August 23, 2013

In this Issue:

  1. New Guidance Letter Addresses Bullying of Children with Disabilities
      Source: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services - August 20, 2013
  2. Ready or Not, Here Comes the Kindergarten Class of 2013
      Source: Child Trends - August 21, 2013
  3. Can Rating Pre-K Programs Predict Children's Learning?
      Source: FPG Child Development Institute - August 22, 2013
  4. FPG Opens New Professional Development Center
      Source: FPG Child Development Institute - August 19, 2013
  5. Child Care Technical Assistance Network Web site Launched
      Source: Office of Child Care - August 16, 2013

1. New Guidance Letter Addresses Bullying of Children with Disabilities

Source: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services - August 20, 2013

On August 20, 2013, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) published a Dear Colleague Letter on Bullying that addresses bullying of children with disabilities. The letter states that children with disabilities are disproportionately affected by bullying and bullying of a child with disabilities is considered a denial of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE), if it results in the child not getting meaningful educational benefit. The letter also explains that placing a child in a more restrictive "protected" setting to avoid bullying behavior may constitute a denial of the requirement schools have to provide FAPE in the least restrictive environment. An enclosure to the letter, Effective Evidence-based Practices for Preventing and Addressing Bullying, offers strategies schools can use to intervene and prevent bullying.

2. Ready or Not, Here Comes the Kindergarten Class of 2013

Source: Child Trends - August 21, 2013

Close to four million children in the U.S. will start kindergarten this fall. Child Trends, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center examined a range of available nationally representative data to provide a portrait of the kindergarten class of 2013. Overall, the data shows that these children are "happy, eager to learn, resilient, and have affectionate relationships with their parents," according to David Murphey, Child Trends senior researcher and co-author of the report with Research Assistant Mae Cooper. To learn more, see Ready or Not, Here Comes the Kindergarten Class of 2013 (August 21, 2013). The Child Trends DataBank examines and monitors more than 100 indicators that focus on risks and positive developments for children.

3. Can Rating Pre-K Programs Predict Children's Learning?

Source: FPG Child Development Institute - August 22, 2013

In a new study, researchers from the FPG Child Development Institute, the University of Virginia, and Northwestern University examined the extent to which various features of pre-k program quality included in each of nine different states' Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) predicted children's readiness for kindergarten at the end of their year in pre-k. The researchers used a data set that included nearly 3,000 children in 703 state-funded pre-kindergarten classrooms from nine states, representing a variety of pre-kindergarten models in use across the U.S. Findings showed that the quality of teacher-child interaction consistently is the strongest predictor of children's learning, followed by the learning environment. To learn more, see the full press release (August 22, 2013).

Full citation: Sabol1,T. J., Soliday Hong, S. L., Pianta, R. C., Burchinal, M. R. (2013, August 23). Can rating pre-K programs predict children's learning? Science, 341(6148), 845-846. doi: 10.1126/science.1233517

4. FPG Opens New Professional Development Center

Source: FPG Child Development Institute - August 19, 2013

On August 19, 2013, the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill opened a new Professional Development Center (PDC@FPG) to provide administrators, faculty, researchers, evaluators, specialists, teachers, and professional development providers a variety of opportunities to expand their capacity, knowledge, and skills in areas related to child development and learning. Current continuing education options include institutes and intensive workshops, free online learning, technical assistance services and more. Some of the subject areas to be covered include evidence-based practices, research and evaluation methodologies, and systems building and change.

5. Child Care Technical Assistance Network Web site Launched

Source: Office of Child Care - August 16, 2013

The Office of Child Care (OCC) recently launched its new Child Care Technical Assistance Network (CCTAN) Web site, which includes all materials from the CCTAN National Centers and features resources created by OCC's technical assistance (TA) network on a variety of topics related to the administration of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program. Highlights of the site include:

  • CCDF Data Explorer - Allows you to compare data among States and Territories and to track changes over time. Charts can also be downloaded for sharing.
  • State Profiles - Provides detailed demographic information about the children, families, and child care in each State and Territory, as well as contact information for the agencies involved in child care.
In the coming weeks and months, OCC will add additional resources to the site.