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This newsletter focuses on various regional issues and events in the special education community from the Teacher Quality Forum to the No Child Left Behind/Individuals with Disabilities Education Act State Leadership Forum. Published several times a year, NERRC Focus occasionally presents specific topics of interest such as the work of Vermont's Special Education Program and Fiscal Review panel over the last few years in systems change.

NERRC Focus: News and Notes from the Northeast Regional Part C Meeting, Fall 2008

On June 2 and 3, 2008 thirty-five Part C state representatives, national experts, and regional technical assistance providers gathered at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Albany, New York to work, create, play and learn about using technology to expand capacity in our work. As you read this issue of NERRC Focus, you will see evidence of these activities captured in photographs and words. Reading between the lines, we hope that you will feel the generosity, level of commitment and collaborative effort that all the participants contributed to this event.

NERRC Focus: Focused Monitoring in the Northeast; A Shift from Compliance to Student Outcomes, Spring 2008

This issue of NERRC Focus looks at NERRC?s activities with its Region 1 States in the area of Focused Monitoring, an approach which allows states to direct limited resources to areas of greatest need and priority. NERRC and the National Center for Special Education Accountability Monitoring (NCSEAM) collaborated to support the Northeast in making the switch to Focused Monitoring through a conference, as well as ongoing workgroup and related efforts. States efforts and outcomes are related in this newsletter.

NERRC Focus: NERRC Hosts Regional Teacher Quality Forum: Developing the Work Force in the Northeast, Spring 2006

At the request of Region 1 states, NERRC convened national and regional technical assistance providers and state education agency teams for two days of focused work on teacher quality. This issue of NERRC Focus highlights the work generated at this forum.

NERRC Focus: NERRC Hosts Regional NCLB/IDEA State Leadership Forum, Winter 2006

This issue of NERRC Focus highlights this forum, which provided a starting point for cross-state dialogue about how to address the goals of No Child Left Behind and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and high achievement for all students, especially those with disabilities. The forum was hosted by NERRC and cosponsored by the major federally funded technical assistance providers from the Northeast and a number of Office of Special Education Programs-funded national specialty centers.

NERRC Focus: Systems Change in Vermont: Vermont?s Special Education Program and Fiscal Review, Fall 2004

This newsletter issue reviews the work of Vermont's Special Education Program and Fiscal Review panel over the last few years in systems change. It covers the panel, Vermont's policy context, what's involved in the on-site reviews, areas of focus, the school selection process, challenges, five-year findings, and implications for policymakers. Also included are documents from the Vermont Department of Education's website, as well as contact information for panel members, the University of Vermont Research team, and other individuals supporting the panel.

Hot Topics: The Paraeducator Paradox, Spring 2003

This issue describes some of the larger issues and growing concerns that surround the employment, training, retention, and support of paraeducators.

Conference Coverage: Addressing Disproportionate Representation in Special Education; a NERRC Invitational Forum, Winter 2003

Experts at the NERCC-hosted Invitational Forum discuss the disproportionate representation of minority children in special education.

Hot Topics: Increasing Participation by Diverse Parents and Providers in the Continuous Improvement and Focused Monitoring Process, Fall 2003

States have worked hard to increase the cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity of state steering committees and other groups. Such efforts often fail to achieve the diversity that reflects the composition of the communities within their states and of the children and families receiving special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This issue addresses this concern.

Conference Coverage: Alternate Assessment, a Pre-Session to the CCSSO Large-Scale Assessment Conference, Fall 2002

This issue highlights the outcomes of the NERRC-hosted Fifth Annual Session on Alternate Assessment for Students with Disabilities. The Alternate Assessment Pre-Session was held in conjunction with the Council of Chief State School Officers' National Conference on Large-Scale Assessment. The focus for states in June 2002 moved from development and implementation to the use of alternate assessment results in statewide reporting and accountability systems.

Conference Coverage: Integrating Systems of Support for English Language Learners; Addressing Issues of Disproportionate Representation in Special Education, Winter, 2001

In this issue of NERRC Conference Coverage, state departments of education staff and local school district staff from the northeastern states discuss the education of English learners and students with disabilities, within the context of whole language minority students with and without disabilities. Also included in this issue are strategies developed by state and district teams that address issues specific to cultural and linguistically diverse learners: assessment, placement, instructional practices, and parent involvement.

The conference was cohosted by NERRC and its partners at the Office for Civil Rights (Boston and New York Offices), the New England Equity Assistance Center, the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University, and the Northeast Technical Assistance Alliance for Parents Center.

Conference Coverage: OSEP Leadership Conference on Teacher Shortage, Fall 2001

To help state directors of special education develop strategies to address the special education personnel shortage, NERRC, in collaboration with the Mountain Plains Regional Resource Center, hosted a session at the 2001 Annual Leadership Conference of the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs. The two key questions addressed were:

  • How will we as a nation address the growing shortage of qualified special education teachers and related services personnel, particularly those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds?
  • How will we ensure that special education personnel have the skills they need to effectively serve students with disabilities?

Find out the answers in this issue of NERRC Conference Coverage.

Conference Coverage: Putting Best Practice Into Practice, Fall 2001

NERRC participated in the Technical Assistance Alliance for Parent Centers 2001 Northeast Regional Conference, hosted by the Maine Parent Federation. The conference increased participants' knowledge of best practices in education; increased use of best practices in all parent center activities; facilitated networking among parent center staff, and; facilitated collaboration among parent centers, the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities), Regional Resource Centers, Parent Information Resource Centers, and other U.S. Department of Education funded projects. Read this issue of NERRC Conference Coverage to learn more.

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.