Is ‘$Billion-dollar-boondoggle’ alternative fact?

In Alternative Facts Are Alive in Education As Well: A Response to Johns, Kauffman, and Martin, a group of psychologists, special educators, school administrators, and others interested in educational policy respond to the monograph by Johns, Kauffman, and Martin (2016) published on SpedPro. The signatories to the response, who are listed in the appended table, raise and respond to a series of three questions. Here are those questions, drawn from the document:

  1. Is their [Johns et al.] distain for RTI an implicit endorsement of the use of ability achievement discrepancy models or its more complicated and even less reliable counterpart, patterns of cognitive strengths and weaknesses, as their preferred method of SLD identification?
  2. Do the authors believe that general education is committed to, and successfully implementing research- based intervention(s), that promote early intervention, prevent disabilities, and reduce the need for special education for some students?
  3. Do the authors believe that as currently implemented, that beyond procedural compliance, special education provides the powerful intervention(s) that students with disabilities need to be successful in school and the workplace?

View a copy of Alternative Facts Are Alive in Education As Well: A Response to Johns, Kauffman, and Martin in your browser; to download a copy, control- or right-click on the link and follow the directions in the dialog box that appears.

Mark R. Shinn, Ph.D. Jack M. Fletcher, Ph.D. Jim Ysseldyke, Ph.D.
Robert Pasternack, Ph.D. Stevan Kukic, Ph.D. W. Alan Coulter, Ph.D.
Chris McHugh Susan M. Koceski, Ph.D. Ed P. O’Connor, Ph.D.
Chris Birr, Ed.S. Rebecca C. Davis, M.Ed. Erica Lembke, Ph.D.
Ed Steinberg, Ph.D. John L. Hosp, Ph.D. Kim Gibbons, Ph.D.
Daniel J. Reschly, Ph.D. Corey D. Pierce, Ph.D. David Tilly. Ph.D.
Jeremy W. Ford, Ph.D. Randy Allison Beth Harn
Judy Elliott, Ph.D. George M. Batsche, Ed.D. Leanne S. Hawken, Ph.D.
Joseph F. Kovaleski, D.Ed. James A. Tucker, Ph.D. Lisa H. Stewart, Ph.D.

Is RTI a billion-$$ boondoggle?

The Concept Of RTI: Billion-Dollar Boondoggle
by Beverley Holden Johns, James M. Kauffman, and Edwin W. Martin.

The writers argue that RTI and iterations known as tiered frameworks for education (e.g., one known as a multi-tiered system of supports, MTSS) are being widely implemented without necessary research confirming their superiority to the framework created in 1975 and known generally as IDEA. Widespread implementation of RTI and similar frameworks without reliable research evidence of their superiority to IDEA could, like many other efforts to improve education without reliable empirical evidence, be a very expensive mistake.

View a copy of The Concept Of RTI: Billion-Dollar Boondoggle in your browser (or, to download and save a copy on your own computer [189 KB], right- or control-click on the link and follow the directions in the dialog box that appears).

Investigation: Texas systematically denied students sped services

Brian M. Rosenthal of the Houston Chronicle published a report entitled “Denied: How Texas keeps tens of thousands of children out of special education” that documents systematic denial of special education services to approximately 250,000 students in Texas. Over the course of more than 10 years, Mr. Rosenthal reported, the Texas Education Agency routinely scored local school agencies (“LEAs”) on their compliance with state guidelines, one of which addressed the percentage of students identified for special education.

LEAs could earn a perfect score on that part of their report card only if they identified 8.5% or fewer of their students as needing special education. In 2015 the state was identifying 8.5%, a substantial drop from the nearly 12% it was identifying in 2004.

In detailed analyses, Mr. Rosenthal and his colleagues presented compelling graphics showing these changes. He also provided documents as well as the usual journalist cases to illustrate the strains on individuals and families.

Some Texas educators argued that the decreases are a consequence of improved instructional practices (e.g., adoption of response to instruction), but that position does not hold water. Were it true, the effects would be largely specific to learning disabilities, but Mr. Rosenthal noted, the decline is evident in multiple categories of special education in Texas. In addition, as an expert on response to instruction, Douglas Fuchs of Vanderbilt University, told Mr. Rosenthal, were those reforms to be working, then reading achievement would have risen in Texas; it has not.

Boston College Lynch School of Education Dean Search

Pros,

We are searching to fill our newly endowed dean position.  BC is a great place.  We have an active research faculty and one of our hallmarks is a shared commitment to social justice.  We have 60 full time faculty and several research centers, and collectively we brought in just over $19 million in funded research last year.  We have both undergraduate and graduate programs.

For a full description of the position as well as one of Boston College and the Lynch School of Education visit  http://www.imsearch.com/searches/details/content/S5-573

-David

IDEA Celebration

IDEA 40th Anniversary Banner

ED Celebrates IDEA 40th—Live!

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the U.S. Department of Education and its Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), we are pleased to invite you to view two special events celebrating the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

When IDEA was enacted in 1975, America pledged to provide and ensure that children with disabilities have opportunities to develop their talents and contribute to their communities. That pledge endures today and IDEA continues to provide not only access to the school house, to assessment and to the general curriculum, but the full promise of inclusion, equity and opportunity.


The White House
November 17, 2015
9:30–11:00 a.m., EST

Please share in this exciting White House event where Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Delegated Deputy Secretary John King, OSERS Assistant Secretary Michael Yudin, and OSERS’ Office of Special Education Programs Director Melody Musgrove join the stage with youth impacted by IDEA, experts who will speak about the history and progress of IDEA, and families and teachers from the field who will provide their unique perspectives and celebrate this landmark legislation.

Please watch the White House event broadcast live:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/live


U.S. Department of Education
November 17, 2015
3:00–4:30 p.m., EST

The IDEA 40th Anniversary celebrations continue in the afternoon at the Department•s Barnard Auditorium with an IDEA Symposium where a panel of distinguished researchers share the state of evidence in special education and look towards the future for promoting even greater educational achievement by students with disabilities. Tune in live to the IDEA Symposium to view an inspiring slate of panelists including: Sharon Vaughn, Lynn Fuchs, Rob Horner, Lise Fox, Michael Wehmeyer, Lisa Dieker and David Test.

Please watch the IDEA Symposium broadcast live via EDstream:
http://edstream.ed.gov/webcast/Play/5948bd4d0065424d8a04c2cdd61745d31d

These two events will celebrate our past successes, but primarily focus on the future to ensure that infants, toddlers and youths with disabilities will continue to receive a free and appropriate public education that prepares them for their future. We encourage you to participate in the celebration by hosting opportunities for groups to watch the presentations and have discussions. Consider, holding your own local panel of youth, parents, teachers and other IDEA stakeholders; hosting a watch party in concert with a university class; or encouraging your school faculty to watch and engage in conversations about the history, impact and future of this legislation.

Submit Your Story

As part of our celebration of 40 years of the IDEA, we also want to hear from individuals with disabilities—especially children and youth with disabilities—parents, teachers, researchers and all other IDEA stakeholders about the personal impact this law has had on them.

  • How has IDEA made a difference to you?
  • What does inclusion, equity, and opportunity now look like for you?

Submit your art, photographs and stories by November 10, 2015 to our IDEA 40th Anniversary Web site [www.osep-meeting.org/ideaanniversary] for possible use for upcoming events in Washington, D.C., celebrating the 40th Anniversary of IDEA.

Follow us on Twitter:
@ED_Sped_Rehab

University of Oklahoma seeks department chair at associate or full professor

The OU Department of Educational Psychology invites associate or full professors of special education to apply to become Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology. The department chair position is a 12-month administrative appointment. The individual who becomes the next department chair will be appointed for a four-year term that, with the advice and consent of the department faculty, can be renewed for a second term.

To apply, all materials must be uploaded to the following website https://jobs.ou.edu (look for Norman Campus Jobs, Requisition #23577).
Review of applications will begin on November 1, 2015 and will continue until the position is filled

To obtain answers to specific questions email Search Chair and Special Education Program Coordinator Dr. Kendra Williams-Diehm at klwd [at] ou.edu.

Frances Partridge Connor

Frances Partridge Connor, an influential figure across many aspects of special education, passed away 28 March 2015 in Boca Raton, FL. She was the Richard March Hoe Professor Emeritus of Education at Teachers College of Columbia University in New York (NY, US).

For many decades, Professor Connor affected the practice and policy of special education. She not only chaired the special education program at Teachers College, but also served as president of the International Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). In addition, she advised local, state, federal, and international government agencies about educational policies related to children and youths with disabilties. She was also a member of multiple research teams focused on improving the tools of teachers and methods for advancing outcomes for children with disabilties.
Continue reading Frances Partridge Connor

Suspension data by U.S. state

Over on On Special Education, Christina Samuels reported that a group that is part of the Civil Rights Project of the University of California, Los Angeles, has indicated that 37% of secondary students with disabilities in Florida had been suspended from school, the highest rate in the US and more than double the average for the country.

Eighteen percent of secondary students with a disability served an out-of-school suspension in 2011-12, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Education, but behind that number are enormous variations in suspension rates at the district and state level.

A civil rights advocacy group’s analysis of the data released Monday shows that Florida, at 37 percent, leads all other states in suspending students with disabilities at the secondary level. Florida also led the nation that year in suspensions overall, both at the elementary and secondary level, at 5 percent and 19 percent, respectively, said the Center for Civil Rights Remedies.

Read Ms. Samuels’s full post at “States’ Suspension Rates Vary Widely for Students With Disabilities, Group Says.”

University of South Florida doctoral studies

Professor Jeannie Kleinhammer-Tramill and colleagues at the University of South Florida are soliciting applications for a new cohort of Ph.D. students to begin doctoral studies in the fall of 2015. They are recruiting for a diverse group of individuals who want to prepare for roles as faculty members in special education and special education policy leadership. Those who are selected for the program will receive scholarships of up to $30,000 per year for full-time study to complete the doctorate in special education with emphasis on educational policy leadership. Download the accompanying flyer for additional information.

Autism Center Director at SE Missouri State

Director

Southeast Missouri State University Autism Center for Diagnosis and Treatment
(Full Time/Term)

Primary Responsibilities

Provide leadership and oversight for the University Autism Center for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders. The director serves as the primary supervisor and coordinator for all staff and the collaborative partners that share the facility.

Required Qualifications

Continue reading Autism Center Director at SE Missouri State

Director of Education at UW-Tacoma

The University of Washington, Tacoma, announced a search for a Professor and Director of the Education Program. The position, which is slated to begin in July of 2015, will be for the nine-month academic year plus a three-month summer period. The Director will report to the UWT Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and should be committed to helping the program transition from its program status into a departmentalized school of education. Review of applications begins 1 November 2014.

Please download the accompanying PDF for more a comprehensive description of the position.

Department Chair in Ed Leadership and Counseling at Southeast Missouri State University

Southeast Missouri State University is conducting a search for a tenured Associate or Full Professor/Chairperson in the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling to begin January 1, 2015

Primary Responsibilities

 

The Chairperson maintains standards, policies and procedures for a department with two distinct disciplines: Educational Leadership and Counseling. The department serves graduate students and offers degrees including Master’s Degree programs in Educational Administration, School Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, and Higher Education Administration. Specialist level degrees are offered for Educational Administration, Counseling Education, and Educational Leadership Development. The Department also supports a Cooperative Ed.D. program in partnership with the University of Missouri.

Responsibilities include administration, leadership, teaching, faculty-personnel relations, student recruitment, department liaison, student development, and management/budget oversight consistent with a diverse graduate level department. In addition, the chairperson maintains an active, scholarly and service agenda. The Chairperson of the department has a reduced teaching load.

Required Qualifications

         Ph.D. or Ed.D. in Educational Leadership/Administration (Degree must be from a regionally accredited or internationally accredited/government certified university)

  • Demonstrated record of administrative/leadership experience
  • Ability to champion both counseling and administration programs
  • Demonstrate knowledge of ELCC and CAEP/NCATE standards
  • Demonstrated success with scholarly research
  • Excellent record of college/university teaching
  • Experience/knowledge of administrative and counseling accreditation and certification processes
  • Demonstrated commitment to shared governance
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain a high level of faculty morale and enthusiasm
  • Demonstrated commitment to working with multi-cultural populations and awareness of issues affecting women and minorities

Read the full HR posting of the position and get additional information regarding the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling.

Iowa technology center director

The Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research (ICATER) at the University of Iowa is seeking candidates for the position of Director of ICATER. ICATER assists students, educators, parents, and education professionals through training, education and research to achieve full access and participation in their communities. The Instructional Services Director will oversee the center and programs, develop and evaluate programming, provide consultative services, and act as liaison to public and private agencies and constituents on assistive technologies to enhance resources available to users.

Please see the accompanying document for more details.

This is a full time Professional & Scientific staff position. It may be filled at any time. Information on how to apply is available at http://jobs.uiowa.edu/ under Professional & Scientific positions. Search Jobs and refer to requisition #64612.

For additional information about this position, please contact

Vilia Tarvydas:
ICATER Interim Director
The University of Iowa
College of Education
N168 Lindquist Center
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1529

Chair for JMU Ed Foundations and Exceptionalities

Department Head – Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities – 0405607

The College of Education at James Madison University invites applications for the position of Department Head for Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities (EFEX). The EFEX Department is committed to the preparation of educators and others who teach and serve individuals with exceptionalities and their families in a diverse society. The department supports other licensure programs within the college and across the teacher education unit by its educational foundations, exceptionalities and diversity course offerings. The department offers initial licensure programs in Inclusive Early Childhood Education (Early Childhood Special Education birth- 5 and PreK-3rd grade); Special Education K-12 General Curriculum; Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (PK-12) and Early Childhood Special Education. Additionally, it supports students who want to acquire knowledge of exceptionalities with several minors and/or post baccalaureate programs including Gifted Education, Autism Certificate and M.Ed. programs in Exceptional Education and Equity and Cultural Diversity. The departmental programs support and are enhanced by a grant-funded project, the Career Development Academy, which meets the educational and career needs of immigrant English language learners. Continue reading Chair for JMU Ed Foundations and Exceptionalities

Pew Report Documents Sequestration’s Impact on Special Education

A report from the daily news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts indicates that sequestration is having substantial negative financial effects on special education. Under the headline “Sequester Hits Special Education Like a ‘Ton of Bricks,'” Adrienne Lu reported that “a new round of special education cuts were taking hold, prompted by a 5 percent reduction in federal funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).” According to a Michigan educator, Marcie Lipsitt, who was one of Ms. Lu’s sources, “It hit like a ton of bricks. Conditions are eroding and children are not being allowed to become taxpayers. They’re not being given access to independence, being productive, being ready for a global workforce.”
Continue reading Pew Report Documents Sequestration’s Impact on Special Education