MCPER and the George W. Bush Institute are pleased to announce that eight schools have been selected to participate in the Middle School Matters Institute. Of the 44 schools that applied nationwide, the following were selected:
The schools will participate in the first annual MSMI Summer Conference from June 9 to 12 in Austin, Texas. At the conference, school leadership teams will attend sessions with top researchers and practitioners in the field of middle grades improvement. This guidance will help each school develop a Middle School Matters Implementation Plan tailored to its strengths and needs. Researchers will continue to support the schools throughout the year. Three of these eight schools will be selected to receive further, more intensive support for their Implementation Plan.
Sarojani Mohammed and Christy Murray, directors of MCPER's Middle School Matters Institute (MSMI), and Sharon Vaughn, an MSMI fellow, congratulate the George W. Bush Institute on the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which includes the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Mohammed, Murray, and Vaughn attended the dedication on April 25, and they were in good company. In addition to George W. Bush, President Barack Obama and all of the other living former presidents were in attendance: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush. MSMI is part of the Bush Institute's Middle School Matters program.
Vivian Wong—an assistant professor of research, statistics, and evaluation at the University of Virginia—will explore experimental and quasi-experimental designs at a MCPER-sponsored event on May 9. Wong will present "Better Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Design" from 1 to 3:30 p.m. in the Dean's Lounge (SZB 238). To RSVP, send an e-mail with "Wong" in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wong will discuss the basic features of and causal treatment effect produced by each of four research designs for assessing causal effects: randomized experiment, regression discontinuity, interrupted time series, and nonequivalent comparison group. Wong also will discuss common issues when using each design in the field and present examples of how to use the designs to assess program effects. Finally, Wong will examine the latest methodological developments for designing and implementing experimental and quasi-experimental designs in the field.
MCPER’s Jacob Williams completes doctoral degree
April 19, 2013
Congratulations to Jacob Williams for becoming MCPER's newest doctor. Dr. Williams, a member of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department and Texas Literacy Initiative projects, successfully defended his dissertation, Administrator Perception of Threat From Students With Disabilities and Disciplinary Decisions. Williams earned the degree through the Special Education Administration Program in the Department of Educational Administration.
Elizabeth Swanson featured in Voice of Literacy podcast
April 18, 2013
Elizabeth Swanson discussed her work with MCPER's Promoting Adolescents' Comprehension of Text project in a recent installment of the Voice of Literacy podcast series. The podcast, "Middle School Social Studies: Using the Text to Improve Reading Comprehension," also touches on a recent article by Swanson and MCPER colleagues in Reading Research Quarterly.
In the Voice of Literacy series, Elizabeth Baker of the University of Missouri interviews literacy researchers about the implications of their research. The series is posted biweekly from September to April. All previous talks are posted in the online archive.
Christy Murray, a director of MCPER's Middle School Matters Institute; Greg Roberts, executive director of the Vaughn Gross Center and associate director of MCPER; and Debbie Van Loan of MCPER's Administrative Team will each receive a UT Staff Service Award in recognition of their many years of excellent work at The University of Texas at Austin. Murray will be recognized for 10 years of service, and Roberts and Van Loan will be recognized for 15 years of service. The Staff Service Awards Program "celebrates and recognizes the contributions of committed staff who are responsible for transforming lives for the benefit of society," according to the UT website. Both the centers and the university thank Murray, Roberts, and Van Loan for their valuable contributions to our success.
Dr. Naomi Zigmond of the University of Pittsburgh will be featured speaker of the Department of Special Education's Glickman Symposium from 4 to 5 p.m. on April 18 in the Cissy McDaniel Parker Dean's Conference Room (SZB 238). Glickman will present "Educating Students With Learning Disabilities: Where We've Been, Where We Are, Where We're Going" at the event. To RSVP, send an e-mail with "Zigmond" in the subject line to email@example.com.
Zigmond, a distinguished professor in the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, has been a special education researcher and teacher for 4 decades, focusing on the organization of special education services in elementary and secondary schools and the impact of program organization on student achievement.
The Causal Inferences in Educational Research Conference—a 1.5-day series of presentations, workshops, and project meetings on design issues and concerns—will be held on May 9 and 10. The conference will feature Dr. Vivian Wong of the University of Virginia. More specific information will be posted as it becomes available.
Olive Healy—director of research at the Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research and a lecturer in psychology at the National University of Ireland, Galway—will be the featured speaker for MCPER's 2013 Mollie Villeret Davis Symposium. Healy will present "Child and Family Research Outcomes at the Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research" at 4 p.m. on April 22 in the Al Kiva Room (SZB 104), followed by a reception. Admission is free, and participants can receive 1.5 BCBA continuing education credits. To RSVP, send an e-mail with "Autism" in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Healy's research focuses on the assessment and treatment of behavioral problems in autism and related conditions. She is currently on the editorial board of five scientific journals and has more than 15 years of experience in the application of behavior analysis to the treatment of developmental disorders and intellectual disabilities. Healy played a leading role in establishing behavior analysis as recognized division of the Psychological Society of Ireland. In 1998, Healy was involved in opening and directing the first government-funded applied behavior analysis school for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders in Ireland and establishing four additional treatment centers that use applied behavior analysis as the primary educational intervention for autism spectrum disorders. She has served as an expert witness in a number of court cases involving individuals with special needs.
Daniel McCaffrey of the Educational Testing Association and RAND Corp. will discuss "Causal Modeling With Observational Data and Covariates Measured With Error," the latest installment of the Distinguished Lecture series, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on April 3 in SZB 324. Faculty members and students are invited to attend the lecture, presented by the Quantitative Methods Area of the UT Austin Department of Educational Psychology, the Pearson Center for Applied Psychometric Research, and MCPER.