July News Roundup

School’s out for most students (and their parents and teachers) , but there was still plenty of news this month that matters to people with learning and attention issues. Here are the highlights.

Department of Ed releases resource guide on students with ADHD and Section 504

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released “guidance clarifying the obligation of schools to provide students with ADHD with equal educational opportunity under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.” In addition to addressing the legal obligation school districts have to identify and evaluate students with disabilities, the guide also includes a resource for parents on rights under Section 504.

Get the full guide here.


President Obama Nominates NCLD Professional Advisory Board chairman to the National Board for Education Science

President Obama nominated Dr. David Chard to the National Board for Education Science. The board oversees and directs the work of the Institute of Education Sciences, the primary research and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education.

“I am confident that these experienced and hardworking individuals will help us tackle the important challenges facing America, and I am grateful for their service.I look forward to working with them,” said President Obama on the White House’s website.

Besides serving on NCLD’s Professional Advisory Board, Dr. Chard has also just been named president of Wheelock College in Boston. Before that, he was the Leon Simmons Endowed Dean at Southern Methodist University’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.


Dr. Sheldon Horowitz on high expectations for all students

The Hechinger Report and public radio station WNYC covered a Brooklyn school where special education students are succeeding under Common Core.

“We do believe our students can meet the same standards as everyone else does because they are getting the support they need,” said Erika Gundersen, assistant principal at PS 172, where 27.6 percent of the students have IEPs.

Dr. Sheldon Horowitz, NCLD’s senior director of learning resources and research, spoke in support of the school’s approach.

“If you presume that a child can’t meet those standards, you are not going to teach as aggressively to those standards, and kids are going to be left behind.”

Read the full story here.  


Today’s Student Town Hall talks barriers to entry for students from all walks of life

This summer, America Forward organized a series of town halls meetings to talk about the diversity of today’s college students and the challenges they face. Dr. Horowitz and Will Marsh, a young adult with learning and attention issues who has been actively engaged in NCLD work, attended the final forum in Philadelphia on July 19.

In a Huffington Post opinion piece, America Forward staff explained the purpose of the town halls. “It is not enough to convince students from all walks of life that they should walk through the gates of colleges and universities across the nation,” wrote Sarah Groh and Juanita Tolliver. “We must work together to address the very real barriers that keep students from walking across the graduation stage and into meaningful work.”

Much of the conversation focused on the financial burden of college and how working and going to school can make it difficult for students to find a way to finish.

“Students with learning and attention issues face many of the same challenges as their peers during the postsecondary transition process,” said Dr. Horowitz, “and are further challenged by misinformation and stigma that pose barriers to accessing needed supports and accommodations.”

During his remarks, Dr. Horowitz highlighted the findings of NCLD’s Student Voices research which identified the importance of self-awareness, a supportive home life and connections with the community as key drivers of success during the journey from  high school to college and the workplace.