Special Education Today Newsletter 2(20)
The past week’s news and info for 14 November 2022
Dear Readers. I have updated this post to indicate my profound sadness about the deaths of three UVA students and the injuries to two others. I extend my sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of the victims.—JohnL
Welcome to the current issue of the year two of Special Education Today. As I assembled this issue, it was the 13th of November (one day after Dan’s b’day!) 2022. The coming week promises to be a busy one for this old writer. Alert: Please check the editorial at the end of this newsletter. In the meantime, read on to find familiar content: This issue has the usual parts: (a) Interactions, (b) Contents, and (c) Commentary.
I promised to post photos of things I’ve seen on my exercise walks and other adventures. Sorry to be slow, but here’s one that caught my attention. It looks like a finger puppet that someone (chilid?) lost about 0.5 miles north of my house.
Please help identify this object. I am not well-enough connected to the popular culture to know it’s name!1
Regular readers might expect notes about the many pals who interact with the Web site...people who drop “likes” (and especially, comments) in response to the contents I publish. Yay for the regular readers who look forward to those pals of SET and, especially, to those who interact! They are the coursing life-blood of SET.
Special Education Today by John Wills Lloyd is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
All you regular readers, I hope, already know that SET is a special place for me. I have the opportunity to see hundreds (sometimes more than 1000) of you visit the site each day. Visits are captured by all thosr Internet giants: Alexa, Bing, Duck Duck Go, Google, Yahoo, and other monitoring services (though I think Duck Duck Go is way less creepy in its methods).
The visits provide an indicator for those services that SET is an important place to find in searches and such. That is, thanks to your (and your friends’) visits, SET gains currency. Some of your pals come visit, too. And your (and your pals’) visits make the Intertubes (e.g., Google, Alexa, and etc.) take notice that SET is a desirable destination.
So, your shares, reposts, mentions, and such all help the SET community to grow. Growing a community of people who are interested in special education and, particularly, a considerate-and-informed group discussing topics related to special education is what I hope SET can become. I want SET to be a source for unpretentious exchange that is informed by trustworthy verifiable knowledge. If you value the idea of that source, please share SET.
Well…let’s get on to this past week’s shout-outs, contents, and commentary!
Flashes of the electrons
Many of you loyal folks not only visited the site over the past week, but also clicked the “like” button. Thanks to Michael K., Clay K., Mary-Anne L., Dan H., Ed M., Modulo (!), Angelique W., Jane B., Cereal P. (!), Joel M., and Mike N. for alerting other readers that they found posts likable!
Thanks, too, to Tina C. and the many others over on Twitter (is it really failing? Should I bail?) who help amplify posts that make it onto that platform!
At the next level up, thanks to many for dropping comments: Mike N., Jane B., Angelique W., Ed M., Mike G., Dan H., and Mary-Anne L. These folks are way up near the apex of special education influencers. If there was a sped Tic-Tok, they’d have millions of followers just waiting to watch them dance. (No one would want to see me dance—No one...not a one.)
I hope that all these so-well-respected peeps' actions have influence om others who follow them, those followers find I and consider it valuable. (If it isn't valuable, write to me and tell me how to improve it, please!)
Table of contents
So, I want to test a different approach to listing the last week’s posts. Instead of pasting in headlines with links, I’m going to provide only a link to the site’s main page. Once there, readers can scroll through the posts for the last week.
So, please go to
…and browse the stories! (If linking to the content in this way is bad—at least, worse than me pasting links to each individual post—please let me know!)
Commentary for this week
Let me alert y’all that I’ll be in Tempe, AZ (US) this coming week. I’m attending the annual meeting of Teacher Educators for Children with Behavior Disorders. Let me also alert you to the refrain for SET and I want us to advocate for effective special education services.
TECBD is a wonderful meeting. I’ve been attending for > 30, probably about 40 years. It’s very friendly, accessible, and informative. If you’re in the neighborhood, come on by the Tempe Mission Palms and say “hi.” If you’re not the in the neighborhood, get your freaking tickest and plan to hang out with all the great EBD folks you can find there. (I have an “in” with both keynote speakers), so I can introduce you:
Melody Tankersley, who’s talking about “What LeBron James Taught Me about Supporting Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders”)
Tim Landrum, whose talk is entitled, “The Stories We Could Tell... and the Ones We Should.”
At TECBD, I am supposed to talk about disproportionality. This is, as many know, a hot topic in special education. Lots of the discussion focuses on whether students from minority ethnic, language, sexuality amd etc. groups are too often identified for special education. I’m hoping to discuss points such as these:
Disproportionality in relation to what? What’s the base rate? What population metrics do we adopt to make comparisons?
Is disproportionality necessarily a good or bad thing? Do we think there ought to be proportional representation on essentially all metrics? Is disproportional representation a good thing on some metrics and a bad thing on others?
A special concern, to me, is whether efforts to protect kids because of their language or ethnicity prevents them from receiving services that they deserve so that they can advance. I want kids with disabilities to succeed. I want them to have access to special education, not have it denied for them because of their language, parentage, and such.
Here’s a bad “selfie” of the man whom you should avoid if you show up at TECBD. Watch out!
In case anyone was wondering, as usual, I hope readers are staying safe and helping their friends, neighbors, and others to do so, too. I still usually wear a mask when I enter public buildings (stores and such) and I plan to practice safe activities during my up-coming trip. I hope you are maintaining appropriate social distance (especially inside), practicing good hand hygiene, wearing seatbelts, caring for each other, and (of course) teaching your children well.
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.
Special Education Today by John Wills Lloyd is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.Find
Seeing this object in the gutter reminded me of a story that my mother told about a time she was a child riding in a car between her home in Palmyra and C’ville. As she told it, she was riding with her parents (and perhaps, siblings), headed to Charlottesville. She had a small paper-and-wood parasol. As the family drove along the old country road that passed Monticello, she was playing with the toy parasol. Her mother (my gradmother) warned her to keep it inside the car, but my mother didn’t heed the warning. Suddenly, she lost her toy parasol. My mother recounted this event without rancor, just as an experience. Nearly every time I now drive that stretch of the road, expecially going west, I remember this story. Maybe some wonderful child will remember losubg a finger puppet and tell her or his offspring about it?