February 26, 2016

In this Issue:

  1. Proposed Rule to Address Widespread Disparities in Special Education
      Source: U.S. Department of Education - February 23, 2016
  2. Science Achievement Gaps Begin Early and Persist Over Time
      Source: American Educational Research Association - February 23, 2016
  3. Engaging Parents in Productive Partnerships
      Source: National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education - February 22, 2016
  4. Fact Sheet: QRIS Mission and Goals
      Source: Build Initiative - February 22, 2016

1. Proposed Rule to Address Widespread Disparities in Special Education

Source: U.S. Department of Education - February 23, 2016

In a recent press release, the U.S. Department of Education announced a proposed rule that would require all states to use a standard approach to measure whether children from any racial or ethnic group are being identified for special education services, placed outside the regular classroom, or disciplined at markedly higher rates than their peers. The proposed rule would likely result in more districts being classified as having "significant disproportionality" under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which means they would be required to set aside 15% of their IDEA Part B funds to provide comprehensive coordinated early intervening services. Under the proposed rule, the allowable uses of the 15% set aside would be broadened include services for children with and without disabilities from ages 3 through grade 12. See an unofficial copy of the proposed rule here.

2. Science Achievement Gaps Begin Early and Persist Over Time

Source: American Educational Research Association - February 23, 2016

A new study published by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) found that large general knowledge gaps between racial/ethnic minority and white children and low-income and high-income children were already present at kindergarten entry, and these gaps persisted over time. The researchers analyzed data on over 7,750 children and found that of the children entering kindergarten with low levels of general knowledge, 62% were struggling in science in third grade and 54% were struggling in eighth grade. They also found that the gaps were largely explained by modifiable factors. They suggest that these findings underscore the importance of ensuring access to high-quality early learning experiences, particularly for children who are at risk. For more information, read the press release here.

3. Engaging Parents in Productive Partnerships

Source: National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education - February 22, 2016

A new resource from the National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE), Engaging Parents in Productive Partnerships, is now available online in both English and Spanish. The resource provides suggestions on how educators and service providers can effectively collaborate with parents. It includes specific recommendations about planning and conducting meetings to create appropriate individualized education programs (IEPs) for children who receive special education and related services.

4. Fact Sheet: QRIS Mission and Goals

Source: Build Initiative - February 22, 2016

The Build Initiative is in the process of summarizing the latest data on all Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) in the United States and releasing fact sheets that answer some of the most commonly asked questions about QRIS. The first of these fact sheets, QRIS Mission and Goals (February 22, 2016), describes some of the most common themes in QRIS mission statements. Updated information about all of the QRIS operating in the United States and its territories is available on QRIScompendium.org