Policy Insider Blog

CEC's Policy Insider

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. 

Questions or comments? Send an e-mail to CEC's Policy and Advocacy Services team.

CEC Policy Insider CEC's source for special education policy news
CEC at the Department of Education
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:20:15 -0500 Last week, CEC’s leadership team met with U.S. Department of Education leaders Melody Musgrove, Director of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), and Michael Yudin, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), to discuss, among other things, the Department’s Results Driven Accountability initiative and the supports needed to improve results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities, and their families.
Southern Education Foundation Research Shows Low Income Students are a Majority in the Nation's Public Schools
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:59:42 -0500 Newly compiled data displayed in a research bulletin by the Southern Education Foundation (SEF) shows that low income students are now a majority of the schoolchildren attending the nation’s public schools in the year 2013. With data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), it shows a shocking 51 percent of these students across the nation’s public schools were low income during the year. In 40 of the 50 states, low income students comprised no less than 40 percent of all public schoolchildren. The states with the majority of low income students are found in the South and...
"Innovation Configurations in Action" Webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 1 PM (EST)
Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:52:32 -0500 Innovation Configurations are designed to evaluate current teacher preparation and professional development (PD) by determining the extent to which Evidence Based Practices are taught, observed, and applied within teacher preparation and PD programs. Kathleen Magiera and Rhea Simmons (SUNY Fredonia) will present "Innovation Configurations in Action.” Kathleen and Rhea were recipients of an OSEP 325T program enhancement grant and will share how they used Innovation Configurations extensively in their program reform efforts. Please join on Wednesday, January 28th at 1:00pm Eastern for this exciting webinar. Click here to register.
ESEA Reauthorization is on the Move in the Senate
Wed, 21 Jan 2015 17:08:26 -0500 Today, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) held a hearing, “Fixing No Child Left Behind: Testing and Accountability.” Last week Senate HELP Chairman Alexander released his 387 page ESEA reauthorization discussion draft, entitled “Every Child Ready for College or Career Act of 2015.” CEC is concerned about the lack of strong accountability measures for children with disabilities in the Alexander draft. CEC joined with the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities and sent a letter to Chairman Alexander expressing their concern with the provisions related to alternate assessments based on alternate academic standards, alternate assessments based on modified...
State of the Union Highlights Improvements in Education: Present and Future
Wed, 21 Jan 2015 17:07:06 -0500 During the State of the Union, President Obama made note of important improvements at the start of his address, “Tonight, after a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999. Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis. More of our kids are graduating than ever before; more of our people are insured than ever before; we are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we've been in almost 30 years.” Quickly following the noted improvements, the President discussed setting the stage for his...
State Personnel Development Grant Competition: Extension of the Application Period
Wed, 21 Jan 2015 14:50:35 -0500 On December 15, 2014, The Federal Register published a notice inviting applications for new awards under the SPDG competition. The purpose of this program, which was authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), is to assist State educational agencies (SEAs) in reforming and improving their systems for personnel preparation and professional development in early intervention, educational, and transition services in order to improve results for children with disabilities. The notice established a January 29, 2015 deadline for the submission of applications, and a deadline of March 30, 2015, for intergovernmental review. Both deadlines have been extended by fifteen...
Chairman Alexander Releases ESEA Reauthorization Discussion Draft
Wed, 14 Jan 2015 15:09:17 -0500 On Tuesday Senate HELP Chairman Alexander released his 387 page ESEA reauthorization discussion draft, entitled “Every Child Ready for College or Career Act of 2015.” Alexander is soliciting feedback on his staff discussion draft by Monday, February 2, at: FixingNCLB@help.senate.gov. Alexander will also be sponsoring a hearing, “Fixing No Child Left Behind: Testing and Accountability,” on Wednesday, January 21. CEC is concerned about the lack of strong accountability measures for children with disabilities in the Alexander draft. Stay tuned for CEC’s ESEA reauthorization feedback. Senator Murray, Ranking Chair of the HELP Committee outlined her “ESEA Principles” on the floor of...
Secretary Arne Duncan’s Vision for the Future of ESEA
Wed, 14 Jan 2015 13:41:52 -0500 Secretary Arne Duncan laid out an idea for the nation’s well-known education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in a speech on January 12th, 2015. On the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the ESEA bill, he called for a new law that will work to ensure strong opportunities for all students, and protect the most vulnerable. In his remarks, Duncan advised for dispensing with No Child Left Behind—the latest version of ESEA—and replacing it with a new law. Duncan made sure to put the pressure on for Congress in moving forward stating that although seeking to work...
Guidance from the Departments of Education and Justice on Equitable Educational Access for English Learner Students
Wed, 07 Jan 2015 16:26:32 -0500 The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice have released joint guidance reminding states, school districts, and schools of their obligations under federal law to ensure that English learner students have equal access to a high-quality education and the opportunity to achieve their full academic potential. In addition to the guidance, the Departments also released additional tools and resources to help schools in serving English learner students and parents with limited English proficiency: A fact sheet in English and in other languages about schools’ obligations under federal law to ensure that English learner students can participate meaningfully and equally in school....
College Ratings System Up for Public Comment
Wed, 07 Jan 2015 16:07:57 -0500 In the week of December 19th, based on extensive consultation with stakeholders, the Department released a framework for a college ratings system for further public comment. This framework summarizes the basic categories, institutional groupings, data, metrics, and tools that the Department is currently weighing in designing the ratings system. The purposes of the rating system are to: (1) help students and families make informed choices when searching for and selecting a college; (2) help colleges measure, benchmark, and continue to improve across the principles of access, affordability, and outcomes; and (3) enable the incentives and accountability structure in the federal...