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. 

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CEC Policy Insider CEC's source for special education policy news
Peer Review of State Assessment Systems
Tue, 06 Oct 2015 13:53:26 -0400 The U.S. Department of Education (ED) recently released updated guidance regarding the criteria and process for demonstrating that statewide assessment systems meet the requirement of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended. The updated assessment peer review guidance includes: (1) information about the revised peer review process that ED will follow to review each State’s assessment system; (2) instructions for preparing evidence for submission; and (3) examples of evidence for addressing each critical element. The peer review guidance and other information to support States can be found at http://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/saa.html. The revised guidance provides additional detail on...
Continuing Resolution Passes…End Sequestration Before Fiscal Disaster
Tue, 06 Oct 2015 13:49:26 -0400 On September 30, Congress approved a continuing resolution (CR – short term funding measure) until December 11, 2015. This stop-gap measure averted the widely talked about shut down of the federal government. The budget deliberations have been complicated by the sudden resignation of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R – OH) on September 25 when he announced he will step down at the end of October. Boehner isn’t ruling out addressing the nation’s borrowing limit before he leaves office but, raising the debt ceiling will entail some heavy lifting. So, what comes next? Reports of high-level budget talks...
Secretary Duncan Stepping Down
Tue, 06 Oct 2015 13:47:34 -0400 Secretary of Education Arne Duncan plans to step down in December as reported by the Associated Press (AP) last week. Duncan has served during President Obama’s two terms. John King Jr. will serve as acting secretary for the remainder of Obama’s presidency. CEC thanks Secretary Duncan for his services and wishes him well as he steps down and looks forward to collaborating with acting Secretary King in 2016.
Continuing Resolution Likely As Fiscal Year Draws to a Close
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 16:52:26 -0400 The Senate and House are poised today to approve a continuing resolution (CR – short term funding measure) until December 11, 2015. This stop-gap measure will avert the widely talked about shut down of the federal government. It seems certain that the CR will be “clean” and not contain any provisions that would defund Planned Parenthood which remains controversial for the Congress and the White House. Once both chambers have voted it will clear the CR for the president’s signature. The budget deliberations have been complicated by the sudden resignation of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R –...
Prepared for Life: Early Learning
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 16:50:15 -0400 Economist James Heckman has co-authored a new report on how health benefits persist decades later for participants in FPG’s Abecedarian Project and the Perry Preschool Project (Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute). The report shows there are pronounced gender effects strongly favoring boys, although there are also effects for girls. Dynamic mediation analyses show a significant role played by improved childhood traits, above and beyond the effects of experimentally enhanced adult socioeconomic status. These results show the potential of early life interventions for promoting health. To read the report, click here.
Straight Out of Teaching
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 16:48:57 -0400 Lillian Mongeau's feature Atlantic story reports that high turnover among educators as well as declining interest among college students majoring in education is causing teacher shortages across the country. Elmhurst Community Prep in Oakland (Calif.) goes under the microscope as an example of a broader national trend. ED estimates that enrollment in teacher preparation programs declined 10% nationally from 2004 to 2012. In California, the decline was even sharper (55% between 2009 and 2013).
Celebrate National Disability Awareness Month!
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 16:28:11 -0400 The beginning of October starts the celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month with RespectabilityUSA launching a major campaign for the occasion. Respectability released a report earlier in September that shows people with disabilities are twice as likely to be working in the Dakotas, Alaska and Wyoming than they are in many other states. The full report showcases some of the reasons that some states are much more successful than others. The practices discussed in the report can provide a valuable guide to where states have succeeded in in putting best practices into place and where governors have committed to...
ELC TA Creates New Webpage on Inclusion
Fri, 18 Sep 2015 10:59:29 -0400 This topical page on Inclusion is designed to help State early learning leaders, TA providers, and Federal staff address the systems-level challenges related to assuring that programs that offer services to children with Individual Family Service Plans (IFSP) and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are of high-quality and that the services they offer are provided in natural settings where these children would be if they did not have disabilities. This page will be updated regularly with new resources and State examples related to inclusion in early childhood.
$14 Million Awarded for 40 Special Education Parent Training and Information Centers
Fri, 18 Sep 2015 10:56:16 -0400 The U.S. Department of Education announced recently nearly $14 million in five-year grants to operate 40 parent training and information centers to assist America’s families of children with disabilities. The centers will provide parents with details and assistance on laws, policies and research-based education practices for children with disabilities. They will inform parents how data can be used to guide instruction; how to interpret results from evaluations and assessments; and ways to effectively engage in school reform activities. Read more on the U.S. Department of Education Blog here.
Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs
Wed, 16 Sep 2015 12:19:34 -0400 This week, the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services released a policy statement highlighting the importance of making sure that all young children with disabilities have access to inclusive high-quality early childhood programs. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the new policy statement in Kansas City, Missouri, during the first stop of his back-to-school bus tour. The policy statement sets a vision for States, local educational agencies, schools, and public and private early childhood programs to strengthen and increase the number of inclusive high-quality early childhood programs nationwide. As the country continues to move forward on the...