This week, Joan McLaughlin, Ph.D. was named Commissioner of the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), one of four centers within the Institute for Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education. McLaughlin has been serving as the Acting Commissioner since July 2013.
To learn more about Dr. McLaughlin, CEC Today asked her five questions ranging from her background, to NCSER accomplishments, to advice for special education researchers. For the full interview, click here to access CEC Today.
NCSER’s annual $50 million research portfolio has supported six research and development centers focusing on response to intervention in early childhood; serious behavior disorders at the secondary level; improving mathematics instruction for students with mathematics difficulties; assessment and accountability for special education; secondary education for students with autism spectrum disorders; and reading instruction for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Additionally, NCSER has supported a variety of additional research grants on a host of issues. Click here for a summary of NCSER’s research findings from 2006-2012.
Over the last few years, NCSER has suffered significant funding cuts which led to awarding 75% fewer new grants in 2013 as it had previously awarded in 2012. Through the collective voice of the special education community, CEC has successfully advocated to increase NCSER funding for FY 2014 by $6.7 million. Want to know what the special education research investment has been in your state? Click here to view state profiles for the 38 states that have been home to NCSER grants.
CEC congratulates Dr. McLaughlin and looks forward to our continued collaboration to promote rigorous, relevant and timely special education research to benefit the nation’s over six million children and youth with disabilities.