CFK Weekly—May 6, 2002

We encourage distribution of this information! If reprinting
in whole or part, please attribute it to Connect for Kids (www.connectforkids.org).

 
NEW ON CONNECT FOR KIDS

**Covering Kids

**Kids and Chemicals

IMPROVING SERVICES FOR KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES

**Principals Ask Congress to Reduce IDEA Paperwork

**New Web Site Helps Teachers Working with Students with Learning Disabilities

** Rethinking Federal Education Programs for Children with Disabilities

**Help for Parents

CHILD CARE AND EARLY LEARNING

**Child Care Action Day

**Child Care Licensing Needs Improvements

**Family Literacy Works in the Waiting Room

**Early Childhood Education: Ready to Read, Ready to Learn

**School Readiness: How Do We Define and Measure It?

CONNECT FOR YOUTH

**Moving an Out-of-School Agenda: Lessons and Challenges Across Cities

**The Impact of Arts Education on Workforce Preparation

**Family Interventions Can Prevent Teen Alcohol Use

**Youth Flunk Finance

**May 8 is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Day

**40 Ways to Get Involved in Foster Care

BOOKS TO LOOK FOR

**A Different Kind of Kid

**Taking Parenting Public: The Case for a New Social Movement

**How to Inspire, Understand and Support Your Daughter While She's
Growing Up

**Hands to Work

**Healing Arts: 9/11 through the eyes of children

HOW POVERTY IS HARMFUL TO KIDS

**Policies that Improve Family Income Matter for Children

**Moving Up is a Steep Climb

**The Unfinished Business of Welfare Reform: Improving Prospects for
Children and Youth

CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTING ESEA

**States Unclear on ESEA Rules About Reading

**Teacher Quality and Implementing ESEA

REPORTS IN BRIEF

**Welfare Reform and American Indian Tribes

**Increasing Access to Housing for Low-Income Families

**Making TANF Work for the Hard to Serve

**Helping Poor Nonresident Dads Do More

**Extending the Information Revolution: Secondary and Post-Secondary
Education

**Racial Disparities Persist in Infant Deaths

**Public School Student, Staff and Graduate Counts by State, School
Year 2000-2001

FOCUS ON THE STATES

**?T? Word Taboo in Most State Legislatures

**State Tax Revenues Lower than Expected

**State Welfare Reform Findings in Brief

**National Priorities Project State Database

**Health Care Fact Sheets for States

**State by State News

SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE

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NEW ON CONNECT FOR KIDS

**Covering Kids

Youth crime is down nationwide, but you wouldn't know it from today's
headlines. According to a recent study by the Casey Journalism Center,
stories of crime and violence dominate news coverage of kids. We asked
three teen reporters from Children's Pressline in New York how they feel
about the media's portrayal of kids.

http://www.connectforkids.org

**Kids and Chemicals

Pesticides, flame retardants, wood preservatives -- these and other
chemicals can make life easier for us, but they may also be linked to rising
rates of childhood Asthma, cancer and learning and behavioral disabilities.
Pound for pound, kids face more exposure to chemicals than adults, but
research on how they're affected is just starting. On May 10, PBS airs
Kids and Chemicals: Special Report on Now with Bill Moyers that looks at
the latest science and possible health risks for kids.

http://www.connectforkids.org

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IMPROVING SERVICES FOR KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES

**Principals Ask Congress to Reduce IDEA Paperwork

In testimony before the House Subcommittee on Education Reform, a representative
from the National Association of Elementary School Principals argued that
one of the most valuable ways to improve the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA) is to reduce the paperwork requirements which burden
teachers and principals and erode the time they spend with students with
special needs. Elementary school principal Gary Locke pointed out that
it takes approximately 83.5 hours of professional staff time simply to
place a student in special education and write the initial Individualized
Education Plan before any services are rendered.

http://www.naesp.org/comm/prss5-2-02.htm

**New Web Site Helps Teachers Working with Students with Learning Disabilities

?My kids seem to know something one day and forget it the next. How
can I help them retain things?? Get a helpful answer to this common question,
along with other resources on successfully teaching students with learning
disabilities on this new site from the Division for Learning Disabilities
of the Council for Exceptional Children.

http://www.teachingld.org/expert_connection/default.htm

** Rethinking Federal Education Programs for Children with Disabilities

Three national experts offer suggestions for improving the IDEA in
this Center on Educational Policy paper. They may disagree on urgency and
timing, but they all agree on the areas that need improvement -- a greater
emphasis on academic achievement for children with disabilities, a reduction
in paperwork and complexity, and better funding.

http://www.cep-dc.org

**Help for Parents

Does my young child have special needs -- and what is a special need?
This parenting site has tools and information to help parents answer their
questions.

http://www.cicc4kids.org/dmc_home.asp?f=cicc

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CHILD CARE AND EARLY LEARNING

**Child Care Action Day

The majority of eligible low-income families cannot get child care
assistance due to lack of state and federal funds. On May 15 the Children's
Defense Fund is urging child care advocates nationwide to tell Congress
about the importance of quality child care to serve two million more children
by adding $20 billion in new funds to the federal child care block grant.

http://www.cdfactioncouncil.org/Indexcc.htm

**Policy Brief Says Child Care Licensing Needs Improvements

According to the National Center for Early Development and Learning,
research documenting the relatively low quality of child care in the United
States suggests that it is time to improve the licensing requirements in
many states for both center and family child care, and to use additional
strategies that lead to higher quality care and education for our children.http://www.fpg.unc.edu/~ncedl/PAGES/prdcts.htm#SpotlightAnchor

 

**Family Literacy Works in the Waiting Room

A study of pediatric literacy programs that offered waiting-room volunteers
reading to children, literacy counseling and the gift of a children's book
at each well-child visit in the preschool years found improved family outcomes
for non-English speaking families as well as English-speaking families.

http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/abstract/109/5/e76

**Early Childhood Education: Ready to Read, Ready to Learn

This U.S. Department of Education satellite town meeting is scheduled
for Tuesday, May 21 at 8 pm ET. If you need assistance, call 800-USA-LEARN
or e-mail Satellite.Town.Meeting@ed.gov

http://registerevent.ed.gov

**School Readiness: How Do We Define and Measure It?

Rhode Island Kids Count is leading a 16-state initiative aimed at using
child well-being indicators to create state and local agendas to support
school readiness and success in the primary grades.

http://www.rikidscount.org/sri.html

**School Readiness: A State Survey

A 50-state survey indicates that as of January 2000, age was the criterion
most often used to determine eligibility for kindergarten. No state had
an official statewide definition of school readiness. Several states were
studying the issue of school readiness, and local school districts were
often making decisions about how children should be assessed and how data
on children should be used.

http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v2n2/saluja.html

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CONNECT FOR YOUTH

**Moving an Out-of-School Agenda: Lessons and Challenges Across Cities

Many communities are finding more and better ways to provide out-of-school
opportunities for their youth, but this Forum for Youth Investment report
based on in-depth work in Sacramento, Chicago, Little Rock and Kansas City
finds that challenges remain. Opportunities are still in short supply,
especially for older adolescents, and almost non-existent after age 18.
Opportunities are uneven based on location or time of day, and while many
providers offer well-balanced programs focusing on a range of outcomes,
larger programs tend to be more narrow in focus.

http://www.forumforyouthinvestment.org/grasp/execsumm.htm

**The Impact of Arts Education on Workforce Preparation

Arts education is a cost-effective way to help build the workforce
of tomorrow, according to this issue brief produced by the National Governors
Association. The report shows how arts-based education can build skills,
increase academic success and lower the incidence of juvenile crime.

http://www.nga.org/center/divisions/1,1188,C_ISSUE_BRIEF^D_3680,00.html

**Family Interventions Can Prevent Teen Alcohol Use

Investigators studying a program to help rural families of sixth graders
discourage drinking conclude that brief family intervention programs are
both beneficial and cost-effective.

http://www.drugabuse.gov/MedAdv/02/NR5-01.html

**Youth Flunk Finance

A new Jump$tart nationwide survey from the Coalition for Personal Financial
Literacy shows high school seniors know even less about credit cards, retirement
funds, insurance and other personal finance basics than they did five years
ago.

http://www.jumpstart.org/upload/news.cfm?recordid=99

**"Talking with Kids: A Parent's Guide to Sex Education

May 8 is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Day, a good time to check
out the National PTA and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation guidebook
for parents with suggestions on how to talk to their children about sex,
with a range of age-appropriate topics for elementary ?age children through
high school. http://www.pta.org/parentinvolvement/healthsafety/index.asp

**40 Ways to Get Involved in Foster Care

Maybe you can't be a foster parent or a Court Appointed Special Advocate,
but there are plenty of ways you can get involved in helping kids in care
for Foster Care Month 2002. Check out 40 of them from the National Foster
Parent Association.

http://www.nfpainc.org/canhelp.html

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BOOKS TO LOOK FOR

**A Different Kind of Kid

Here's a book from the heart and mind of Katherine Murray, a parent
on parenting teenagers who don't fit within the defined bounds of ?conventional?
-- the kids with spikes in their hair or chains jangling from their pants.
If you work or live with an unconventional teen, you might find comfort,
and some good advice. Cost: $19.95

http://www.revisionsplus.com/hbp.htm

**Taking Parenting Public: The Case for a New Social Movement

If you feel unappreciated as a parent, consider how parenting itself
is undervalued in America today. That's the argument behind this call for
new investments -- both personal and public -- in the work of raising children
from noted scholars, policy experts and business spokespeople. 212-229-5990

http://www.parentsunite.org

**How to Inspire, Understand and Support Your Daughter

Dads and Daughters founder Joe Kelly brings his caring and sensitivity
about fathering daughters together in a new book to be released May 14.
218-722-3942; publisher@daughters.com.

**Hands to Work

If you're inclined to blame parents in poverty for their plight, or
if you're satisfied with superficial claims for success in welfare reform,
you might want to consider the three families profiled in LynNell Hancock's
?Hands to Work? -- a clear-eyed portrayal of how the long-on-rhetoric and
short-on-services New York City welfare system can work against the efforts
of low-wage families to get ahead.

http://www.harpercollins.com/catalog/book_xml.asp?isbn=0688173888

**Healing Arts: 9/11 through the eyes of children

You haven't seen this book because it hasn't been published yet, but
organizers are seeking children's drawings and paintings that express children's
feelings about the September 11 events or their hopes for a future. Proceeds
will go to the Children's Aid Society WTC Fund.

http://www.sept11healingarts.com

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HOW POVERTY IS HARMFUL TO KIDS

**Policies that Improve Family Income Matter for Children

The inability to make critical investments in their kids' development
-- like being able to meet their basic needs or provide enriching materials,
activities and services -- helps explain why parents' poverty negatively
affects children's cognitive development, explains this first in a series
policy brief from the National Center for Children in Poverty. http://cpmcnet.columbia.edu/dept/nccp/improving_security_series.html

**Moving Up is a Steep Climb

A new ethnographic study follows the lives and fortunes of 10 families
who participated in the Casey Foundation's Jobs Initiative programs in
Milwaukee and Seattle.

http://www.aecf.org/jobsinitiative/ethnography.htm

**The Unfinished Business of Welfare Reform: Improving Prospects for
Children and Youth

This Child Trends report reviews the latest trends in child well-being,
the effects of welfare reform on children and insights on how policy makers
can use welfare reform reauthorization to improve the lives of America's
children and youth.

http://www.childtrends.org/PDF/UnfinishedBusinessofWR.pdf

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CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTING THE ESEA

**States Unclear on ESEA Rules About Reading

Education Week reports that lawmakers, reading experts, and publishers
are urging the U.S. Dept. of Education to clarify reading requirements
under the "No Child Left Behind Act" of 2001, amid widespread perceptions
that a small number of commercial programs will win favor while other popular
approaches might be discouraged or spurned.

http://www.you-click.net/GoNow/a15864a57432a89281975a14

**Teacher Quality and Implementing ESEA

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 2001 requires
states to develop plans to ensure that all teachers of core academic subjects
are "highly qualified" by the end of the 2005-6 school year. This Education
Commission of the States' policy brief focuses on the implications for
states of the ESEA's provisions aimed at improving teacher quality.

http://www.ecs.org/html/newsMedia/e-Connection.asp#ep

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REPORTS IN BRIEF

**Welfare Reform and American Indian Tribes

This Kaiser Family Foundation report explores the experiences of eight
tribes in Arizona, Oregon and Wisconsin that are approaching welfare reform
in different ways.

http://www.kff.org/content/2002/20020415

**Increasing Access to Housing for Low-Income Families

An increasing number of families are spending more than half of their
income on housing or are living in severely substandard housing. This Issue
Brief from the National Governors Association identifies steps states can
take to alleviate the affordable housing crisis to help local economies
and low-income working families.

http://www.nga.org/cda/files/032902HOUSING.pdf

**Making TANF Work for the Hard to Serve

This Urban Institute ?Short Take? recommends that Congress adopt state
performance bonuses, a broader definition of work, an increase in caseload
exemptions, and improvements in non-TANF programs that help people with
disabilities to serve welfare families who cannot make it in the workforce
without substantial assistance.

http://www.urban.org/pubs/welfare_reform/ShortTakes.html

**Helping Poor Nonresident Dads Do More

This Urban Institute ?Short Take? argues that greater job services,
better health care access and realistic support expectations will help
more poor nonresident fathers become equal partners in their children's
upbringing.

http://www.urban.org/pubs/welfare_reform/ShortTakes.html

**Extending the Information Revolution: Secondary and Post-Secondary
Education

Advanced telecommunications is important to secondary and post-secondary
education, argues Samuel Leiken, who calls for a broad strategy of inclusion
to help all Americans benefit from the shift to an information economy.

http://www.digitaldividenetwork.org/content/stories/index.cfm?key=226

**Racial Disparities Persist in Infant Deaths

Black infants are five times as likely as white infants to die before
their first birthday, according to this Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention report on infant mortality rates.

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5115a4.htm

**Public School Student, Staff and Graduate Counts by State, School
Year 2000-1

Here's the official data on the number of students enrolled in elementary
and secondary public schools in 2000-1 by grade and race/ethnicity. The
federal report also gives numbers for staff members paid to teach, students
graduating in 1999-2000, and staff to supervise and provide support services.

http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2002348

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FOCUS ON THE STATES

**?T? Word Taboo in Most State Legislatures

Stateline report that given an aggregate budget deficit estimated at
$27 billion, states are cutting spending, but rare is the lawmaker proposing
major tax increases in this election year.

http://www.stateline.org/story.do?storyId=235623

**State Tax Revenues Lower than Expected

Tax revenues for the 50 states totaled $559 billion in 2001, according
to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce's Census Bureau. Many states are facing even
more serious shortfalls than they had anticipated, putting more pressure
on states to cut funding for children and families.

http://www.census.gov/govs/www/statetax.html

**State Welfare Reform Findings in Brief

The Rockefeller Institute's State Capacity program reports on state
experiences with welfare reform.

http://www.rockinst.org/publications/federalism/Findings_in_Brief.pdf

**National Priorities Project State Database

The new National Priorities Project state database allows you to create
customized tables, graphs and reports on socio-economic needs for families
and federal expenditures in your state.

http://database.nationalpriorities.org

**Health Care Fact Sheets for States

Families USA has revamped its Web site to provide contact information
for advocates working on health issues in your state, as well as links
to official state sites.

http://www.familiesusa.org/html/states/states1.htm

**State-by-State News

District of Columbia

Get a copy of a new fact sheet on child welfare in the District or
Budget Advocacy Project materials by contacting Tiffany at DC ACT (202-234-9404;
dcaction@dckids.org).

Illinois

Advocates report the growing state budget crisis that threatens Illinois'
important investments in the well-being of children and families, unless
lawmakers pursue adequate revenue-raising strategies as alternatives to
budget cuts. The legislative session is scheduled to end on May 17.

http://www.voices4kids.org/alert043002.html

Maryland

Maryland's State department of education has a new Web site on school
readiness and early learning. The site offers information about Maryland
Model for School Readiness.  http://www.mdk12.org/instruction/ensure/readiness/index.html

Michigan

?Recent Changes in Health Policy for Low-Income People in Michigan?
from the Urban Institute identifies Michigan's shift from a fee-for-service
system to a system dominated by HMO's to contain Medicaid costs in caring
for the state's families, but cites officials' concerns over growth in
drug expenditures.

http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/310442.pdf

 

Nebraska

The National Association for the Education of Young Children reports
that Nebraska has approved legislation to begin giving an early learning
information packet to the parents of each child born in the state on and
after January 1, 2003.

New York

The KIDS COUNT 2002 Data Book prepared by the NYS Council on Children
and Families is now available online. http://www.capital.net/com/council/databook02.html

Problems continue to mount for the ?indirect victim,? including children
and families, of the World Trade Center attacks, adding pressure on New
York City's human services agencies, reports the United Way of New York
City. http://www.uwnyc.org/640/beyond_ground_zero.pdf

?Recent Changes in Health Policy for Low-Income People in New York?
from the Urban Institute notes the state's expanded health coverage to
children through the Child Health Plus program and Medicaid expansions
and describes the state's troubled implementation of mandatory managed
care in Medicaid.

http://www.urban.org/template.cfm?Template=/TaggedContent/ViewPublication.cfm&PublicationID=7629&NavMenuID=95

North Carolina

The North Carolina School Readiness Assessment will provide a snapshot
of children as they enter school and the capacity of schools to educate
them to help identify strengths and needs in schools' abilities to educate
all kindergartners effectively. http://www.fpg.unc.edu/~schoolreadiness/

Washington

The YMCA of Seattle reports it will be using a $2.8 million five-year
grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to build greater collaboration
among Seattle public schools, parks and recreation and the YMCA to better
serve students facing serious obstacles to success. http://www.seattleymca.org/news/gatesgrant.htm

Keep up the good work, everyone!

Jan Richter, policy and outreach specialist, and the Connect for Kids
team

Jan@benton.org