Subject: Studies in the News 05-22 (August 4, 2005)


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Studies in the News for
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Children and Families Commission


Contents This Week

Introductory Material DEMOGRAPHY
   Births to immigrants in America
EDUCATION
   Bridging pre-k and elementary school
   Environments that support early childhood learning
   Learning opportunities in full-day kindergarten
   Teacher support for early learning skills
   Head Start testing
   Early education teachers and BA degrees
HEALTH
   Health insurance and childrens' chronic illnesses
   Many chemicals found in most people
HUMAN SERVICES
   Federal child care programs in California
   TANF and child care funding
STUDIES TO COME
   Pre-k program's long-term effect
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News: Children and Family Supplement is a service provided to the First 5 California by the California State Library. The service features weekly lists of current articles focusing on Children and Family policy. Prior lists can be viewed from the California State Library's Web site at www.library.ca.gov/CRB/SITN/.

How to Obtain Materials Listed in SITN:

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

  • California State Employees may contact the State Information & Reference Center (916-654-0206; cslsirc@library.ca.gov) with the SITN issue number and the item number [S#].

  • All other interested individuals should contact their local library - the items may be available there, or may be borrowed by your local library on your behalf.

The following studies are currently on hand:

DEMOGRAPHY

IMMIGRANTS

Births to Immigrants in America: 1970-2002. By Steven A. Camarota, Center for Immigration Studies. (The Center, Washington, DC) July 2005. 32 p.

Full Text at: www.cis.org/articles/2005/back805.pdf

["Foreign-born mothers are delivering a record of number of children in the United States, with Central Valley families far ahead of the national average, a new report shows. [The report indicates] that 46 percent of children born in California in 2002 had foreign-born mothers. This was twice the national average and considerably higher than it used to be.... The increase in immigrant families ... touches schools, public health, housing and politics." Sacramento Bee (July 8, 2005) A3.]

[Request #S52201]

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EDUCATION

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

"Bridging the PreK–Elementary Divide: Concerns about Early Achievement Gaps Prompt Programs that Link Prekindergarten with Elementary School." By Sue Miller Wiltz. IN: Harvard Education Letter, (July/August 2005) 4 p. Online.

Full Text at: www.edletter.org/current/bridging.shtml

["Several decades ago, it was rare for children to step into any kind of classroom before kindergarten. But by 2001, 43 states were offering pre-k in at least some form to four-year-olds and, in a few instances, to three-year-olds. One big reason for the increased sense of urgency around preK is the large number of children who are failing to meet educational standards in the early grades."]

[Request #S52202]

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Environments [Issue Theme.] IN: Young Children: Journal of the National Association of Young Children, vol. 60, no. 3 (May 2005) pp. 1-112.

[Includes: "Designing the Environment to Build Connection to Place;" "Rethinking Early Childhood Environments to Enhance Learning;" "It Doesn't Just Happen! Essential Contributions from Playgrounds;" "Environments that Inspire;" and others. NOTE: Young Children ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S52203]

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Full-Day Kindergarten: Expanding Learning Opportunities. By Malia Villegas, WestEd. (WestEd, San Francisco, California) April 2005. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.wested.org/online_pubs/po-05-01.pdf

["This brief looks at the research on full-day kindergarten and reports how states and districts are implementing this strategy. It also identifies some of the concerns they must address in doing so. Finally, it offers policy considerations."]

[Request #S52204]

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Social Skills in the Early Years: Supporting Social and Behavioural Learning. By Kay Mathieson. (SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, California) 2005. 102 p.

["The purpose of this book is to provide information and guidance about providing for children's social and behavioural learning.... There is a training session following each chapter. These can be used in a variety of ways but the intention is that they will guide the process of sharing ideas and finding ways of improving the experience of the children in the [early childhood program] setting. NOTE: Social Skills ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S52205]

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HEAD START

Head Start: Further Development Could Allow Results of New Test to be Used for Decision Making. By the U.S. Government Accountability Office. GAO-05-343. (The Office, Washington, DC) May 2005. 58 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/new.items/d05343.pdf

["The GAO confirmed what the Children's Defense Fund and other early childhood experts have maintained for the past two years, that the National Reporting System is not a reliable or valid method to assess the progress of young children.... Experts on child assessment agree that the specific testing approach for young children will inevitably lead to 'teaching to the test,' narrowing of curriculum, and encouraging teachers to neglect critical components of children's growth and learning. This type of assessment is both limited and short-sighted in terms of helping children in Head Start develop content knowledge, motivation to learn and the ability to develop complex thinking skills-things research indicates are imperative for success in school. Advocates and members of Congress have expressed similar concerns." Children's Defense Fund Press Release (May 17, 2005).]

[Request #S52206]

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TEACHERS

"Getting Teachers from Here to There: Examining Issues Related to an Early Care and Education Teacher Policy." By Debra J. Ackerman, National Institute for Early Education Research. IN: Early Childhood Research and Practice (ECRP,) vol. 7, no. 1 (Spring 2005) 23 p. Online.

Full Text at: ecrp.uiuc.edu/v7n1/ackerman.html

["The author discusses issues surrounding the possibility of implementing a policy requiring teachers to have a bachelor's degree before working with preschool children. The article also provides implications for policy makers and researchers for optimizing implementation of a BA policy and ensuring that supports for the policy are in place."]

[Request #S52207]

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HEALTH

CHILDREN

"Effects of the State Children's Health Insurance Program Expansions on Children with Chronic Health Conditions." By Amy Davidoff and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 116, no. 1 (July 2005) pp. e34-e42.

Full Text at: pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/116/1/e34

["Recent expansions in public insurance eligibility under SCHIP have improved coverage for children with chronic conditions, with selected improvements in access to care. However, some eligible children with chronic conditions remain uninsured, and the impact on access to care and service use were limited. Additional progress may require targeted outreach to children with chronic conditions and improvements in Medicaid and SCHIP service-delivery systems. Given the current fiscal environment and the fact that children with chronic conditions have not generally been protected from cutbacks, the recent progress documented in this study may be reversed."]

[Request #S52208]

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ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS

Third National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. By the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (The Centers, Atlanta, Georgia) July 2005. 467 p.

Full Text at: www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/3rd/pdf/thirdreport.pdf

["Most American children and adults were carrying in their bodies dozens of pesticides and toxic compounds used in consumer products, many of them linked to potential health threats. The report documented bigger doses in children than in adults of many chemicals.... The national exposure report is a breakthrough that would help public health officials home in on the most important compounds to which Americans are routinely exposed. The latest installment is 'the largest and most comprehensive report of its kind ever released anywhere by anyone.' Findings were broken down by age group and race." Los Angeles Times (July 22, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52209]

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HUMAN SERVICES

CHILD CARE

Federal Formula Grants and California: Federal Child Care Programs. By Tim Ransdell and Shervin Boloorian. (Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California) June 2005. 58 p.

Full Text at: www.ppic.org/content/pubs/FF_605TRFF.pdf

["As part of welfare reform, Congress created the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) in 1997 to be the principal source of child care funding for disadvantaged families. Although CCDF aids 103,000 California households, overall, the state ends up with a disproportionately low share of federal child care dollars because of its larger proportion of poor children. California is home to 13 percent of the nation's children in poverty, yet in 2004 received only 10.7 percent ($516 million) of CCDF allocations. The formulas for allocating funds are constrained by language that ignores recent surges in child care demand, as well as by formulas that link funding to income -- reducing money to states with high per capita incomes, like California, despite the fact that they also have high poverty. This report outlines the structure of child care formula programs, compares California's funding levels with other states, explains how the formulas work, and discusses legislation in Congress that would affect future child care formulas."]

[Request #S52211]

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TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES

Administration’s TANF Proposal Would Not Free Up $2 Billion for Child Care. By Mark Greenberg and Hedieh Rahmanou, Center for Law and Social Policy. (The Center, Washington, DC) April 13, 2005. 6 p.

Full Text at: www.clasp.org/publications/carryover_0405.pdf

["In recent weeks, Bush administration representatives have suggested that enacting Bush’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) reauthorization proposal would free up $2 billion for states to use for child care. This Center for Law and Social Policy paper explains that letting states use un-obligated funds for any allowable TANF expenditure would provide administrative simplification, but would not result in any new funds becoming available for child care." Connect for Kids (April 18, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52212]

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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

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

"The Brookline Early Education Project: A 25-Year Follow-up Study of a Family-Centered Early Health and Development Intervention." By Judith S. Palfrey, Children's Hospital Boston and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 116, no. 1 (July 2005) pp. 144-152.

["New study finds pre-k programs boost urban kids later in life. For inner-city kids, early education and health programs not only boost performance in grade school, they also lead to healthier, wealthier lives in adulthood, according to a groundbreaking study by researchers at Children's Hospital and Boston College." Connect for Kids (July 11, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S52213]

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