Sunday, January 15, 2017

More on Endrew F, 2e in New Zealand, Ability Grouping, and More

MORE ON THE ENDREW F CASE. Just after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the Colorado-based Endrew F case we pointed to new about the arguments in a few media outlets. Here are a few more:
  • Education Week, like other outlets, noted the "blizzard of words" statement by Justice Alito in describing the hour-long hearing. Find the coverage. (And remember Humpty Dumpty: "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
  • Disability Scoop seemed optimistic: "U.S. Supreme Court justices appeared ready Wednesday to clarify and strengthen the rights of the nation’s 6.7 million children with disabilities, perhaps by requiring public schools to offer a special education program that will ensure they can make significant progress." Find the coverage
  • In the Washington Post, Valerie Strauss had some rather withering words ("sickening" was one) for the current state of affairs, noting statistics showing that over the years federal funding for educating students with disabilities has actually dropped in terms of the percentage of the cost. From Strauss' column: "So is minimal educational benefit enough? You may not know exactly what 'minimal' is, but by definition, you wouldn’t want that to be the standard for your child. Is 'some' benefit — which courts have said means progress that is barely above trivial — enough for your child — or somebody else’s?... Or do students with disabilities deserve a standard requiring 'meaningful' benefit, and, if so, what does 'meaningful' mean?" Find her column
  • Finally, Wrightslaw also seems optimistic: "All the special ed lawyers we talked to felt positive about the tone and statements during oral argument. They thought the justices recognized the problems with the current de minimis standard and felt they would come up with a new improved standard." Read more about what special ed attorney Pete Wright has to say. 
2e IN NEW ZEALAND. At the site of Stuff.co.nz is a mom's wrenching account of her son's trials and successes over the years as he moved through the grades (and through different schools). Some of the difficulties make a reader think, "Oh, my." Some of the successes make the reader think, "There's justice in the world." We think this story will resonate with you, because you've almost certainly experienced some of the same things. Find it.

ABILILITY GROUPING, ACCELERATION -- USE THEM. That's what a study from the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University says. After examining a century of research on the topic, study co-author Paula Olszewski-Kubilius stated, “Although acceleration is widely supported by research as an effective strategy for meeting the needs of advanced learners, it’s still rarely used, and most schools do not systematically look for students who need it,” according to the university. Read more about the benefits and findings.

PARENT FOOTPRINT. Dan Peters hosts Dr. Stuart Shanker in a podcast on the topic of self-regulation. From the blurb: "Dr. Dan and Dr. Shanker discuss how self-regulation is the nervous system’s way of managing stress and the fact that before parents can teach their children self-regulation they must master it themselves. The moving discussion highlights the fact that there are no bad kids, and that when you see a child differently you see a different child." Find the podcast.

GIFTED CHALLENGES. "Making it safe to be smart" is the title of the latest blog offering from psychologist Gail Post. She give several reasons why gifted kids can sometimes be targets, for example anti-intellectualism. She concludes, "Ultimately, we might hold more appreciation toward the unique talents we all possess. And gifted children and adults might no longer weather the projections of others' bitterness and insecurity." Find the blog.

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