MCPER's Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties has posted online and made available for download its intervention modules on critical algebra-readiness concepts and skills for educators to use when teaching students with mathematics difficulties. Visit the Mathematics Institute website to learn more about and download the Middle School Students in Texas: Algebra Ready (MSTAR) modules. MSTAR materials available online include lessons, vocabulary activities, and progress-monitoring measures.
Researchers Leanne Ketterlin Geller and Rebecca Kopriva will present "Issues in Designing Accessible Assessments for Students With Disabilities and English Language Learners" from 1 to 2 p.m. on February 21 in Room 324 of the Sanchez Building at UT Austin. To attend, send an e-mail with "Accessible Assessments" in the subject line to email@example.com.
Geller, a fellow in MCPER's Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties, is an associate professor of education policy and leadership in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University. Kopriva is director and senior scientist at the Institute for Innovative Assessment in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Jennifer Esterline has joined the MCPER team as the center’s first translational research coordinator.
Esterline is responsible for promoting the integration of MCPER research findings and evidence into education policy and practice. She will be the liaison between MCPER and other education stakeholders, such as policymakers, state agencies, private and corporate grantmakers, and education-related nonprofits and community organizations. She will also work directly with individual school districts across the state to establish closer ties of communication.
Esterline has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 15 years, first as a program manager and development director for both large and small nonprofit and higher education institutions and later as a program officer and executive director for the KDK-Harman Foundation in Austin for 6 years. Her primary work most recently has been as a consultant to nonprofits, focusing on encouraging private grantmakers across the state to promote, protect, and improve Texas public education through advocacy and public policy. She also has worked with national and statewide nonprofits in the areas of resource development, program evaluation, strategic grantmaking, board development, strategic planning, and advocacy.
Esterline received a B.A. in Latin American studies from The University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree in public affairs with a concentration in nonprofit and philanthropic studies at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
In the past decade, Esterline has volunteered for a variety of nonprofits in the fields of education and health and human services. Currently, she serves on the board of Texas Partnership for Out of School Time. She lives in Austin with her husband and two sons, Gabriel and Leo. She hopes to carry on the family tradition by inspiring her two young boys with a passion for nonprofit work and a commitment to public service.
Russell Lang, a fellow in MCPER's Autism Spectrum Disorders Institute, has been selected to serve as co-editor of Developmental Neurorehabilitation, a peer-reviewed journal published by Informa Healthcare. Developmental Neurorehabilitation "aims to enhance recovery and rehabilitation in children with brain injury and neurological disorders," according to the journal's website. Lang is an assistant professor of special education at Texas State University – San Marcos and a board-certified behavior analyst.
Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorders Institute
Diane Pedrotty Bryant, director of MCPER's Mathematics Institute for Learning Disabilities and Difficulties, was an invited speaker at a regional conference of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in November in Louisville, Kentucky. Her presentation, "RTI: Tier II Intervention Lessons for Elementary Students," explored evidence-based instructional practices for elementary students who struggle to learn essential mathematics concepts. For more information, visit the conference website.
Educational Access Research Institute Director Stephanie Cawthon and Fellow Katie Dawson have been selected to deliver a master class at the 27th American Alliance for Theatre and Education national conference next summer in Denver, CO. The master class, "Nailing Jello to the Wall: Measuring the Impact of Your Arts Programming," will explore how to develop a research and evaluation plan for arts and arts-integrated programming. For more information, see the conference program.
The American Alliance for Theatre and Education "works to ensure that every young person experiences quality theatre arts...provided by proficient, talented artists and educators," according to the alliance website.
The Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services selected Autism Spectrum Disorders Institute Director Mark O’Reilly and Institute Fellow Terry Falcomata to conduct an extensive review of comprehensive treatment programs for young children with autism. Additionally, O’Reilly and Falcomata will evaluate the department's current autism program—serving areas including San Antonio, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Houston—and provide recommendations to increase effectiveness of the program in terms of child outcomes and the number of children who receive services. For more information, visit the Evaluation of Early Intervention Programs for Children With Autism in Texas project page.
William Tunmer and Jane Prochnow of Massey University in New Zealand will summarize arguments and evidence showing that New Zealand's national literacy strategy has failed and the role of the Reading Recovery program in that failure.
Tunmer and Prochnow will present "Has Reading Recovery Worked? A Case Study of New Zealand’s National Literacy Strategy" from 3 to 5 p.m. on November 19 in the Dean's Conference Room (SZB 238). To RSVP and receive presentation materials, send an e-mail with "Reading Recovery" in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tunmer and Prochnow will discuss data from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Studies (2001, 2006, 2011) that indicate that no progress has been made in reducing New Zealand's relatively large inequities in literacy achievement outcomes. According to the scholars, an examination of annual monitoring reports of Reading Recovery data over the past decade reveals that the nationally implemented program has been of marginal benefit in general and of virtually no benefit to struggling readers most at risk of failing to learn to read. Tunmer and Prochnow also will briefly consider factors contributing to the failure of New Zealand's national literacy strategy and what can be done to overcome the problem.
Former MCPER researcher Mikyung Shin and Mathematics Institute Director Diane Bryant have co-authored a paper to be published in the Journal of Learning Disabilities. "A Synthesis of Mathematical and Cognitive Performances of Students With Mathematics Learning Disabilities" synthesizes the findings from 23 articles that compared the mathematical and cognitive performances of students with mathematics learning disabilities (LD) to (a) students with LD in mathematics and reading, (b) age- or grade-matched students with no LD, and (c) mathematical-ability-matched younger students with no LD. The study has been published online ahead of the upcoming print version.
Mathematics Institute Director Diane Bryant has been invited to speak at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 2013 regional conference from November 6 to 8 in Louisville, Kentucky. Bryant will present "RtI: Tier II Intervention Lessons for Elementary Students." For more information, visit the conference website.