Thursday, December 3, 2015

Lots of Legislation, Quad Prep Conference, and More

EDUCATION LEGISLATION. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA, passed the U.S. House on Wednesday and is expected to pass in the Senate. The bill is over 1,000 pages, and you can find it here. For those not inclined to wade through the legislation, the Washington Post this morning has a few articles that summarize the bill; here's one, and here's another. Look for other links on those pages as well. The articles are general -- no mention of "gifted" or "twice exceptional" in either -- so we'll wait for further interpretation by education experts. We searched through the legislation itself and found lots of mentions of "gifted" -- but no mention of "twice exceptional," although that term might not yet be in the federal lexicon.

MORE FROM THE FEDS. The Department of Education last month send out a "Dear Colleague" letter encouraging educators to use the terms dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. Understood offers two resources to explain the move, one an FAQ at its site and the other an interview with the official who sent out the letter, Michael Yudin, available on the same page as the FAQs.

AND EVEN MORE! There's a bill pending in Congress to "[t]o require the President's annual budget request to Congress each year to include a line item for the Research in Disabilities Education program of the National Science Foundation and to require the National Science Foundation to conduct research on dyslexia." It's called the READ act, H.R. 3033. It goes to the Senate next. Find out more

DYSGRAPHIA AND DYSLEXIA DIVIDE PARENTS,SCHOOLS is the title of a story in the Spokane, Washington Spokesman-Review. The article's thesis is that "Students with dyslexia, dysgraphia and the disorder dyscalculia... rarely receive appropriate attention." The article mentions the "Dear Colleague" letter referenced above, and describes two case studies of how students with one or the other disorder were served. Find the article

QUAD PREP in Manhattan is having its second annual conference "Breakthroughs In Twice-exceptional Education" next March 18th. Early-bird tickets are now on sale, and a call for submissions has been issued. Find out more.

UNDERACHIEVING? So there's this guy awhile ago in California, growing up in Modesto. According to an article in the Washington Post, he "was wild about cars and racing, indifferent to high school, except when taking apart European engines in shop class." Indifferent to high school. How come? And what ever happened to him? Find out.

GOT A RISK-TAKING KIDDO? According to new research, he or she (although the research subjects were young males) might be smarter than more conservative peers, with more white matter in the brain. The Finish researchers speculate "that the explanation lies in the fact that these young men are active and seek out challenges -- both out of curiosity and a hunger to experience learning and a sense of mastery over their environment." Find a write-up of the study.

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