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
Tools to Support Reentry for Formerly Incarcerated Youth and Adults
Mon, 02 May 2016 15:55:30 -0400 The U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, announced today $5.7 million in new grants aimed at improving outcomes for students who have been involved in the criminal justice system. The Department also released a new toolkit providing guidance to educators and others to support a successful reentry system for formerly incarcerated youth and adults.
Solutions for Addressing Special Education Teacher Shortages
Mon, 02 May 2016 15:49:02 -0400 Pending shortages of special education teachers have many states and local school districts scrambling to find solutions for securing the teachers they need. Mary Brownell and Paul Sindelar from the University of Florida offer research-based information about the preparation and retention of effective special education teachers and recommendations for systemic solutions to increase their number.
States and Districts That Cut Back on Testing
Mon, 02 May 2016 15:45:56 -0400 Last week, Secretary John King visited Tulsa (Okla.) Public Schools to hear how the district eliminated more than 72 hours of testing from their students' year in line with President Obama's release of a set of principles for smarter assessment practices in public schools (Eger,Tulsa World). Now ED has released case studies from several states and districts that have reclaimed learning time by cutting unnecessary tests.
Rethinking School Discipline
Tue, 26 Apr 2016 20:44:19 -0400 On April 19th, the American Bar Association’s Commission on Disability Rights hosted a panel discussion on Rethinking School Discipline: Disability Law the Case for Reform Featuring two panels – one of attorneys and one of educators – the event addressed disparities in school discipline as it affects students with disabilities and students of color. Panel members, representing attorneys, educators, school administrators, policy-makers, advocates from national and state organizations, and federal agency officials, discussed the prevalence of the problem, and examined protections offered under IDEA that can be used to stop exclusionary discipline measures as well as opportunities under the Every...
Charter School Authorizers Surveyed About Special Education
Tue, 26 Apr 2016 20:29:05 -0400 As part of NACSA’s 2015 annual survey, they asked authorizers of charter schools for their perspectives and practices on issues at the intersection of authorizing and special education. They asked about oversight practices, what they do when problems in service delivery are uncovered, their perspectives on charter school enrollment proportionality and school autonomy, and more. Explore the full data release: Authorizing Data in Depth: Special Education.
Obama and Curry: Value of Mentors
Tue, 26 Apr 2016 20:14:22 -0400 President Obama critiques NBA virtuoso Stephen Curry's resume, schools him in Connect Four, and gives him some pointers on his jump shot in a fun video promoting mentorship. A voiceover intones at the end: "You don't need to be an NBA star or the President of the United States to be someone's hero." And if your mentee has political or athletic aspirations, well, you never know.
States’ Efforts to Integrate Data Collection Systems under WIOA: GAO Releases New Study
Tue, 19 Apr 2016 16:17:45 -0400 The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), passed in July 2014, mandates cross collaboration among and within various state and federal agencies to gather data on employment expansion for all, including those individuals with disabilities. This cross collaboration, which must be reported in a state’s Unified Plan, overall is expected to provide increased job readiness tools to job seekers, reduce duplication of efforts, and more efficiently use public dollars resulting in positive employment outcomes; evidence of significant cross-measurement is the successful .integration of employment-related state agency databases. This integration is intended to provide a more accurate picture of employment statistics...
Increasing Employment among Individuals with Disabilities: New EEOC Proposals
Tue, 19 Apr 2016 16:16:19 -0400 On February 24, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a Notice of Purposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would strengthen opportunities for individuals with disabilities to attain employment in jobs directly provided by the federal government. Specifically, the EEOC’s goal is to increase employment of individuals with disabilities in federal jobs through amendments to the current rules and regulations that assist in the implementation of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act’s Section 501, which require agencies to outline how they will increase employment, retention and advancement of individuals with disabilities. The EEOC’s NPRM would advance the requirements that agencies need to include...
Proposed Amendments to ABLE Act
Tue, 19 Apr 2016 16:15:09 -0400 On March 17, 2016, a bipartisan group of members of Congress, including Senators Burr (R-NC) and Casey (D-PA) and Representatives Crenshaw (R-FL), Rodgers (R-WA), Van Hollen (D-MD) and Sessions (R-TX), introduced a package of bills aimed at enhancing the benefits provided through the Stephen Beck Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. This package of bills consists of the following three pieces of proposed legislation: The ABLE to Work Act expands the goals of the ABLE Act by encouraging work and self-sufficiency. The legislation would allow individuals and their families to save more money in an ABLE account if...
Free Tools to Support Enhanced Learning Environments for all Students
Tue, 19 Apr 2016 16:13:39 -0400 On March 31st, the U.S. Department of Education released new school climate surveys and a quick guide on making school climate improvements to sustain safe, supportive, and learning-conducive for all students as path to improved school attendance and high achievement. The ED School Climate Surveys and the Quick Guide on Making School Climate Improvements will enable states, districts, and schools to collect and act on reliable, nationally-validated school climate data in real-time. “All students deserve schools that work to ensure safe and supportive school climates in which they can reach their full potential,” said James Cole Jr., General Counsel, Delegated...