May 27, 2011

In this Issue:

  1. $500 Million for Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Announced
      Source: U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - May 25, 2011
  2. Trends in the Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities in US Children, 1997-2008
      Source: Pediatrics - May 23, 2011
  3. "Brain Hero" - A New 3-Minute Video from the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University
      Source: Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University - Retrieved May 27, 2011
  4. Racial Gaps in Early Childhood: Socio-emotional Health, Developmental, and Educational Outcomes Among African-American Boys
      Source: National Center on Children in Poverty - Retrieved May 27, 2011
  5. GAO Publishes Report on Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
      Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office - May 25, 2011
  6. Three New CELLcasts from the Center for Early Literacy Learning
      Source: Center for Early Literacy Learning - May 26, 2011
  7. Early Childhood Data Systems: Linking School Readiness, Early Childhood Systems Building and Third Grade Reading
      Source: Build Initiative - Retrieved May 27, 2011
  8. NAEYC Radio Segment Focuses on Teaching to Reach All Learners
      Source: National Association for the Education of Young Children - Retrieved May 27, 2011

1. $500 Million for Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Announced

Source: U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - May 25, 2011

On May 25, 2011, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a new $500 million state-level grant competition, the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge. The program is intended to help develop integrated early childhood systems and increase the number of low-income or disadvantaged children aged birth through 5 in high quality early childhood settings. Guidance, eligibility, range of awards and number of grants will be announced in coming weeks. The application will be released later this summer with grants awarded to states no later than December 31, 2011.

The two Departments are seeking public input, including data and relevant research, which can be provided at http://www.ed.gov/blog/2011/05/rtt-early-learning-challenge/

The announcement included business, law enforcement and military leaders who have advocated for increased investments in early learning to reduce crime, strengthen national security, and boost U.S. competitiveness. A recording is available at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/14949645

The full press release is available at http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/obama-administration-announces-500-million-race-top-early-learning-challenge

2. Trends in the Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities in US Children, 1997-2008

Source: Pediatrics - May 23, 2011

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) have published a new study showing that approximately one in six American children have a developmental disability, an increase of 17% during the past 10 years that will require more health and education services. The increase was caused in large part by shifts in the prevalence of autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and may be related to factors such as better diagnostic tools, improved screening for disabilities, increased public awareness, more preterm births and higher parental age. An abstract is available at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2011/05/19/peds.2010-2989.abstract

Full citation: Boyle, C. A, Boulet, S., Schieve, L. A., Cohen, R. A., Blumberg, S. J., Yeargin-Allsopp, M., Visser, S., Kogan, M. D. (2011). Trends in the prevalence of developmental disabilities in US children, 1997-2008. Pediatrics. Originally published online May 23, 2011. doi 10.1542/peds.2010-2989

3. "Brain Hero" - A New 3-Minute Video from the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University

Source: Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University - Retrieved May 27, 2011

The Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University has released a new 3-minute video entitled Brain Hero (2011) that adapts the visual sensibility of interactive game models to a video format. Based loosely on such games as "Guitar Hero," "SimCity," and "The Game of Life," the video portrays how actions taken by parents, teachers, policymakers, and others can impact life outcomes for both the child and the surrounding community. To learn more and to watch the video, go to http://developingchild.harvard.edu/index.php/resources/multimedia/videos/brain_hero/

4. Racial Gaps in Early Childhood: Socio-emotional Health, Developmental, and Educational Outcomes Among African-American Boys

Source: National Center on Children in Poverty - Retrieved May 27, 2011

The National Center on Children in Poverty (NCCP) has published a new report that examines racial gaps in early childhood. The main research questions addressed include the following:

  1. What racial gaps emerge across cognitive and socioemotional development in early childhood among African-American infant, toddler, preschooler, and kindergarten boys and white-American boys?
  2. Do these gaps remain after controlling for family socio-economic status (SES) and other child, family, and home environment characteristics?
  3. What factors contribute to early resilience and buffer against these risks among African-American boys?

The report, Racial Gaps in Early Childhood: Socio-emotional Health, Developmental, and Educational Outcomes Among African-American Boys (2011), by Yumiko Aratani, Vanessa R. Wight, and Janice L. Cooper, is available online at http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_1014.html

5. GAO Publishes Report on Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office - May 25, 2011

On May 25, 2011, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report entitled Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children: Federal Support for Developing Language and Literacy (GAO-11-357). The report looks at the extent of hearing loss among children, the settings in which children with hearing loss are educated, the factors that help these children acquire language and literacy skills, and the challenges to providing appropriate interventions for them. The Summary, Highlights and Full Report can be accessed at http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-357

6. Three New CELLcasts from the Center for Early Literacy Learning

Source: Center for Early Literacy Learning - May 26, 2011

The Center for Early Literacy Learning (CELL) has released three new CELLcasts. CELLcasts are audio/video versions of CELL practice guides which are available to view online or download to an iPod/Mp3 player. Scribble, Scribble includes fun and interesting ideas for introducing infants to writing materials. Listen Up includes playful activities to help toddlers develop listening skills and Sounds Like provides parents different ways to engage verbal play with their preschoolers. They are available at http://www.earlyliteracylearning.org/ta_cellcasts1.php

CELL is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs Research to Practice Division and is a major initiative of the Center for Evidence-Based Practices at the Orelena Hawks Puckett Institute.

7. Early Childhood Data Systems: Linking School Readiness, Early Childhood Systems Building and Third Grade Reading

Source: Build Initiative - Retrieved May 27, 2011

On May 17, 2011, the Build Initiative hosted a webinar on early childhood data systems and the relationship between birth to five policy agendas and early elementary reform efforts. Charles Bruner, Research and Evaluation Director for the BUILD Initiative, presented his analysis of the state of the field in developing birth-to-eight data systems to inform policy, and Ralph Smith, Executive Vice-President of the Annie E. Casey Foundation presented an overview of the national work on third-grade reading, its relationship to systems-building efforts and the critical role that information systems can play in fostering linkages. The view / listen to the webinar and to access related resources, go to http://www.buildinitiative.org/content/ec-data-systems

8. NAEYC Radio Segment Focuses on Teaching to Reach All Learners

Source: National Association for the Education of Young Children - Retrieved May 27, 2011

A new radio segment from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC Radio) features an interview with Susan Eliason, who asserts that in order to meet the needs of all learners, it is not enough to know objectives and assessments. Objectives, assessments and activities must be aligned and educators must think about assessments before selecting activities, using a "backward design" approach. The segment can be accessed online at http://www.naeyc.org/newsroom/NAEYCradio