Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children

"Report Highlights Stark Racial Disparities Among U.S. Children"

-Full report-

Author(s): The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Published: April 1, 2104

Report Intro/Brief:
"In this policy report, the Annie E. Casey Foundation explores the intersection of kids, race and opportunity. The report features the new Race for Results index, which compares how children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state level. The index is based on 12 indicators that measure a child’s success in each stage of life, from birth to adulthood, in the areas of early childhood; education and early work; family supports; and neighborhood context. The report also makes four policy recommendations to help ensure that all children and their families achieve their full potential." -The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Prevalence of Childhood and Adult Obesity in the United States, 2011-2012

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Cynthia L. Ogden, PhD
Margaret D. Carroll, MSPH
Brian K. Kit, MD, MPH
Katherine M. Flegal, PhD

Published: February 26th, 2014 in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)

Report Intro/Brief:
"Importance-  More than one-third of adults and 17% of youth in the United States are obese, although the prevalence remained stable between 2003-2004 and 2009-2010. Objective-  To provide the most recent national estimates of childhood obesity, analyze trends in childhood obesity between 2003 and 2012, and provide detailed obesity trend analyses among adults. Design, Setting, and Participants-  Weight and height or recumbent length were measured in 9120 participants in the 2011-2012 nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Main Outcomes and Measures-  In infants and toddlers from birth to 2 years, high weight for recumbent length was defined as weight for length at or above the 95th percentile of the sex-specific Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth charts. In children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years, obesity was defined as a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile of the sex-specific CDC BMI-for-age growth charts.

After the Recall: Dangerous Products Remain in Homes

-Full report-

Author(s):  Kids in Danger (KID)

Jordan Durrett

Published: February 18th, 2014

Report Intro/Brief:
"Since 2002, Kids In Danger (KID) has released an annual report detailing children‘s product recalls throughout the previous year. This year‘s report examines children‘s product recalls in 2013. In addition, through documents from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the report examines how effective the recalls from 2012 were in removing dangerous products from homes. Findings of the report include:

The number of children‘s product recalls increased 18% from 2012 to 2013. Incidents (down 38%) and injuries (down 16%) reported both fell below 2012 levels.

Report Finds New Generation of ‘Gender-Expansive’ Teens

Facebook announced last week it was giving users another gender selection beyond male and female, just as the Human Rights Campaign released a report on new ways teenagers view gender. Many young people see themselves outside of conventional identities, said the report released Thursday by the Washington, D.C. –based advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.. The report also said gender-expansive teenagers often feel marginalized and excluded. Facebook created a custom gender selection on its user profile page, allowing users to write a descriptive word for their gender and allowing them to choose the pronoun they prefer for themselves. “We want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self,” Facebook posted on its Diversity page.

Legal Scholars Speak at THRIVE Gathering

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- According to Washington, D.C. lawyer Garry Bevel, LGBTQ rights are not newly devised rights, but a matter of applying basic U.S. civil rights to non-heterosexuals. “If straight kids can do it, gay kids should be able to do it,” Bevel said flatly. “If a boy wants to wear a pink backpack – you can’t tell a boy not to, if girls can.”
And the best way to protect the legal rights of LGBTQ teens, according to Bevel, is not threatening litigation but working with agencies that serve teens. “We need to build partnerships,” Bevel told his audience of teachers, counselors, social workers and lawyers on Saturday at Time to THRIVE, a Las Vegas conference organized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation to promote the wellbeing of LGBTQ youth, who have higher rates of suicide, homelessness, depression and addictions than their straight peers.

State Implementation of Reforms Promoted Under the Recovery Act

-Full report-

Author(s): United States Department of Education - Institute of Education Sciences - National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance

Published: February 2014

Report Intro/Brief:
"This report, based on surveys completed by all 50 SEAs and the District of Columbia (DC) during spring 2011, examines which states were implementing the key education reform strategies promoted by the Recovery Act in 2010-11, the extent to which implementation reflected progress since Recovery Act funds were first available, and states’ challenges with implementation. Findings showed variation across the strategies assessed. Almost all SEAs provided guidance for choosing and implementing one of the four school intervention models ED recommended to improve low performing schools, while only two reported supporting teacher evaluation models that included the complete set of criteria (e.g., use of student achievement gains) that the Recovery Act promoted. Difficulty in measuring student growth for teachers of nontested subjects was the challenge reported by the largest number of SEAs." -Dept.

A longitudinal twin study of physical aggression during early childhood: evidence for a developmentally dynamic genome

-Report abstract and full article access page- (full report article requires a $45.00 purchase)

Author(s): University of Montreal and CHU Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center

Eric Lacourse, PhD
Michel Boivin, PhD
Mara Brendgen, PhD
Amélie Petitclerc, PhD
Alain Girard, MSc
Frank Vitaro, PhD
Stéphane Paquin, PhD candidate
Isabelle Ouellet-Morin, PhD
Ginette Dionne, PhD
Richard E. Tremblay, PhD


Report Intro/Brief:
"Background - Physical aggression (PA) tends to have its onset in infancy and to increase rapidly in frequency. Very little is known about the genetic and environmental etiology of PA development during early childhood. We investigated the temporal pattern of genetic and environmental etiology of PA during this crucial developmental period. Method - Participants were 667 twin pairs, including 254 monozygotic and 413 dizygotic pairs, from the ongoing longitudinal Quebec Newborn Twin Study. Maternal reports of PA were obtained from three waves of data at 20, 32 and 50 months.

The Mentoring Effect: Young People’s Perspectives on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring

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Author(s): Civic Enterprises in association with Hart Research Associates - Commissioned by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership

Mary Bruce
John Bridgeland

Published: January 13th, 2014

Report Intro/Brief:
"The Mentoring Effect is a compelling new report informed by the first-ever nationally representative survey of young people on the topic of both informal and formal mentoring, as well as a literature and landscape review and insights from a variety of key leaders in business, philanthropy, government, and education. The report was commissioned by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership with support from AT&T, and written by Civic Enterprises in partnership with Hart Research. The findings of this report are consistent with a powerful mentoring effect as demonstrated by the life experiences of the young people surveyed and mentoring’s link to improved academic, social and economic prospects. This mentoring effect is growing and, if harnessed, it has the potential to help meet a range of national challenges and strengthen our communities and economy. The survey found that 4.5 million at-risk young people will be matched in mentoring relationships through mentoring programs while they are growing up.

Evidence-Based Practices for Children, Youth, and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

-Full report-

Author(s):  National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders

Connie Wong
Samuel L. Odom
Kara Hume
Ann W. Cox
Angel Fettig
Suzanne Kucharczyk
Matthew E. Brock
Joshua B. Plavnick
Veronica P. Fleury
Tia R. Schultz

Published: January 2014

Report Intro/Brief:
"Since the discovery of autism as a human condition by Kanner (1943) and Asperger (1944) in the 1940s, individuals responsible for education and care of children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have striven to provide effective practices and programs. Such efforts continue today. The increased prevalence of ASD has intensified the demand for effective educational and therapeutic services, and interven­tion science is now providing evidence about which practices are effective. The purpose of this report is to describe a process for the identification of evidence-based practices (EBPs) and also to delineate practices that have suf­ficient empirical support to be termed “evidence-based.” In this introduction, we will briefly review the current conceptualization of ASD, explain the dif­ference between focused intervention practices and comprehensive treatment models, provide a rationale for narrowing our review to the former, describe other reports that have identified evidence-based practices, briefly describe our first review of the literature (Odom, Collet-Klingenberg, Rogers, & Hatton, 2010), and lastly provide the rationale for conducting an updated review of the literature and revision of the former set of practices identified. In Chapter 2, we describe in detail the methodology followed in searching the literature, evaluating research studies, and identifying practices. In Chapter 3, the practices are described along with the type of outcomes individual practices generate and the age of children for whom the outcomes were found.

Out-of-school Time Programs Boost Students’ Computing, Engineering Skills

In the Growing Up Thinking Scientifically after-school program based in Santa Fe, N.M., students design, create and test computer models to examine scenarios like how a contagious disease would spread in a school. In the Schools and Homes In Education after-school program serving rural Pennsylvania counties, middle school students, with the help of college interns, use computer-aided design to build a full-scale derby race car. In the Techbridge after-school and summer program in Oakland, Calif., high school girls design a prosthetic hand and build a filter that cleans dirty water. The three programs exemplify ways students learn real-world computing and engineering skills during out-of-school time (OST). A report by the Washington-based Afterschool Alliance found that such programs help instill interest in careers in computing and engineering, which in turn leads to more students pursuing education in the fast-growing fields.