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News from August 2013

What Works Clearinghouse report supports effectiveness of PACT intervention
August 26, 2013

A study that found significant, positive effects for the Promoting Adolescents' Comprehension of Text (PACT) intervention has received the backing of the prestigious What Works Clearinghouse (WWC). In a Single Study Review, the WWC found that the study "meets WWC evidence standards without reservation," adding that it is a "well-implemented randomized controlled trial." The study was originally reported in the Reading Research Quarterly article "Improving Reading Comprehension and Social Studies Knowledge in Middle School," written by PACT Principal Investigators Sharon Vaughn and Elizabeth Swanson; and researchers Greg Roberts, Stephanie Stillman-Spisak, and Michael Solis of MCPER; Jeanne Wanzek of Florida State University; and Deborah Simmons of Texas A&M University.

In its Single Study Reviews, the WWC—an initiative of the Institute for Education Sciences—assesses an individual study's quality of research design and reports on technical details about the study’s design and findings.

Tags: Reading Institute  Promoting Adolescents’ Comprehension of Text 

Reading Institute researchers publish two articles
August 22, 2013

Researchers with MCPER's Reading Institute have published two new articles in peer-reviewed journals. Audrey Leroux wrote "A Comparison of Stopping Rules for Computerized Adaptive Screening Measures Using the Rating Scale Model" with Barbara Dodd of The University of Texas at Austin. The article is set to appear in Journal of Applied Measurement in 2014. Leroux and Myriam Lopez wrote "A Comparison of Exposure Control Procedures in CATs Using the 3PL Model" with Ian Hembry and Dodd of UT Austin. The article will appear in a 2013 edition of Educational and Psychological Measurement.

Tags: Reading Institute 

Three schools selected to receive on-site support from Middle School Matters Institute
August 20, 2013

Three schools have been selected as the inaugural Tier III sites of the Middle School Matters Institute. Lindale Junior High of Lindale, Texas; Roosevelt Middle School of Erie, Pennsylvania; and Uplift Mighty Preparatory of Fort Worth, Texas, will receive in-person, intensive support from some of the nation's leading researchers. The schools were selected from the 8 schools invited to attend the MSMI Summer Conference, which in turn were selected from 44 schools that applied nationwide.

For more information, read the press release from the George W. Bush Institute.

Tags: Middle School Matters Institute 

Mathematics Institute director elected vice president of Council for Learning Disabilities
August 13, 2013

MCPER Mathematics Institute Director Diane Bryant has been elected vice president of the Council for Learning Disabilities. In addition, Mathematics Institute Principal Investigator Brian Bryant will serve as co-chair of the Conference Committee, and Project Director Kathleen Hughes Pfannenstiel will co-chair the Professional Development Committee. 

The Council for Learning Disabilities is an "international organization that promotes evidence-based teaching, collaboration, research, leadership, and advocacy. CLD is comprised of professionals who represent diverse disciplines and are committed to enhancing the education and quality of life for individuals with learning disabilities and others who experience challenges in learning," according to its mission statement.

Tags: Mathematics and Science Institute for Students With Special Needs