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MCPER developing state’s new Literacy Achievement and Reading to Learn Academies
May 25, 2016

MCPER is developing the research-based content for the statewide Literacy Achievement Academies and Reading to Learn Academies, part of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's literacy initiative through the Texas Education Agency. 

The Academies will provide evidence-based professional development targeting kindergarten and grade 1 teachers beginning this summer and grades 2–5 teachers next summer. UT's Institute for Public School Initiatives is heading up the rollout of the training.

For more information, see the UT College of Education news story.

UT teaching awards recognize MCPER Directors Beretvas, Cawthon
May 25, 2016

The University of Texas at Austin has awarded MCPER Directors Tasha Beretvas and Stephanie Cawthon with prestigious teaching honors.

Beretvas, a member of the MCPER Board of Directors, received the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award. Cawthon, the director of the MCPER Deaf and Hard of Hearing Institute, is a new member of the Provost's Teaching Fellows program.  

For more information, see the UT College of Education news story.

Tags: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Institute 

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Institute adds two new fellows
April 25, 2016

Tom Humphries and Poorna Kushalnagar have joined MCPER's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Institute as its newest institute fellows.

Humphries is associate professor and associate director of the Teacher Education Program as well as associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California, San Diego. One strand of his current work focuses on how "talking culture" among Deaf people in recent history informs our understanding of cultural processes and how meaning circulates. In addition, he has developed a teacher training curriculum that uses a new construct: the application of indigenous bilingual teaching practices to classrooms of deaf children. He has published two widely used American Sign Language textbooks, Learning American Sign Language (Allyn & Bacon, 2004) and A Basic Course in American Sign Language (TJ Publishers, 1980). He is co-author (with Carol Padden) of Deaf in America: Voices From a Culture (1988) and the newly released Inside Deaf Culture, both from Harvard University Press. He received his Ph.D. in cross cultural communication and language learning from Union Graduate School. 

Kushalnagar is a research associate professor in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) pediatric research loan repayment award and research supplement to promote diversity in health-related research for her postdoctoral training at the University of Washington. She served as a research fellow for an NIH Institutional National Research Service Award in community-based participatory research at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She also participated in a 2011 NIH and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Summer Institute on Applied Research in Child and Adolescent Development. Kushalnagar is the principal investigator of two active NIH grant awards (R01 and R15). She has extensive experience in conducting and supervising educational and neuropsychological assessments with deaf and hard of hearing students. Kushalnagar received her B.A. in psychology from Gallaudet University and her M.A. in psychology and Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Houston. She will deliver a MCPER-sponsored talk titled "Promoting and Measuring Health-Related Quality of Life Outcomes in Deaf Youth and Adults" from noon to 2 p.m. on May 4 in Room 310 of UT Austin's Sanchez Building

Tags: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Institute 

New fellow Poorna Kushalnagar to present on patient-reported outcomes in deaf youth and adults
April 25, 2016

Poorna Kushalnagar, one of two new Deaf and Hard of Hearing Institute fellows, will present "Promoting and Measuring Health-Related Quality of Life Outcomes in Deaf Youth and Adults" from noon to 2 p.m. on May 4 in Room 310 of the Sanchez Building.

Kushalnagar is a research associate professor in the Chester F. Carlson ​Center for Imaging Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The following is from the event description: "Incorporating patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in research with patients who are deaf and use American Sign Language is essential for early symptom detection and prevention. This talk provides insight on the importance of using well-developed and validated PROs to assess the deaf patient's experience that are seldom captured during clinician-based evaluations, summarizes the methodological steps to develop generic and deaf-specific PRO measures, and discusses challenges related to integrating PROs into research and clinical practice with deaf youth and adults."

Tags: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Institute 

Central Texas School District Mathematics Forum targets district issues in mathematics instruction
April 25, 2016

MCPER's Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties held a Central Texas School District Mathematics Forum luncheon on April 22. The purpose of the forum was to identify and problem-solve issues that districts encounter in mathematics instruction. Administrators and curriculum directors and specialists attended the forum. Barbara Dougherty, a research professor at the University of Missouri and Mathematics Institute fellow, was featured as the luncheon speaker. The Math Institute looks forward to more collaborative partnerships with school districts.

Tags: Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties 

Second edition of the Middle School Matters Field Guide is now available
March 29, 2016

A completely revamped second edition of the Middle School Matters Field Guide, the only such compilation of research focused on the middle grades, has been published and is now available online.

The field guide is a collection of research-based principles, practices, and strategies deemed essential for middle school success. Experts from across the country contributed to the field guide, which contains examples and illustrations for each recommended practice to help educators understand and then implement these practices in their classrooms and schools.

The Middle School Matters Institute, in partnership with the George W. Bush Institute, led the development of the second edition. 

To download the entire field guide or individual sections, visit the MCPER Library. For more information, read the Bush Institute press release.

Tags: Middle School Matters Institute 

MCPER’s Sarah Powell recognized for journal’s best practice article of year
March 1, 2016

Sarah Powell, a principal investigator in MCPER's Mathematics Institute, has won the Samuel A. Kirk Award for the best practice article of 2015 in the journal Learning Disabilities Research & Practice.

Powell co-authored "Intensive Intervention in Mathematics" with Lynn Fuchs of Vanderbilt University. For a description and full citation of the article, visit the MCPER Library. For more information or to obtain the article, visit the journal's website.

Powell joins Eunsoo Cho and colleagues, who won the Kirk Award for the research category.

Tags: Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties 

Eunsoo Cho, MCPER colleagues win Samuel A. Kirk Award for journal’s best research article of 2015
February 25, 2016

Eunsoo Cho, a postdoctoral fellow in MCPER's Reading Institute, has been honored as the lead author of a prestigious journal's best research article of 2015.

"Cognitive Attributes, Attention, and Self-Efficacy of Adequate and Inadequate Responders in a Fourth-Grade Reading Intervention" won the Samuel A. Kirk Award for 2015, which recognizes the best research article in the journal Learning Disabilities Research & Practice. Cho's co-authors included MCPER researchers Garrett Roberts and Philip Capin, Associate Director Greg Roberts, Executive Director Sharon Vaughn, and Jeremy Miciak of the University of Houston.

For a description and full citation of the article, visit the MCPER Library. For more information or to obtain the article, visit the journal's website.

MCPER's Sarah Powell won the Kirk Award in the practice category.

Tags: Reading Institute  Texas Center for Learning Disabilities 

MCPER alum Christopher Lemons wins Presidential Early Career Award
February 19, 2016

Christopher Lemons, a former MCPER staff researcher and current MCPER collaborator, has received the U.S. government’s highest honor for science and engineering researchers in the early stages of their careers.

President Obama selected Lemons among 105 recipients nationwide of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. President Clinton established the award in 1996 to recognize “innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and ... commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach,” according to a White House press release.

Lemons, an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University, is a principal investigator of the National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention, a consortium that prepares special education leaders to become experts in research on intensive intervention for students with disabilities who have persistent and severe academic and/or behavioral difficulties. MCPER faculty members and scholars are part of the consortium through The University of Texas Austin, one of seven partner institutions. Lemons previously worked on multiple MCPER projects.

For more information on the prestigious award, see the White House press release.

Tags: Response to Intervention Institute  National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention 

New resource highlights top 10 research-based policies and practices for all schools
February 17, 2016

Leading experts from The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk (MCPER) have condensed the knowledge from a broad range of research into 10 key practical ideas that states and school districts can use to create policy and improve student outcomes.

"10 Key Policies and Practices for All Schools With Strong Evidence of Effectiveness From High-Quality Research" is a concise one-page document that offers recommendations stated in clear language that are grounded in findings from solid research studies. Topics include multitiered instructional systems; data management; intensive intervention; daily instruction and practice in reading, writing, speaking, vocabulary, and mathematics; assessment; and college and career readiness. The document is the first installment of MCPER's new "10 Key" series, which will create similar lists of practical, research-based recommendations for specific topics of interest to educators.

Download "10 Key Policies and Practices" today from the MCPER Library.