November 26, 2002

In this Issue:

1. Education Department Issues Final Regulations for No Child Left Behind Act: Regulations Cover Title I, Accountability, Parental Options, Teacher Quality

Source: - November 26, 2002

U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige today released final regulations for the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and expressed confidence in the ability and determination of states, school districts and the public to rise to the challenge of helping each and every child improve their academic achievement... The new law authorizes the Title I Program, a $10.4 billion federal education program that aims to close the achievement gap between disadvantaged children and their peers by supporting schools in providing extra help to more than 14 million disadvantaged children. NCLB provides unprecedented new resources, including an extraordinary $15 billion or 41 percent increase in federal funding since fiscal year 2000. To read the full press release go to:

2. National Home Visiting Program Releases Outcome Data

Source: MCH Alert - November 22, 2002

The Healthy Families America Research Folder highlights the accomplishments of this national home visiting program over its 10-year history and provides evidence of the program's effectiveness. Healthy Families America compiled over 20 evaluations of home visiting programs. The research folder comprises 10 one-page fact sheets on the effectiveness of home visiting
services in (1) reducing child maltreatment, (2) ensuring healthy child development, (3) promoting school readiness, and (4) promoting self-sufficiency and positive parenting. The research folder is intended to help advocates make the case for voluntary home visitation services. More information is available at

[Originally published in MCHAlert © 2002 National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health and Georgetown University. Reprinted with permission.]

3. Federal Interagency Coordinating Council Meeting; Notice of a Public Meeting [OSERS]

Source: Federal Register: November 21, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 225)

This notice describes the schedule and agenda of the forthcoming meeting of the Federal Interagency Coordinating Council
(FICC). Notice of this meeting is intended to inform members of the general public of their opportunity to attend the meeting. The FICC will engage in policy discussions related to mental health services for young children with disabilities and their families. The meeting will be open and accessible to the general public.
DATE AND TIME: FICC Meeting: Thursday, December 12, 2002 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
ADDRESSES: U.S. Department of Education, Barnard Auditorium, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202.
For more information go to:

4. Early Learning Standards: Creating the Conditions for Success

Source: - November 26, 2002

NAEYC and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education are developing a new position statement, "Early Learning Standards: Creating the Conditions for Success." You are invited to review the draft and give feedback to the working group. To view this and other NAEYC position statements go to:

5. Authors Evaluate Suggested Link Between MMR Vaccination and Autism

Source: MCH Alert - November 22, 2002

"This study provides . . . strong arguments against a causal relation between MMR [(measles-mumps-rubella)] vaccination and autism," state the authors of an article published in the November 7, 2002, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. The authors of this article evaluated the suggested link between MMR vaccination and autistic disorder and other autistic-spectrum disorders in a cohort study that included children born in Denmark between 1991 and 1998. According to the authors, the Danish vaccination program recommends that children receive the MMR vaccine at age 15 months and provides the vaccine free of charge. The MMR vaccine used in Denmark during the study period was identical to that used in the United States.

Data for this study were drawn from the Danish Civil Registration System and five other national registries. Follow-up began for all children (N=573,303) on the day they reached age 1 and continued until whichever of the following occurred first: (1) a diagnosis of autistic disorder or another autistic-spectrum disorder or an associated condition, (2) emigration, (3) death, or (4) the end of the study period on December 31, 1999. Children were assigned to the unvaccinated group until they received the MMR vaccine. From that date, they were followed in the vaccinated group. The incidence of autistic disorder and other autistic-spectrum disorders in the group of vaccinated children was compared with that in the unvaccinated group. Possible
confounders included age, sex, calendar period, socioeconomic status, mother's education, gestational age, and birthweight. Additional analyses assessed risk based on (1) age at the time of vaccination, (2) the interval since vaccination, and (3) the calendar period during which vaccination was performed.

The authors found that
* Follow-up of 5,811 children ceased before December 31, 1999, because of a diagnosis of autistic disorder (316 children), other autistic-spectrum disorders or an associated condition (467 children), or emigration or death (5,028 children).
* Overall, there was no increase in the risk for autistic disorder or other autistic-spectrum disorders among vaccinated children, compared with unvaccinated children.
* There was no association between the development of autistic disorder or other autistic-spectrum disorders and age at vaccination, interval since vaccination, or calendar period during which the vaccination was performed.

The authors conclude that (1) "the risk of autism was similar in vaccinated and unvaccinated children," (2) "there was no temporal clustering of cases of autism at any time after immunization," and (3) "neither autistic disorders nor other autistic-spectrum disorders were associated with MMR vaccination."

Madsen KM, Hviid A, Vestergaarde M, et al. 2002. A population-based study of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and autism. The New England Journal of Medicine 347(19):1477-1482.

Readers: Another study of 535,544 1- to 7-year-old children who were vaccinated between November 1982 and June 1986 found no association between MMR vaccination and encephalitis, aseptic meningitis, or autism. See Makela A, Nuorti JP, Peltola H. 2002. Neurologic disorders after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination. Pediatrics 110(5):957-963.

[Originally published in MCHAlert 2002 National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health and Georgetown University. Reprinted with permission.]