Special Education Today Newsletter 1(7)

The week's news and info for 2 August 2021!

Dear SETters,

Welcome to the seventh issue for the first year of Special Education Today’s renewal. As I assembled this issue during the week ending 31 July 2021, I have a few experiences to report.

But, as a forewarning, you should know that I'm doing what Pat and I call "chair dancing" while listening to 1950s-60s doo-wop music by great bands: The Ad Libs, The Jamies, The Del-Vikings, Frankie Lymon, The Silhouettes, The Chiffons...wow, the list could go on and on. Sorry for going so far off task; I'll return to this topic later in this message, but note that I'm now playing "Whispering Pines."

I was busy this past week, as I predicted in the previous issue of this newsletter. Much of the busy-ness was because of personal activities (and I'll return to those later, too), but other sources of my busy-ness were because I made progress on SET.

So, this message includes notes about contents in the magazine in the week since the previous issue. You’ll find familiar contents: (a) some basic data reports, (b) a list of recent posts, and (c) some half-baked commentary about my personal experiences and perspectives. [Now playing: "Mr. Sandman"]


The SET mailing list is still growing, though not as rapidly as it did during a couple of spurts in recent weeks. There were about 15 new subscribers this week, though a couple of previous subscribers unsubscribed. If you are receiving this message directly, then you're among the nearly 300 people who have signed up for immediate notices. If the message was forwarded to you, please see the “sign-up” button at the end! [NP: "Blue Moon."]

The bursts of sudden, rapid growth among people who have signed up for the mailings seems to have occurred when someone told a group of which she or he was a member (e-mail list, FaceBook group, etc.) that there was this really good resource called SET and giving the URL (specialeducationtoday.com). So, thanks to everyone who has or who is about to spread the word.

Several folks interacted with the magazine this past week. Shout outs to usual suspects Rhonda, B., Jane B., & Michael K. Thanks for the likes this last week! I keep hoping that some comments will develop lives of their own and we'll have useful conversations about topics among the SETters. [NP: "Life is but a Dream"]

Sorta-Kinda ToC

I dropped four posts on the magazine this week. I hope at least three resonated with your interests (okay, maybe one?). Here they are, from oldest to newest.

[NP: "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"]


Well, I'm still in over my head. Even though the local rivers have low flow, the water is still deep! Could this be because as we age we get shorter? Can I blame my condition on something—anything!—other than my own behavior, decisions, mistakes? Sheesh.... [NP: "Speedo"]

Sheesh…well, here are some personal notes about what’s happened this past week.

First, my buddy and collaborator, Bill Therrien, and I submitted the table of contents for the fall issue of Exceptional Children. Please understand that this is still preliminary, but here's a sneak peek about what you'll see in the forthcoming issue:

  • Preview [duh] , by John Wills Lloyd and William J. Therrien

  • Ad-hoc Reviewers for 2020 [& thanks to all y'all who helped with reviews last year, including the EC field readers and these ad-hoc reviewers]

  • Special Section about Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trial (SMART) research designs including articles

    • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, Adaptive Interventions, and SMART Designs by Greg Roberts, Nathan Clemens, Christian Doabler, Sharon Vaughn, Daniel Almirall, and Inbai Nahum-Shani

    • Getting SMART About Social Skills Interventions for Students With ASD in Inclusive Classrooms by Connie Kasari, Stephanie Shire, Wendy Shih, and Daniel Almirall

    • Early Lessons Learned in Designing an Adaptive Shared Reading Intervention for Preschoolers with Autism by Veronica Fleury and Jacqueline Towson

    Original Research, including

    • Special Education Teacher Preparation, Literacy Instructional Alignment, and Reading Achievement for Students With High-Incidence Disabilities by Roddy J. Theobald, Dan D. Goldhaber, Natsumi Naito, and Marcy L. Stein

    • Improving Struggling Fifth-Grade Students’ Understanding of Fractions: A Randomized Controlled Trial of an Intervention That Stresses Both Concepts and Procedures, by Madhavi Jayanthi, Russell Gersten, Robin F. Schumacher, Joseph Dimino, Keith Smolkowski, and Samantha Spallone

    • A Mixed-Methods Analysis of State-Level Population Data for Students With Visual Impairment and Blindness by Rachel Anne Schles, Tessa McCarthy, Karen Blankenship, and Justin Coy.

    Not a member of CEC or subscriber to EC, so you don’t have access to the journal? Well, altough I encourge you to join CEC, you may find that often these articles are available as “preprints” for free.

[NP: "Barbara Ann"]

Second: Here's a quick update about my campaign to protect the "slave burying grounds" that are associated with my family. Thanks to help from the Fluvanna County Historical Association in searching archival records, I found the following phrase in a deed between my relatives ("grantors") and the purchaser (Deed Book 37, page 349) of the property where I thought the enslaved people from > 160 years ago were buried: "But there is expressly reserved by the grantors herein the Old Slave Burial Ground located on the land herein conveyed.” I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t interpret this accurately, but it sounds to me like a declaration prohibiting some use of the property.

Now I must unravel the legal tangles about to what extent that "reservation" (as it is called) applies to subsequent sales of the property. (If anyone knows an attorney who knows deeds, wills, and such, please let me know.) [NP: "A Teenager in Love"]

Third: My colleagues and I who are on the board for a local early childhood center (not the one where my daughter is a principal) have been interviewing candidates for the position of executive director. We had a good director, but she left for greener pastures. Finding a new director is a challenging task, because the center has only a few dozen children enrolled, they represent a quite diverse segment of Charlottesville, and the director must have a wide range of competencies—she or he must have many skills ranging from instructional leadership through financial management to community relations. Maybe I wasn't cut out for this responsibility, but I’m glad our board is making progress in securing a new director. It’s challenging. [NP: "In the Still of the Night"]

So, yes, as I said last week, please don't let that catalog of activities dissuade you from retiring. I'm having a lot of fun, still hoping to nudge education (and my community) in the directions that I hope respect kids, teachers, ancestors, and neighbors.

Meanwhile, because I find this uptick in SARS-19 scary, I hope you are practicing good hygiene, maintaining social distance, and (of course) teaching your children well. [NP: "So Much in Love"]

JohnL, Charlottesville


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.