November 11, 2011

In this Issue:

  1. U.S. Department of Education Proposes Dedicated Office For Early Learning
      Source: U.S. Department of Education - November 4, 2011
  2. New Final Rule Amends Head Start Program Regulations
      Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - November 9, 2011
  3. Working Paper on Changing U.S. Child Population
      Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation - Retrieved November 11, 2011
  4. The Role of Children's Interests in Early Literacy and Language Development
      Source: Center for Early Literacy Learning - November 8, 2011
  5. Language and Early Literacy Activities Available: Free and Reproducible
      Source: Washington Learning Systems - November 10, 2011
  6. Watching Teachers Work: Using Observation Tools to Promote Effective Teaching in the Early Years and Early Grades
      Source: New America Foundation's Early Education Initiative - November 8, 2011

1. U.S. Department of Education Proposes Dedicated Office For Early Learning

Source: U.S. Department of Education - November 4, 2011

On November 4, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education announced a proposal to create an Office of Early Learning, tasked with overseeing the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grants and coordinating early learning programs across the Department. The proposal names Senior Advisor for Early Learning Jacqueline Jones as head of the new office, which will operate within the Department's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE). To learn more, go to http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-proposes-dedicated-office-early-learning

2. New Final Rule Amends Head Start Program Regulations

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - November 9, 2011

A new final rule amending Head Start Program regulations was published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2011. For the first time, this rule requires Head Start grantees that fail to meet a new set of rigorous benchmarks to re-compete for continued federal funding. Over the next three years, all 1,600 grantees will be evaluated on benchmarks including health standards, integrity, and classroom quality. The new rule will be effective on December 9, 2011. It is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2011/11/09/2011-28880/head-start-program

To read the White House news release, go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/11/08/we-cant-wait-president-obama-takes-action-improve-quality-and-promote-ac
To see a video of President Obama's comments when introducing the new rule, go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2011/11/08/president-obama-speaks-holding-head-start-programs-accountable

3. Working Paper on Changing U.S. Child Population

Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation - Retrieved November 11, 2011

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released a new KIDS COUNT working paper, which shows considerable demographic shifts within the U.S. child population. The number of children in some areas of the country (such as Texas and Nevada) and some demographic groups (including children of mixed race) have grown significantly, while they have declined in other areas (Vermont and New York) and other groups (such as non-Hispanic whites). The Changing Child Population of the United States: Analysis of Data from the 2010 Census (November 2011), by William O'Hare, is available online at http://www.aecf.org/KnowledgeCenter/Publications.aspx?pubguid={667AADB4-523B-4DBC-BB5B-C891DD2FF039}

4. The Role of Children's Interests in Early Literacy and Language Development

Source: Center for Early Literacy Learning - November 8, 2011

The Center for Early Literacy Learning (CELL) has published a meta-analysis examining the relationship between variations of young children's personal and situational interests and their early literacy and language abilities. Role of Children's Interests in Early Literacy and Language Development (CELLreview, 4(5), 2011), by Carl J. Dunst, Tara Jones, Molly Johnson, Melinda Raab, and Deborah W. Hamby is available online at http://earlyliteracylearning.org/cellreviews/cellreviews_v4_n5.pdf

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.

5. Language and Early Literacy Activities Available: Free and Reproducible

Source: Washington Learning Systems - November 10, 2011

Washington Learning Systems is offering free language and early literacy activities, developed by Angela Notari-Syverson and Judy Challoner, with illustrations by Don Syverson (available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Somali, Burmese and Russian). The materials include home and community activities for adults and young children (birth-5) that encourage early language and literacy development. They are appropriate for children with disabilities, as well as children who are developing typically. To download the materials go to http://www.walearning.com and click on "Literacy Resources." You will need to create an account using your email address and a password.

The development of these materials was supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs and by funding from Washington Learning Systems. They may be copied and distributed freely, as long as they are not sold.

6. Watching Teachers Work: Using Observation Tools to Promote Effective Teaching in the Early Years and Early Grades

Source: New America Foundation's Early Education Initiative - November 8, 2011

The New America Foundation's Early Education Initiative has published a new report, Watching Teachers Work: Using Observation Tools to Promote Effective Teaching in the Early Years and Early Grades (2011), by Lisa Guernsey and Susan Ochshorn. The authors describe how valid and reliable observation tools could be used to promote effective teaching in PreK-3rd grade programs. Additionally, with many states developing Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) for publicly-funded early childhood programs, the report recommends the inclusion of observation tools that focus on how professionals interact with the infants, toddlers and preschoolers in those programs. To learn more and to access the report, go to http://education.newamerica.net/publications/policy/watching_teachers_work