Policy Insider Blog

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Learn about the special and gifted education issues Congress and the administration are considering by reading CEC's Policy Insider. Sign up today to receive weekly e-mail updates!

CEC is also pleased to offer up-to-date news about federal special and gifted education policy through the Policy Insider Blog. A complement to the weekly e-mail service, CEC’s Policy Insider Blog features regular posts throughout the week, providing you with real-time special ed policy news. 

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CEC Policy Insider CEC's source for special education policy news
6 States Granted ESEA Waiver Extensions
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 10:07:19 -0400 As schools recess for the summer months, the U.S. Department of Education is considering whether to provide extensions to over two dozen states that will see their ESEA waivers expire this summer. Late last week, the Department announced six states – Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, South Dakota, and Virginia – will have a one-year extension to their ESEA waiver, which allows states to be free from many controversial mandates (i.e. AYP) in exchange for implementing key education reforms (i.e. new teacher evaluations tied to student achievement). Currently, 43 states and Washington, DC have ESEA waivers. A few months ago, Washington...
U.S. Department of Ed Launches 50-State Teacher Equity Plan
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 09:31:20 -0400 The U.S. Department of Education is dusting off and giving a tune-up to the requirement in No Child Left Behind that states address how students from low income and minority backgrounds will not be taught by inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field teachers at higher rates than their peers. It’s been over a decade since this requirement took hold, but most state plans have not been updated since 2006. This week, the Department unveiled its 50-state teacher equity strategy to revive these plans by focusing in 3 areas: State Educator Equity Plans: By April 2015 states must submit a new plan to...
USDOE to Host Conference Call on 7/3 to Discuss New Competition for TA Center on Transition to Postsecondary Education & Employment for Students with Disabilities
Wed, 02 Jul 2014 12:29:42 -0400 Today, the U.S. Department of Education released information inviting applications for a new award to establish and operate a National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities. The Center will assist State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies and other VR service providers to implement evidence-based and promising practices and strategies to ensure that students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, graduate from high school with the knowledge, skills, and supports needed for success in postsecondary education and employment. The Department intends to fund one...
We’ve Got Issues…
Tue, 01 Jul 2014 17:29:45 -0400 Issue Briefs, that is! CEC has recently unveiled a series of 8 issue briefs on the most timely special/gifted education policy topics under discussion in Congress: Improving Outcomes for Children with Disabilities Through High-Quality Early Learning Program Promoting Access & Achievement for Children and Youth with Exceptionalities in PK-12 Education Advancing Higher Education & Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities Preparing Future Educators to Meet the Needs of Children with Disabilities Special Education Research & Development: Supporting Educational Excellence for Children & Youth with Disabilities Expanding the Federal Role in Gifted Education Investing in Special & Gifted Education: Impacting 10...
Major Reforms for Teacher Preparation Proposed in Rewrite of Higher Education Act
Tue, 01 Jul 2014 14:21:31 -0400 As Congress continues to check off items on their education “to-do” list, next up on the agenda: rewrite the Higher Education Act (HEA). Sure, this Congress has been called the “least productive in recent history” but there are some lawmakers who are intent on moving the education agenda, and have turned their attention to HEA. You might remember HEA as part of President Johnson’s war on poverty originally passed in 1965, with a goal of expanding access to higher education for students through various financial aid programs. HEA also has an entire section dedicated to the preparation of teachers. Just...
The Office of Special Education Programs Reopens Applications for New Awards for Training and Information for Parents of Children with Disabilities
Tue, 01 Jul 2014 09:59:53 -0400 The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is reopening Applications for New Awards for Training and Information for Parents of Children with Disabilities--Parent Training and Information Centers which was published in the Federal Register on Friday, June 27, 2014. This notice reopens the FY 2014 Parent Training and Information Centers competition, authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as amended. The notice was published inviting applications (NIA) for this competition on April 9, 2014, in the Federal Register which can be found here. The notice provided a deadline date of May 27, 2014, as well as other information,...
Senate Passes Workforce Bill; Includes Key Provisions to Support Youth with Disabilities
Wed, 25 Jun 2014 17:06:43 -0400 Today, the Senate passed by an overwhelming vote of 95-3, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, legislation that makes significant changes to job training programs for youth with disabilities. Earlier this month, CEC advocates stormed Capitol Hill urging Congress to pass this legislation because it makes critical updates to the employment of individuals with disabilities, such as: Limiting the use of subminimum wage for individuals with disabilities by ensuring that before an individual receives subminimum wage they first (1) receive pre-employment transition services; (2) applied for vocational rehabilitation services, and if eligible, made a serious attempt at competitive integrated employment;...
U.S. Department of Ed to Tackle Disproportionality in Special Education; Wants to Hear from You
Wed, 25 Jun 2014 16:49:39 -0400 Educators and policymakers alike have long been concerned that children of color are over-represented in special education, placed in more restrictive educational settings, and disciplined at high rates. In fact, data from the Office of Civil Rights shows that in 2011-2012: 1 in 4 boys of color with disabilities were suspended 1 in 5 girls of color with disabilities were suspended 75% of students physically restrained have a disability 58% of students secluded have a disability (And more information on disproportionality is here) Now, the U.S. Department of Education is asking the public for advice in addressing this issue. Specifically,...
Outcomes of Students with Disabilities Now Part of Federal Analysis of IDEA Implementation; Majority of States Deemed “Needs Assistance”
Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:16:18 -0400 For the first time in IDEA’s nearly 40-year history, the U.S. Department of Education has included the performance of students with disabilities on state and NAEP assessments as part of determining how states are implementing IDEA. And the results are humbling. 35 states and the District of Columbia were found to “need assistance” or “need intervention” after outcome data was combined with compliance measures that demonstrate adherence to the law. To be clear, the overwhelming majority of states “meet requirements” when just looking at compliance with IDEA, in fact only 9 were deemed as “needs assistance”. But when student outcomes...
Institute of Education Sciences: Summer Research Training Institute
Mon, 23 Jun 2014 14:17:06 -0400 The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) at the Institute of Education Sciences announces its 4th Summer Research Training Institute on Single-Case Intervention Research Design and Analysis. The Training Institute is intended to increase the capacity of the nation’s education researchers to conduct methodologically rigorous single-case intervention studies. The course will enable participants to: Describe the logic and principles underlying scientifically credible single-case intervention research and their advantages for making causal inferences about intervention effects. Understand the situations and conditions for which single-case intervention research is applicable. Familiarize themselves with both traditional single-case designs and recent advances that improve...