The Department of Education published the following invitation to comment in the Federal Register on October 21, 2005:
Title: Evaluation of States' Monitoring and Improvement Practices Under IDEA: Site Visit Data Collection.
Abstract: States' monitoring and improvement practices under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are vital to ensuring that students with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education and that infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families receive early intervention services. The purpose of this study is to evaluate states' monitoring and related improvement practices under IDEA. This study will describe the nature and scope of monitoring as implemented by the 50 states and the District of Columbia for Parts B and C of IDEA, assess the effect of the quality of states' monitoring and related improvement practices on key outcomes of Parts B and C of IDEA, and identify and develop recommendations for potential best practices in monitoring and identifying areas for ongoing technical assistance. For complete information go to http://www2.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/other/2005-4/102105b.html
On October 12, 2005, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings convened a group of mental-health experts, teachers and schools officials for the first in a series of roundtables designed to gather information about Hurricane Katrina's on displaced students and the schools that have welcomed them. This meeting was the first of six roundtables to be held over the next few months in hurricane-impacted areas. Secretary Spellings also announced the availability of a new booklet, Tips for Helping Students Recovering from Traumatic Events", to provide practical information and assistance for school officials, parents and others who are helping students affected by the hurricane. The booklet can be accessed at http://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/recovering/index.html. To read the full press release go to http://www2.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2005/10/10122005.html
The Bureau of Indian Affairs Advisory Board for Exceptional Children will meet from November 8-10 to discuss the impact of IDEA on Indian children with disabilities. The meeting will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is open to the public. The agenda will cover issues such as: (1) the Annual report including Office of Special Education Programs feedback, (2) comprehensive system of personnel development, (3) new organizational information, (4) procedures for complaint investigations, and (5) Elementary and Secondary Education Act. For additional information go to http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/05-20523.htm
August 29-30, NECTAC hosted a discussion with a small group of individuals with various perspectives (OSEP, GSEG consultants, GSEG state staff, National TA providers) on the topic of measuring early childhood outcomes. The purpose of the discussion was to share experiences, and exchange information and ideas that could later be summarized and used to support other states working on developing an outcomes measurement system. Summaries from the discussion are available online at http://www.fpg.unc.edu/~eco/assets/pdfs/nectac-cott_nc_29-aug-05.pdf
Preemie Magazine is a free print publication and free online community for parents and professionals that care for preemies from birth into the school years. The print edition launched in July 2005 and just put out its second edition. For more information go to http://www.preemiemagazine.com [Note: Link checked on 11/26/2007 - this document is no longer available online].
The Center for Evidence Based Practices (CEBP) has produced a new handout titled Identifying and Monitoring Outcomes Related to Children's Social-Emotional Development. This fact sheet discusses how to prevent and address problem behavior by teaching children social skills they can use in place of problem behavior. You can access this handout online at http://www.challengingbehavior.org/do/resources/tacsei_resources_all.htm
The following four new What Works Briefs have recently been produced by the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL). The Briefs describe practical strategies, provide references to more information about the practice, and include a one-page handout that highlights the major points of the Brief:
Five institutes at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and three private autism organizations have formed a consortium and are funding five grants representing three projects to identify genes that may contribute to the development of autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders. The National Institute of Mental Health will administer the $10.8 million awards over the next five years ... To read the full press release go to http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/oct2005/nimh-18.htm