Special Education Today Newsletter 1(15)

The overview of the week's news and info for 27 September 2021

Dear e-mail Members,

Here you have the 15th issue of the first volume of the newsletter for Special Education Today. It’ll be a brief newsletter (are you saying “Yay?”), because it’s been a busy week with work on Exceptional Children, writing for SET, and a personal medical experience. So, I’m slow in getting to this, but I can help by making it brief!

As usual, this issue has a mix of contents. I have an updated status report for the site and the newsletter, a table of contents for the past week, and a bit of commentary at the end.

Status update

The past week saw growth in the number of e-mail subscribers. SET is now north of 300 subscribers. Though the number rises and falls (if we lost anyone this past week, it was one somebody), this is progress. We started with virtually none (I subscribed two of my addresses, giving us a boost!) and, since the days when I was calling it “SpedTalk” in May 2021 we’ve grown!

A lot of this growth can be attributed to you e-mail members telling others about SET. Thank you! From the data, I can tell some of you seem to be forwarding the newsletter to lots of peeps—a dozen or two dozen—regularly. Yay! Please encourage those friends and colleagues to sign up for FREE now! Just add a little line of text at the top of your forward saying, “I recommend that you consider joining the SET e-mail list.” Call attention to the orange buttons embedded in the posts. Thanks!

As previously, about half of the e-mail subscribers opened the newsletters (last week = 45%). That’s a good rate. Also, those of you who open these messages seem to be pretty engaged with the e-mail messages. About a quarter of you clicked a link in 1(14)...now, I know that that means that 75% of people who opened the newsletter didn’t follow any links, so I’m only batting 250...sigh. What’s worse is that that metric means that of the e-mail folks who are registered for the newaletter, even fewer opened a link; it doesn’t count the entire e-mail list...so if half (50%) of the members open the newsletter and a quarter (25%) click a link, well, I guess I’m batting about 125.

Thanks to those readers who are sharing on other media. Facebook, of all places, seems to be referring readers! Pile on!

Here is a likely incomplete list of SET pals who interacted with the magazine from 20 September to date. Thanks to all of y’all (I’m from Richmond, VA, so I know that the plural of “y’all” is “all y’all”):

  • Jana E.

  • Ed M. (sped royalty is playing!)

  • Tim S. (not to say that others aren’t accomplished scholars, but I’m flattered that this accomplished scholar read SET!)

  • Lysandra C. (A scholar of teacher ed repeats repeatedly yet again!)

  • Jane B. (all-time hero!)

  • Michael K. (another admired scholar who reads SET!)

  • And all those whom I missed.

Thanks, too, for tweets, retweets, and likes on Twitter:

  • Kate P.,

  • Jenny T.,

  • Michael K., and

  • Others who liked or retweeted content and I didn’t capture.

And This Week’s ToC

Remember that you can find the latest SET post by simply going to the main page at https://www.specialeducationtoday.com. By the way, at that location you can sign up as a recipient of these email messages.


So here we are. This project has been alive for a bit longer than a quarter of the year. I’m hoping that it is beginning to resonate with readers.

My concept has been to provide news, information, and commentary to readers concerned about special education. I have wanted to make the content accessible to lots of interested folks. That is (although I think I can write it), I don’t want to provide the usual, stuffy, academic content. For example, when I’ve asked permission to use images of people featured in the Friday Photos series, I’ve told them that I do not want to use the usual glamor head shots. Similarly, in the next couple of months, as I launch “podcasts” with killer-good researchers, I hope to focus on practical matters (and the evidence that supports them). I want the interviews to reflect the incredible humanity of amazing contributors to special education these days.

I have not been writing prose that I would write for publication in scholarly sources; that just makes good [excrement] less accessible to parents, teachers, and others. But, I do want to provide content that readers can trust as faithful reporting of evidence.

So I hope readers will let me know how it’s going. Send me a DM via Twitter @JohnWillsLloyd or write to me directly (my name and e-mail addresses are plastered on many walls around the intertubes).

I hope that 15 (20 if we count the SpedTalk time?) weeks into the project, readers are getting a sense of what SET provides. And I hope that what it provides is valuable. Please spread the word.

Here’s a personal note: A few readers know that I had a cardio-medical procedure this past week. The procedure took a big bite out of Monday and the recovery took most of the rest of Monday, all of Tuesday, and a substantial portion of Wednesday. I have been increasingly back at it Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and today. I’m supposed to take it easy, but I’ve been cleared to resume exercise gradually; today I walked for 20 min at a slow pace, which compares with my usual ~50 min at a pace about 80% of today’s. I’m feeling pretty good and I’m happy about it. Thanks to my PAL and c for their loving support.

Let me close with the usual admonitions:

  • Seatbelts: Remember to wear them.

  • COVID: Get vaccinated, keep safe social distance, wash your hands, and use masks. &

  • Teaching: I implore you, please, teach your children well.

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SET Editor guy
Charlottesville, VA, USA

SET should not be confused with a product with a similar name that is published by the Council for Exceptional Children. SET predated CEC’s publication by decades.