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News from February 2010

Autism Institute publication highlights the critical role of family involvement
February 8, 2010

Nina Zuna, a fellow in the Autism Spectrum Disorders Institute, has co-authored an article with researchers from the Beach Center on Disability at the University of Kansas that explores how to help families join professionals in the educational decision-making process. The article, Knowledge-to-Action Guides: Preparing Families to be Partners in Making Educational Decisions, appears in the January/February 2010 issue of Teaching Exceptional Children, a journal published by the Council for Exceptional Children. More information about the paper and the ways in which institute faculty members are working in the autism spectrum disorders community can be found on the institute’s webpage.

Webinar to explore the identification of specific learning disabilities in a response to intervention framework
February 7, 2010

A Texas Center for Learning Disabilities webinar on February 17 examined the identification of specific learning disabilities (SLDs) in the context of a response to intervention (RTI) model of service delivery. Presented by Dr. Jack M. Fletcher of the University of Houston, the webinar contrasted models of SLD identification and provided methods for operationalizing a proposed model in the context of an RTI framework. A live question-and-answer session with Dr. Fletcher followed the formal presentation. The webinar is open to anyone interested in the topic. An archive of the webinar is posted on the TCLD website.

MCPER associate director to deliver keynote address at Idaho response to intervention conference
February 6, 2010

Dr. Greg Roberts, MCPER’s associate director, will deliver the lunch keynote address at the Idaho State Department of Education’s RTI Conference 2010. The conference will be held April 13 and 14 in Boise. National, regional, and state researchers and practitioners in the field of education will join Idaho teachers, principals, support personnel, and district administrators to learn about implementing the response to intervention (RTI) framework for academics and behavior.

MCPER joins forces with Sigma Lambda Beta, Manor ISD to provide mentors for at-risk students
February 5, 2010

MCPER’s Preventing School Dropout With Secondary Students project is working collaboratively with the UT Austin chapter of the Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity and Manor ISD’s Project Mentor to provide mentors for at-risk students enrolled in Project GOAL at Decker Middle School. Sigma Lambda Beta mentors will participate in “lunch bunch” groups and other mentoring sessions with their mentees, with discussions focusing on engagement in school activities, important life choices, and future opportunities. The goal is to provide at-risk eighth-graders with a role model with whom they can relate. Mentors also will participate in a community service project with their mentee as well as attend Project GOAL’s Explore UT field trip on March 6.

News from January 2010

Reading Institute paper published in Reading and Writing Quarterly
January 10, 2010

Reading and Writing Quarterly recently published a manuscript from the Preventing Reading Difficulties: A Three-Tiered Intervention Model (3-Tier Research) project within MCPER’s Reading Institute. In the paper, First-Grade Student Retention Within a 3-Tier Reading Framework, authors used a response to intervention (RTI) framework to examine the grade-level retention of students in first grade (students who did not advance to second grade). Data suggest that student behavior, oral reading rates, and other individual school variables (as identified by principals) are possible factors contributing to the retention of students.

MCPER to provide teacher training on End-of-Course Success assessment
January 9, 2010

MCPER is partnering with the College of Education’s Institute for Public School Initiatives (IPSI) and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to develop and provide professional development for Texas high school teachers on the upcoming English I, II, and III End-of-Course Success (EOCS) assessment. Required by Senate Bill 1301, the EOCS will measure students’ academic performance in core high school courses and will become part of the graduation requirements, beginning with the freshman class of 2011–2012.

Reading Institute paper to be published in Journal of Education Psychology
January 8, 2010

The Journal of Educational Psychology recently accepted for publication a manuscript from the MCPER Reading Institute entitled Reading Achievement Across Three Language Groups: Growth Estimates for Overall Reading and Reading Sub-skills Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey. MCPER Associate Director Greg Roberts, Senior Program Coordinator Saro Mohammed, and Executive Director Sharon Vaughn authored the paper.

MCPER awarded new grant
January 7, 2010

MCPER has been awarded a new grant from The Meadows Foundation to support the collaborative work of the Institute for Public School Initiatives and the Mathematics Institute within MCPER in the development of intervention materials for students in the middle grades. These materials will support the state’s efforts to prepare all students for algebra coursework.

News from December 2009

Sharon Vaughn featured in videos of response to intervention event
December 10, 2009

Video segments of an event that focused on response to intervention, at which MCPER Executive Director Sharon Vaughn presented, were slated to be posted on December 22 to the IES Multimedia webpage. The Institute of Education Sciences and Mathematica Policy Research hosted the June 2009 event.

Dan Robinson promoted to full professor
December 9, 2009

Dr. Dan Robinson—director of MCPER’s Dropout Prevention Institute and a faculty member of the Area I Program (Learning, Cognition, and Instruction) of the Educational Psychology Department in the College of Education—has attained full professor status at UT Austin. MCPER congratulates him on this achievement!