December 13, 2002

In this Issue:

1. National Assessment on Implementation of IDEA '97 is Available for Review

Source: IDEA News - December 2002

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), has been conducting a national assessment to examine how the changes in the 1997 IDEA amendments are affecting states, districts, and schools, as well as infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities and their families. The study of State and Local Implementation and Impact of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (SLIIDEA) has been designed to address the following issues of interest to Congress and the public:

* Improving performance for students with disabilities.
* Supporting students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment.
* Facilitating the use of positive behavioral supports.
* Increasing positive parent involvement.
* Promoting successful transitions for young children to school and young adults to post-school life.

The SLIIDEA study has begun to collect data from all 50 states, as well as a nationally representative sample of districts and schools that serve children with disabilities, through a combination of surveys, interviews, classroom observations, and document review. The study is also designed to measure change over time by collecting data at several points over a
five-year period, beginning in 2000. This longitudinal study will answer the following research questions:

* How is IDEA being implemented?
* What is the status of each of the identified issues?
* What are the contextual factors influencing the implementation of the legislation?
* What is the relationship between implementation and the results?
* What are the intended and unintended outcomes of the legislation?
* What are the critical and emerging issues in states, districts, and schools?

Each fall, since 2001, OSEP has reported to Congress on the findings from this policy study. Issue briefs and summary reports, including the annual reports, will be broadly disseminated and made available on the SLIIDEA Web site at:

2. Data on Child and Family Characteristics Following Congressional Redistricting Now Available

Source: MCH Alert - December 13, 2002

The KIDS COUNT Census 2000 interactive database now includes data on children and families from the 2000 decennial census, which reflects the newly drawn districts for the recently elected 108th Congress. The new congressional districts are the result of the reappointment and redistricting that occurred after the 2000 census results were released. This new look at the congressional districts is part of a continuing effort by the KIDS COUNT project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation to make key information related to children and families easily accessible. Users can obtain a profile of any congressional district or can rank selected districts based on a variety of characteristics. The data could be used to help focus the attention of newly elected and returning members of Congress, as well as of other policymakers, on some of the most critical needs of children and families. The data are available at

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

3. Voluntary National Standard for Accessible Digital Instructional Materials to be Developed

Source: ED News: No Child Left Behind - December 3, 2002

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $199,911 to the National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum (NCAC) at the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) in Wakefield, Mass., to develop a voluntary national file format for the electronic transmission of instructional materials for students who are blind and students with other disabilities.
To read the press release go to:

4. Research Synthesis Aims to Understand Impact of Welfare Reform on Child Well-Being

Source: MCH Alert - December 13, 2002

"The evidence suggests the impacts of [welfare] reforms differ with the stage of a child's development," state the authors of a research brief published by RAND's Labor and Population Program. This research, summarized with support from the RAND Child Health Policy Project (, resulted from a synthesis that aimed at understanding how welfare policies affect welfare-related outcomes, and specifically child well-being. To read the synthesis see the following::

Labor and Population Program. 2002. A decade of welfare reform: What we've learned about child well-being. Research Brief. Santa Monica, CA:RAND Corporation. Available at

Research results are described in detail in Consequences of Welfare Reform: A Research Synthesis by Jeffrey Grogger, Lynn A. Karoly, and Jacob A. Klerman. A link to this report is available at:

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