate? When hiring an advocate, what can I expect and how can an advocate benefit my child? Parent Choices for Struggling Teens, host's Lon Woodbury and Elizabeth McGhee welcomed their guest, Nicole Shelton, M.Ed, MS an Advocate Consultant, and explored how her services help parents with children with special educational needs, navigate the - maze - through public school districts to get the help their children need.

Via Lon Woodbury
Erin Ryan's insight:

As a teacher/administrator of special education, I certainly promote parent involvement. I see parents as a vital part of our team; equal partners in educating their child. The most important part of this unique relationship is communication. Teachers need to know parents concerns, questions, comments in order to help. We need to also be able to call you with the good, the bad, and the ugly as well. It is two way street of continuous dialogue. Bringing an advocate to school is absolutely the right of every parent. What we hope though is that we  know your concerns before you come to a table with an advocate or lawyer. Surprises only make for unnecessary tension, especially when what we all want is what is best for your child. Navigating the world of special education is a tremendous job. It is heartbreaking at times while other times simply joyful- no matter what though, open, thoughtful communication is vital to success. 

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Lon Woodbury's curator insight, February 13, 2014 6:42 PM

The Special Education Advocate is a fairly new profession, but it is rapidly expanding because of so many parents getting frustrated by their perceived non-response to special education childrens' needs. -Lon

Lon Woodbury's curator insight, February 13, 2014 6:43 PM

The Special Education Advocate is a fairly new profession, but it is rapidly expanding because of so many parents getting frustrated by their perceived non-response to special education childrens' needs. -Lon

Elizabeth Myers's curator insight, March 19, 2015 11:52 PM

I think this post is important for families who have students with disabilities because it gives them advice on  what to do if they are not getting the help they need.  There are people who are experts in rights for Special Education students.  These people are called Special Education Advocates.  They are used when parents do not feels schools are providing to their child’s needs.  Advocates can do many things.  They can help with Individualized Education Plans, attend IEP meetings, or just educate parents on the complicated rights of students.  An advocate can inform parents on the differences between school districts, laws, and rights.  This article talks about how important an educated parent is.  An educated parent can make the difference in a student’s education. 

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Beyond the Standardized Test: Aim Higher

Beyond the Standardized Test: Aim Higher | Special Education | Scoop.it
Standardized testing is one of the "lighting rod" issues in educational policy debates. Whether it's a group of teachers boycotting a test in Seattle, districts across the United States tying teacher

Via Heather Morrow Giles
Erin Ryan's insight:

Aim higher that what standardized tests are asking of our students. Teach higher order thinking  skills that encompass  problem solving, application to real world situations- skills that require students to think and process and cultivate and create. If we teach to the test, we are teaching low level skills that require no more than rote memorization. As a person who may or may not have been taught that way, memorizing facts did nothing for my career and very little for the day to day problem solving that is required to be an efficacious adult. 

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Heather Morrow Giles's curator insight, April 23, 2014 2:42 PM

Yes, yes, YES!!!  All to often "test prep" means using sample items as warm-up or bell-ringer activities, whether they link to that day's lesson or not. Why not select relevant items and use them to introduce the lesson or as an exit slip to see if students could transfer what they learned in class hit that day? It's more meaningful and just better pedagogy.

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Things Every Teacher Should Know About Bullying

Things Every Teacher Should Know About Bullying | Special Education | Scoop.it

Is bullying an issue in your school? Did you know that 1 out of 4 kid are bullied everyone month in the U.S., that 1 in 10 drops out of school due to repetitive bullying? This infographic provides an eye opening look and "share facts about the methods, consequences and prentative measures related to bullies and bullied victimes in schools."


Via Beth Dichter
Erin Ryan's insight:

We use Olweus Bullying Prevention program in our region. It is a school and district wide effort to end bullying, promote healthy peer relationships, and to help students deal with bullying. The program teaches students through frequent class meetings. Videos and discussions are used to help students problem solve through those tough situations they encounter at school. Elementary students make pledges to their school communities in regards to not watching or letting bullying happen, treating others nicely, not talking badly about others, etc. The conversations are a bit more in depth at the middle and high school levels. The goal is to provide children of all ages with  tools and strategies to help them deal with bullying, whether they are being bullied or are witnessing it. In our schools, we have yet to survey students since implementation so the impact of the program is yet to be foreseen. What is clear, is that schools must do something to proactively prevent bullying. Consequences for bullying should be clearly stated in handbooks with parents and students understanding the seriousness. 

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BI Media Specialists's curator insight, January 31, 2014 10:14 AM
I just read a book about bullying that was heart-wrenching! The statistics are scary! Bullying is getting easier and more anonymous with the use of technology. We all need to be aware of it's impact in our school!
Grace Hamilton's curator insight, March 11, 2014 2:11 PM

I wanted to scoop this bullying infographic as well because it provides bullying prevention techniques that I think are really valuable. It also provides the statistic that 35.5% of students believe schools can help prevent bullying, so I hope with these prevention techniques will encourage schools to increase intervention and supervision.

Soren Andrews's curator insight, May 12, 2014 9:05 AM

This is a very good article because apart from having a lot of information, it has lots of pictures and statistics.  Also, it uses many simple to understand  pictures and charts.  If you need numbers in bullying, this article is just what you need. 

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Outrageous:State ordering girls’ locker rooms open to 'transgender/gay' boys

Outrageous:State ordering girls’ locker rooms open to 'transgender/gay' boys | Special Education | Scoop.it

The California State Assembly passed a bill Thursday mandating schools permit boys to play on girls’ athletic teams and utilize the ladies’ locker room if they gender identify as girls – or vice-versa for girls identifying as boys.

The bill’s author, openly homosexual San Francisco Democrat Tom Ammiano, has been an activist for lesbian, “gay,” bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, issues for decades and reportedly became in 1975 the first San Francisco public school teacher to make his homosexuality public. Ammiano later co-founded an LGBT organization with Harvey Milk, the homosexual activist about whom Hollywood made a recent feature film and California schools celebrate an annual day of remembrance.

 

Ammiano told the Los Angeles Times some parents may be uncomfortable with their children sharing bathrooms with students of a different sex, but he said, “It’s also important to protect our children from prejudice.”

“There’s no trampling of other people’s rights,” he said. “There’s a recognition that other people have the same rights that you do.”

Ammiano cited the case of Eli Erlick, a high school student in Mendocino County who was born male but identifies as female. Ammiano said Erlick was prohibited from participating in girls’ gym classes while in middle school and noted that Erlick’s parents testified in favor of the bill.

By a vote of 46-25, carried without any affirmative votes from Republican lawmakers, the California Assembly passed the bill, AB 1266, which amends Section 221.5 of the state’s Education Code as follows: “A pupil shall be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.”

The bill would affect not only interscholastic sports, but also sex-segregated physical education classes.

An analysis of the bill quoted Ammiano: “When transgender students are denied the opportunity to participate in physical education classes in a manner consistent with their gender identity, they miss out on … important benefits and suffer from stigmatization and isolation.”

A spokeswoman for the California Catholic Conference, however, told the Times the mandate steps in where a case-by-case basis would be a better solution.

“Our Legislature tends to get involved in things that are better handled in local school districts,” said spokeswoman Carol Hogan.

She also said the law could be abused by students seeking easy access to the opposite sex.

As WND reported earlier, the Pacific Justice Institute launched a website, GenderInsanity.com, to bring attention to AB 1266, as well as to SB 323, which would eliminate key tax exemptions for the Boy Scouts of America if the organization were to not accept “gender identity” and homosexuality.

Others cited by the pro-family SaveCalifornia.com as being on a radical sex agenda include:

SB 543, signed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010, “allows school staff to remove children ages 12 and up from government schools and taken off-campus for counseling sessions, without parental permission or involvement.”


Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/05/state-ordering-girls-locker-rooms-open-to-boys/#Gt8lHh3yKfRszrbb.99


Via littlebytesnews
Erin Ryan's insight:

I support the uniqueness of every individual not matter their ability/disability, gender, race... what appears on the outside is not really what is important to me as an educator. What is important that my students are treated fairly and equitably in a way that ensures safety and an opportunities to achieve. What I struggle with in this scenario about students sharing bathrooms/locker rooms based on gender identity is that all students are impacted but what they see. For example, in a girls locker room at middle school- you are putting girls ages 12-14 years of age in a position where they may potentially see a males body parts. I am not sure students at this age (or hormonal teenagers at H.S. for that matter) are emotionally and mentally capable of understanding the situation. Not at all saying that people that identify as transgender/gay/ bi have less rights than anyone else but they do not have more rights either. It is really tricky because the impact of such a policy impacts every student in the bathroom and every student in locker room- its not just about prejudice on one student- it is about the impact on all students. Further investigation of this topic would be needed in order for me to explore a policy like this for my school.

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littlebytesnews's curator insight, May 11, 2013 2:20 AM

When does the insanity end?? If the gays&transgenders want to share a bathroom let them, but leave the straight kids alone and respect their privacy. However, I don't think schools should be accommodating what is not acceptable to all parents and religious faiths. This should be kept out of the public school system. Let them attend a school for homosexuals and transexuals or something. 

 

Why encourage unnatural behavior and give students who want to abuse the law to get away with something they should not be allowed to do. This will only encourage more inappropriate behavior and invades the rights and privacy of the heterosexual students. 

 

Public schools should not be used to push a political agenda that encourages homosexuality. Homosexuality is a lifestyle choice, and so is anything else that was not designed by nature. We have two genders for a reason....does anyone on the left know what that reason might be??

 

Stop turning our schools and children into social experiments at the cost of our children's morals, values and souls.

 

Related:

California Assembly Passes Transgender Bill Allowing Student Choice on Bathroom, Sports Team


Transgender students in California are one step closer to playing on their school's one-sex sports team of choice or have access to a bathroom based on their chosen gender identity, not their physical sex at birth. The state Assembly passed a bill Thursday that would mandate school districts allow t...http://www.christianpost.com/news/california-assembly-passes-transgender-bill-allowing-student-choice-on-bathroom-sports-team-95631/
Heather Manley's curator insight, March 18, 2015 5:05 PM

This article focuses on the rights that transgender students have in school, from participating on sport teams to attending sex-segregated classes. I found it very interesting that a former homosexual teacher, Tom Ammiano, created this new bill for transgender students. In 1975, Tom Ammiano was the first teacher from San Francisco to publicly announce his homosexuality. Ammiano later co-founded an LGBT organization with Harvey Milk. Harvey Milk was a homosexual activist and Hollywood used his story to produce a film. Also, California schools celebrate an annual day of remembrance for Harvey Milk. Tom Ammiano and Harvey Milk have really done some great things for transgender students and their families. As we have discussed in class, parents can suffer from depression when they realize their goals about their children turn out differently. Many parents suffer emotionally when their son or daughter feels they are the opposite sex on the inside. Ammiano would be the perfect person for parents to turn to for support. Since Milk’s remembrance is a huge day in California, this lessens the chance of discrimination of other LGBT students and is showing the youth nation that being different is not a bad thing. The end of this article gives a list of bills that have given LGBT individuals rights they observe. The most interesting one to me and to our topic is AB 537, which allows students and teacher to be open about their transsexuality. The fact that everyone can display their true self is great and really changes the views of the world.

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Beyond Zero Tolerance: Achieving a Balance in School Discipline

Beyond Zero Tolerance: Achieving a Balance in School Discipline | Special Education | Scoop.it

Disruptive behavior continues to be one of the most challenging issues that schools face today. Even one seriously incompliant student can threaten teaching and learning for the rest of the class. And though exceedingly rare given the large number of schools throughout our country, incidents of deadly violence shake our confidence in school safety.


Via Patti Kinney
Erin Ryan's insight:

In addition to the question of whether zero tolerance is effective, we also need to question then what does work. ISS and OSS (in and out of school suspensions) are often giving students what they want. Some want to be removed from school. They do not want to be there and so they act out to get out.  Does it stop the behavior in the present- yes- but ISS and OSS do nothing to prevent the behaviors from happening in the future. School districts need specific training to deal with behaviors. Positive behavioral supports and interventions and crisis prevention training should be provided to staff who work regularly with students with disruptive behavior.  From a special education standpoint, we have need some tools to support these learners that systematic and structured. Additionally, districts should be using a pattern of removal worksheet to track the number of suspensions. This information will help to look for patterns in behaviors as well as assure that behavior consequences are consistent. We have to pay close attention to this because student with special education needs who have more than 10 suspensions are required to go through the Manifestation Determination Review process to determine causes for behavior and then make adjustments in supports & services.

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Here’s Why School Principals Are Crucial to Student Success

School principals are more important than you might think.

 

School principals are more important than you might think. They have the ability to make a huge difference in the lives of their students, and are a key component of student success. In fact, experts have come to believe that the only thing more important to student success is teacher quality itself — and school principals directly impact that, too.


Via Mel Riddile
Erin Ryan's insight:

It took me almost 8 years to decide to move in the administrative direction in education. I contemplated about timing, mostly thinking about my home and my children, also working very hard to nudge my way into leadership roles within my building. But now that the decision has been made and I am seeking another master's degree, I am certain and committed to becoming a great administrator.  Before a person decides to be in this role, they have to be certain they are ready for the commitment. I reminded everyday of the multiple roles we serve in from minute to minute (counselor, teacher, creator, banker, mentor, coach, evaluator, manager, etc.) A principal must approach student achievement and learning with an open- mind and with perseverance.

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Bryan Kay's curator insight, October 22, 2015 8:56 PM

I hope this article provides insight on how to confront student issues as an educational leader.

 

School principals directly impact teachers. Teachers ultimately impact their students. It is important to remember how important the job of a leader is in the building. Setting an example and remaining positive and supportive can be the difference between a good school and a great school.