January 17, 2003

In this Issue:

  1. Interagency Early Childhood Research Initiative Announced
      Source: Bobbi Stettner-Eaton - Office of Special Education Programs - January 14,2002
  2. Empowering Parents, Creating Change: The 1st Anniversary of No Child Left Behind
      Source: www.ed.gov - January 14, 2003
  3. Panel to Establish Electronic Standard for Accessible Learning Materials
      Source: IDEA News - January 2003
  4. Louisana is Hosting this Month's IDEA State Summit
      Source: IDEA News - January 2003
  5. U.S. Department of Education Updates Guidance for Highly Qualified Teachers
      Source: IDEA News - January 2003

1. Interagency Early Childhood Research Initiative Announced

Source: Bobbi Stettner-Eaton - Office of Special Education Programs - January 14,2002

The Interagency Early Childhood Research Initiative, a partnership between the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) within the Department of Health and Human Services,
and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) of the U.S. Department of Education, has issued a Request for Applications (RFA) to support research on the effectiveness of interventions, programs, and curricula in promoting school readiness for children from birth through age 5.  Letter of Intent receipt date is February, 26; applications are due March 26.

The full text of this RFA can be found at: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HD-03-003.html.  A technical assistance workshop for potential applicants is planned for Tuesday, January 28, in the Washington, D.C. area.  More information is available about this meeting (including location and travel information) by contacting Dr. Kyle Snow (mailto:snowk@mail.nih.gov), Director of the NIHCD Program in Early Learning and School Readiness. 

2. Empowering Parents, Creating Change: The 1st Anniversary of No Child Left Behind

Source: www.ed.gov - January 14, 2003

The January 2003 broadcast of Education News Parents Can Use celebrates the first year of the No Child Left Behind Act and its improvements in education in communities nationwide. The legislation is historic in the expansion of information and options available to parents and the role that they play in ensuing their child has access to a first-class education. The show will explain these options and feature "empowered" parents across the country who are promoting reading competence through mentoring and tutoring, supporting testing and accountability as a mechanism for improving student academic performance, and embracing school choice through the development of parent-organized charter schools and supplemental services. Throughout, the show will emphasize ways parents can promote educational excellence in the home and in the community.
Tuesday, January 21, 2003: 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm ET. Duration: 1 hr.
For more information go to: http://registerevent.ed.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewer.description&intEventID=163

3. Panel to Establish Electronic Standard for Accessible Learning Materials

Source: IDEA News - January 2003

The National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum (NCAC) is collecting comments regarding the establishment of a new National File Format (NFF). The NFF will serve as the standard for storing accessible learning materials electronically.
NCAC requests that interested parents, students, advocates, professionals and others e-mail them (nff@cast.org) comments regarding the following issues:
* Impediments facing students with disabilities
* Features and functions that would benefit students with disabilities
* Any other suggestions with regard to the creation of NFF

A forty-member advisory National File Format Technical Panel consisting of consumers, technical experts such as assistive technology professionals and software developers, and other experts in the field of curriculum, has been formed to help guide the development of NFF. At least three NFF Technical Panel meetings are to be held over the next seven months. The
first meeting, held this month in Washington, called upon consumer representatives. Future meetings, scheduled for March 11 and June 10, will focus chiefly on input from technical experts...

For more information on the NFF project, visit the NCAC Web site: www.cast.org/ncac; e-mail nff@cast.org; telephone 781-245-2212 or TTY 781-245-9320; fax 781-245-5212; write National File Format Technical Panel, c/o CAST, 40 Harvard Mills Square, Suite 3, Wakefield, MA 01880-3233; or view this informative slide presentation.

Links from this article:

* NCAC http://www.cast.org/policy/ncac/index.html
* NFF http://www.cast.org/pd/resources/masterref.html
* Slide Presentation http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/presentations/digitaltext_slide1.cfm

4. Louisana is Hosting this Month's IDEA State Summit

Source: IDEA News - January 2003

In an effort to enhance local implementation of IDEA '97, the IDEA Partnerships funded eight states to implement state level Summits for a broad audience of families, principals, administrators, teachers, related service providers, representatives from education agencies and organizations, and other stakeholders in education... On January 23-24, the state of Louisiana will present the fourth IDEA State Summit entitled: Summit of Overidentification of Minorities in Special Education, which is being held in Baton Rouge. Interested participants may contact Mamye Hall by e-mail at mhall@doe.state.la.us or by phone at 225-342-1508.

For information on the other IDEA State Summits, please contact the IDEA Partnerships by calling 877-CEC-IDEA or e-mail us at ideapractices@cec.sped.org. Links from this Article: IDEA Partnerships - http://www.ideapractices.org [Note: Link checked on 9/12/2007 - this Web site is no longer available. See the new IDEA Partnership Web site at http://www.ideapartnership.org/].

5. U.S. Department of Education Updates Guidance for Highly Qualified Teachers

Source: IDEA News - January 2003

In response to requests from state and local officials, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) released in December 2002 an updated version of their Non-Regulatory Draft Guidance on standards for highly qualified teachers. This updated guidance is entitled: No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), Improving Teacher Quality State Grants (ITQSG), Title II, Part
A, Non-Regulatory Draft Guidance. It assists states and schools in complying with new provisions of the act and takes into account changes made to the law due to Title I regulations …

How is the realm of special education impacted?

Local education agencies (LEAs) may use grant funds to recruit and hire highly qualified special education teachers. The new guidance explains that one of the key issues each LEA must address in its ITQSG plan is how the LEA will train teachers to effectively instruct students with different learning styles: students with disabilities, students with special learning needs, gifted and talented students, and students with limited English language proficiency.

The guidance lists additional pertinent uses of funding, including:
* Recruiting qualified paraprofessionals and teachers from underrepresented populations;
* Providing training in appropriate interventions to help students with special needs; and
* Providing training to help teachers and principals involve parents in their children's education, particularly parents of
immigrant children or children with limited English language proficiency.

To send inquiries for more information, please visit DOE's Web site at www.ed.gov, e-mail usa_learn@ed.gov, or call 800-USA-LEARN (800-872-5327);TTY: 800-437-0833. Spanish speakers are available (se habla español). If you have comments or questions about No Child Left Behind or its programs, call 888-814-NCLB (888-814-6252). TTY: 800-437-0833. E-mail: nochildleftbehind@ed.gov.

Links from this Article:
* Guidance http://www2.ed.gov/programs/teacherqual/guidance.doc
* NCLB http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/landing.jhtml