Subject: Studies in the News 03-81 (December 9, 2003)


CALIFORNIA STATE LIBRARY
Studies in the News
Children and Family Supplement


Contents This Week

Introductory Material EDUCATION
   Increasing aggressive behavior of young children
   Early education position statement
   Florida voters choose UPK
   Aligning Pre-K with public school
   Head Start underenrollment
HEALTH
   Benefits of quality care for children
   Lead poisoning
HUMAN SERVICES
   Child care benefits for working women
   Children and self-care
   Children in kinship care
   Low-income families and financial services
STUDIES TO COME
   School readiness and Head Start
   Screening for biochemical genetic disorders
   Evaluation of kinship care
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a very current compilation of items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau to supplement the public policy debate in California’s Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library’s website. This week's list of current articles in various public policy areas is presented below.

Service to State Employees:

  • When available, the URL for the full text of each item is provided.

  • Items in the State Library collection can be checked out to state officials and staff.

  • Access to all materials listed will be provided by the State Information Reference Center, either by e-mail to cslsirc@library.ca.gov or by calling 654-0261.

The following studies are currently on hand:

EDUCATION

CAMPUS DISCIPLINE

"Does Kindergarten Need Cops?: The Youngest School Kids Are Acting Out in Really Outrageous Ways. Why?" By Claudia Wallis. IN: Time Magazine, vol. 162, no. 24 (December 15, 2003) 5 p.

["Not every school district in America is besieged by kamikaze kindergartners, but those who see a problem believe they are witnessing the result of a number of social trends that have come together in a most unfortunate way. Many cite economic stress, which has parents working longer hours than ever before, kids spending more time in day care and everyone coming home too exhausted to engage in the kind of relationships that build social skills. In addition, many educators worry about rising academic pressure in kindergarten and first grade in anticipation of the yearly tests demanded by the No Child Left Behind Act.... Experts on child behavior also point out that aggressive behavior in children has been irrefutably linked to exposure to violence on TV and in movies, video games and other media."]

[Request #S9759]

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EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Early Childhood Curriculum, Assessment, and Program Evaluation: Building an Effective, Accountable System in Programs for Children Birth Through Age 8. Joint Position Statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education. (NAEYC, Washington, DC) Adopted November 2003. 5 p.

Full Text at: www.naeyc.org/resources/position_statements/pscape.pdf

["High quality early education produces long-lasting benefits. With this evidence, federal, state, and local decision makers are asking critical questions about young children's education. What should children be taught in the years from birth through age eight? How would we know if they are developing well and learning what we want them to learn? And how could we decide whether programs for children from infancy through the primary grades are doing a good job? Answers to these questions are the foundation of this joint position statement."]

[Request #S9748]

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How Florida's Voters Enacted UPK When Their Legislature Wouldn't. By Jim Hampton, retired editor of the Miami Herald. (Foundation for Child Development, New York, New York) October 2003. 27 p.

Full Text at: www.ffcd.org/pdfs/HowFloridasVotersEnactedUPK.pdf

["The Florida legislature received a mandate in the form of a constitutional amendment from voters to provide all four year-olds Universal Pre-Kindergarten Education (UPK) starting in 2005. The voter-approved legislation is the first of its kind: remarkable because the voters themselves mandated the initiative. This case study looks at the process behind this success and the prospects for the future of UPK in other states. Hampton identifies some tools necessary for policy-makers, researchers, parents, teachers, service providers and other early education advocates to undertake similar initiatives in their own states."]

[Request #S9749]

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First Things First: Pre-Kindergarten as the Starting Point for Education Reform. By Gene Maeroff. (Foundation for Child Development, New York, New York) October 2003. 32 p.

Full Text at: www.ffcd.org/pdfs/FCD-AR.pdf

["This paper announces FCD's P-3 initiative: To align pre-kindergarten programs, full-school day kindergarten through the third grade at the top of our nation's public education agenda. Pre-K is the starting point for education reform, but alone it is not sufficient to address the inequities in opportunities faced by many American children. Building from its six-year investments in promoting universal pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten, FCD seeks an opportunity to create a well-aligned first level of public education responsive to our times."]

[Request #S9750]

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HEAD START

Head Start: Better Data and Processes Needed to Monitor Underenrollment. By the U. S. General Accounting Office. GAO-04-17. (The Office, Washington, DC) December 2003. 44 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/new.items/d0417.pdf

["Many Head Start programs across the country are not enrolling as many children as they could ... [and] it is impossible to determine exactly how many of the more than 1,500 Head Start programs around the country are not serving as many children as they are funded to serve." GovExec.com (December 5, 2003) online.]

[Request #S9751]

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HEALTH

CHILDREN

Growing Up Healthy: What Local Governments Can Do To Support Young Children and Their Families. By Rebecca Parlakian, Zero to Three Policy Center. (National Association of Counties and National League of Cities, Washington DC) 2003. 2 p.

Full Text at: www.naco.org/temp/growuphealthy.pdf

["No one questions whether quality care that nurtures good cognitive and social development matters to young families, but this two-page summary of the research isn't meant for families -- it's directed at local leaders, offering a succinct accounting of how investing in a system of quality care for young families offers one of the highest returns of any public investment." Connect for Kids (November 17, 2003).]

[Request #S9752]

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LEAD POISONING

Lead Poisoning. By Child Trends DataBank. (Child Trends DataBank, Washington, DC) October 30, 2003. 7 p.

Full Text at: revised.childtrendsdatabank.org/pdf/81_PDF.pdf

["This brief shows that the percentage of young children with elevated blood lead levels has declined dramatically in the past thirty years, from 88.2 percent in 1976-1980 to 2.2 percent in 1999-2000. Despite this very positive overall trend, however, some children remain at high risk. In 2001, 8.7 percent of black children under age 6 had elevated blood lead levels, more than four times the rate among white children."]

[Request #S9753]

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HUMAN SERVICES

CHILD CARE

Child Care Subsidies Promote Mothers' Employment and Children's Development. By Colleen Henry and others, Institute For Women's Policy Research. (The Institute, Washington, DC) October 2003. 10 p.

Full Text at: www.iwpr.org/pdf/G714.pdf

["Research shows quality child care can stabilize employment and support healthy development for low-income children. IWPR says both children and parents are suffering from inadequate public investments in child care, and urges federal and state governments to provide funds to give today's working families greater access to high-quality affordable care." Connect for Kids (November 17, 2003).]

[Request #S9754]

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Unsupervised Time: Family and Child Factors Associated With Self-Care. By Sharon Vandivere, Child Trends, and others. (The Urban Institute, Washington, DC) November 2003. 47 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/310894_OP71.pdf

["More than three million 6- to 12-year-old children regularly take care of themselves without adult supervision, according to this report. Full-time parental employment and an increase in a child's age are related to the growth in self-care for low- and higher-income children. With both income groups, Hispanic children are less likely to be in self-care than non-Hispanic children."]

[Request #S9755]

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GRANDPARENTS

Kinship Foster Care: Custody, Hardships, and Services. By Jennifer Ehrle, The Urban Institute. Snapshots3 of America's Families, No. 14. (The Institute, Washington, DC) November 2003. 2 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/310893_snapshots3_no14.pdf

["According to data from the 2002 National Survey of America's Families, 405,000 children lived in court-involved kinship foster care in 2002. Fifty percent of children in kinship foster care live in low-income households compared with 24 percent of children living with non-kin foster parents."]

[Request #S9756]

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POVERTY

Kids Count: Countering the Costs of Being Poor. By Orson Watson. (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, Maryland) 2003. 23 p.

Full Text at: www.aecf.org/publications/data/resourcekit.pdf

["Low income families are increasingly disconnected from mainstream financial services that are affordable and appropriate...The Foundation advocates the following strategies to increase financial opportunity and connect low-income families with financial services and wealth-building tools: 1) Protect consumers from wealth-stripping and predatory financial practices; 2) Increase access to affordable and suitable credit by working with banks and credit unions to design new products and services; 3) Encourage financial education tailored to families' circumstances and needs."]

[Request #S9757]

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STUDIES TO COME
[The following studies, reports, and documents have been ordered or requested, but have not yet arrived. Requests may be placed, and copies will be provided when the material arrives.]

EDUCATION

HEAD START

"A Comparison of School Readiness Outcomes for Children Randomly Assigned to a Head Start Program and the Program's Waiting List." By Martha Abbott-Shim, Georgia State University, and others. IN: Journal of Education For Students Placed At Risk, vol. 8, no. 2 (April 2003) pp. 191-214.

["The results of this study, conducted with 4-year-olds and their parents from a high-quality southeastern Head Start program, include such school readiness outcomes as health, social skills, cognitive skills, and language skills." NIEER Online Newsletter (November 5, 2003).]

[Request #S9577]

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HEALTH

INFANTS

"Effect of Expanded Newborn Screening for Biochemical Genetic Disorders on Child Outcomes and Parental Stress." By Susan E.Waisbren, Children's Hospital, Boston, and others. IN: JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 290, no. 19 (November 19, 2003) pp. 2564-2572.

["Researchers say in screening newborn infants for genetic disorders, false positive results may be a hazard in and of themselves. A study finds that although increased genetic screening for biochemical genetic disorders with the efficient technique of tandem mass spectrometry can catch problems early and improve an infant's health, false-positive results may increase family stress unnecessarily." United Press International (November 19, 2003)1.]

[Request #S9758]

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HUMAN SERVICES

GRANDPARENTS

Kinship Care: Making the Most of a Valuable Resource. By Rob Geen, The Urban Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) November 2003. 300 p.

["Using a study involving focus groups of child welfare workers and kinship caregivers, in addition to interviews with local administrators, advocates, and service providers, the authors describe frontline kinship care practices in today's system. They also examine how and when child welfare agencies use kin as foster parents, how their approach to kinship care differs from traditional foster care, and how kinship care practices vary across states. The book also features the experiences of actual kinship foster parents, their challenges, and their interaction with agencies and the courts. Finally, the book provides recommendations for policy development, worker and caregiver training, and issues for further research."]

[Request #S9760]

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