November 1, 2002

In this Issue:

1. Special Education Expenditure Project

Source: AskERIC Update - November 2002

The Special Education Expenditure Project, funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Department of Education, is the first national study of special education expenditures in 15 years.  For more information
go to:

2. Making the Case for the Role of Young Children's Emotional Development for Early School Readiness.

Source: AskERIC Update - November 2002

Emotions Matter: Making the Case for the Role of Young Children's Emotional Development for Early School Readiness is a new Social Policy Report  published by the Society for Research in Child Development.  It is available online

3. Celebrate the 2nd Annual National Inclusive Schools Week

Source: IDEAnews - October 2002

The 2nd Annual National Inclusive Schools Week will be celebrated December 2-6, 2002,  in classrooms, schools, and communities throughout the country to highlight the nation's progress in providing a quality education to an increasingly diverse student population.  National Inclusive Schools Week, which involved tens of thousands of participants in more than 2,000 schools and school districts in nearly all 50 states in 2001, is sponsored by the National Institute for Urban School Improvement, a project of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs. For more information go to:

4. Researchers Study Relationship Between Otitis Media and Children's Later Academic Skills Over Time

Source: MCH Alert - November 1, 2002

"Although children with more OME [i.e., otitis media effusion] and hearing loss scored lower in expressive language and math at the younger ages, they caught up in math on entering school and in expressive language by second grade," state the authors of a study published in the October 2002 issue of Pediatrics. This study followed a group of 83 black children (39 boys and 44 girls) who were participants in a longitudinal study of children's otitis media and development to determine whether OME or associated hearing loss during the first 4 years of life are related to development patterns of children's language and early literacy and math skills between age 4 and second grade.

The children in this study were recruited from community child care programs, were primarily from low-income families, and had a high incidence of OME. Researchers used a standard protocol to assess OME status, hearing, and children's academic and language development at repeated intervals. The overall quality and responsiveness of the home environment were also assessed.

The authors found that

* OME and hearing loss were related to only one developmental outcome. Overall, children with more OME and hearing loss between the ages of 6 months and 4 years tended to score nonsignificantly lower on math at the younger ages but caught up once they entered school.
* The quality and responsiveness of the home environment was significantly associated with all outcomes. Children from homes rated as more stimulating and responsive showed better academic skills and overall language skills.

Based on these findings, the authors conclude that "the responsiveness and support of children's home environments was more strongly related to language and academic outcomes than was OME and hearing loss and continued to be predictive of language and academic outcomes through second grade."

Roberts JE, Burchinal MR, Zeisel SA. 2002. Otitis media in early childhood in relation to children's school-age language and academic skills. Pediatrics 110 (4): 696-706.

[Originally published in MCHAlert ©  2001 National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health and Georgetown University.  Reprinted with permission.]