Special Education Today Newsletter 1(14)

The week's news and info for 19 September 2021

Dear SETters,

I am providing an abbreviated version of this newsletter, the 14th issue of volume 1, because I have an early start tomorrow (I'm writing this on Sunday night) and I have a lot of preparation to complete tonight. As usual, this issue includes updates about the status of Special Education Today, a table of contents for the week that just passed, and a bit of commentary.

Status report

The number of free e-mail registrants for the list grew by more than a dozen this past week. I don't recall that anyone unsubscribed, so there was a nice net gain.

The number of e-mail subscribers who opened last week's newsletter (last week = 45%), with greater than 100 opening it more than one time. As I have reported previously, an open-rate of 45% is a good rate, but I regularly hope that it will be higher. Those of you who open these messages seem to be pretty engaged with the e-mail messages; about one third click on a link in the newsletter.

As I noted last week, I would be very happy if the 50% who open the newsletter would be > 50% of thousands of e-mail members. Then I would think there was potential for influencing special education. You subscribers are probably the best means I have for increasing the number of e-mail sign-ups, so please click “share” buttons; also, pass along links to others concerned with students who have disabilities and are interested in effective instruction.

There is an indication that y'all are spreading the word about SET. After last week's newsletter, greater than 100 new visitors hit a page in the site. That was a nice jump over the 5-10 new visitors a day that I usually see. The jump is typical over the weeks (it’s a lag-7 auto-correlation, for those who know that language).

Thanks to those readers who check in regularly and interact with the site! SET pals who interacted with the magazine recently:

  • Jane B. dropped lots of “likes” and comments;

  • Clay K. not only responded but also reposted an article on different sources;

  • Michael K. was in there with a couple of “likes”;

  • Cacourt liked a post;

  • Rhonda B. dropped an extended comment as well as a “like”;

  • Ed M., who'll appear in a forthcoming Friday Photo, dropped a comment; &

  • Michael, L. had multiple comments on at least two different posts (as well as a "like").

Who did I miss?

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

  • Tina C.;

  • John R.;

  • Shanna H.;

  • Kate P.;

  • Michael K.;

  • Jason T.; &

  • Matt B.;

I probably missed some folks here, too! Reach me on Twitter as @JohnWillsLloyd.

The ToC for last week.

Here is a list of the posts for this past week, with links to each. You may also read the "menu" directly at https://www.specialeducationtoday.com.

Comments about the week

Sunday, Pat and I spent nearly four hours scanning the skies for migrating hawks. As those readers who survived a class that I “taught” may remember, I would often take 5 min to tell about gawking. Every fall, 1000s of hawks, eagles, and falcons (as well as many passarines, peckers, and other birds) migrate south. One of the paths they take is along the Blue Ridge Mountains at Afton Mountain, and there is an official counting station there where we often see others from the birding community. Given that Afton is fewer than 30 min from our house, we routinely spend time there in the fall. Today, I only saw maybe 100 big birds (three bald eagles), but the people (and there were 30-40 gawkers there) with sharp eyes saw many more, indeed. Interested readers can learn more by visiting the Hawk Migration Association of North America (https://hawkcount.org), where folks may be able to locate a counting site in their neighborhoods; the site also provides the daily data from scores of locations. For example, at Afton Mountain (known as “Rockfish Gap”; https://hawkcount.org/day_summary.php?rsite=491&ryear=2021&rmonth=09&rday=19), the official count for Sunday was nearly 8000 birds!

OK, time to fold up my tent. I still have to format this and then complete other prep for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, please remember to wear your seatbelts, keep safe social distances, and use face masks. And, as ought to go without saying, remember to teach your children well.

SET Editor and Writer guy


I 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.