Monday, December 14, 2015

ESSA, Discipline, RTI, Dyslexic Advantage, More

NCLB: GONE. ESSA: HERE. For those seeking to sort out the change in education law in the United States, an opinion piece at the site of The New York Times offers a good starting point, giving a perspective of federal education initiatives over the past few decades and some guesses on how the new law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, will meet the challenges facing our schools. Intrepid policy wonks can also delve into the details via:
  • A video of senators discussing the new legislation
  • An article at Disability Scoop
  • An article at Education Week explaining implications for both special ed and gifted ed
  • A summary of the new law at the site of Understood.org.

SO THIS GUY featured in Sunday's New York Times sports section is a six-nine basketball player at Seton Hall University. He's also in law school on a scholarship because he still had a couple years of eligibility by the time he got there. And he's supposedly ADHD. And oh, yeah -- he broke his neck in a car accident several years ago. The word that jumped out of the article was "discipline." (Readers who like detail in their prose will appreciate the opening sentences of the article.) Find the article.

CAUTIONARY TALE ON FIRST IMPRESSIONS. That's what you'll read in the Washington Post Parenting section. In it, a mother relates the experiences she and her son had during the first months at a new school after a stint of homeschooling. It's a paean to open communication between parent and teacher. Find it.

RTI. Skeptics of Response to Intervention now have ammunition in the form of recent study results raising "questions" about the effectiveness of the approach. The study, which included over 100 schools, compared similar groups of students who were not meeting expectations; some of the students received supports, some did not. The study found no significant reading benefits from interventions, although school-to-school differences in how RTI was administered could be a confounding factor in interpreting the results. Read more.

GENDER BIAS. Males are more prone to early-onset neurodevelopmental problems (including autism) than females, possibly because of differences in gray matter volume in the brain. Find out more. Separately, another study links gray matter differences to behavioral problems; find out more.

GOTTA SEE THIS! Whether or not dyslexia is an important "e" for you, take a look at the Winter Dyslexic Advantage Newsletter. It's extremely impressive for both the content it contains and the way it presents that content. Way to go, Eides!

ADHD? OR A CASE OF "MODERN LIFE"? Psychiatrist Edward Hallowell, in a letter to the editor, distinguishes true ADHD from "screen sucking," or "an addiction to distraction." (Great phrases.) So put down that phone and take a minute to read the letter.

TEEN RESPONSIBILITY FOR HEALTH CARE. A report from the University of Michigan cautions parents against taking complete responsibility for their teens' health care. From the report: "Speaking with the doctor privately is important, not only to give teens a chance to disclose confidential information, but also to provide the opportunity for them to be an active participant in their own health care, without a parent taking over.” Read more.

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