News from May 2021

Vaughn to serve on expert panel for virtual conference to address declining reading performance, widening gap
May 28, 2021

MCPER Executive Director Sharon Vaughn will serve on an expert panel for a virtual conference to address the declining reading performance of America’s lowest-performing readers and the widening gap between low- and high-performing readers.

"IES Reading Summit: Linking Data and Learning" will be held on June 8 and 9. The event is co-hosted by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and the Council of the Great City Schools.

For more information, and to register for this free event, visit the conference website.

MCPER’s partnership with Humanities Texas continues with online institute in June
May 26, 2021

MCPER researchers and collaborators will lead another installment of their institute series with Humanities Texas in June—this time, focusing on reading instruction for English language arts and social studies teachers in grades 6 to 8.

"Teaching Evidence-Based Reading Practices at the Secondary Level" will be held online from June 15 to 17, featuring MCPER Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Schnakenberg and longtime MCPER collaborators Diane Haager and María Elena Argüelles. The Zoom sessions will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. each day, and an optional follow-up webinar will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on July 26. The content will align with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills and will focus on reading instruction and content area literacy using social studies texts. 

This free institute is available to all sixth- through eighth-grade English language arts and social studies teachers in Texas. To register, and for more information, visit the Humanities Texas website. Registration closes at 5 p.m. on June 10.

Sharon Vaughn wins inaugural Dean’s Distinguished Research Award
May 25, 2021

MCPER Executive Director Sharon Vaughn is the first recipient of the College of Education Dean's Distinguished Research Award.

The honor, established to recognize a faculty member's distinguished and sustained record of research and scholarly contributions, was awarded by Dean Charles R. Martinez Jr.

Vaughn is renowned for her research on the development and evaluation of instructional practices to improve outcomes for students with reading difficulties. She is the most highly cited female professor at The University of Texas at Austin and among the 20 most highly cited professors overall. Vaughn also is the director of MCPER's Reading and Dropout Prevention institutes; the Manuel J. Justiz Endowed Chair in Math, Science, and Technology in Teacher Education; and a professor in the Department of Special Education: Learning Disabilities/Behavior Disorders program.

New service provides parents, caregivers with information from childhood experts via text messaging
May 20, 2021

MCPER is dedicated to disseminating information that supports families as they develop strong and healthy learners. To that end, we want to make our readers aware of a new texting service that provides parents and caregivers of kids prenatal to age 8 with information from early childhood experts on topics including developmental milestones; brain development; mental health and resilience; social-emotional competence; STEM; language and literacy; nutrition; health; and local events, resources, and activities.

Bright by Text is free to all Texans. To receive tips and learning games to your phone, text "#TexasKids" to 2-74448 or sign up online.

For more information, visit the Bright by Text website, view an informational flyer, or view a postcard provided in English and Spanish.

MCPER executive director, resource featured in The Dallas Morning News
May 7, 2021

A story in The Dallas Morning News that explores the benefits of quick, informal assessments for prekindergarten and kindergarten to lessen the "COVID slide" features MCPER expertise.

Executive Director Sharon Vaughn is quoted in the story, "How can a One-Minute Kindergarten Test Help Teachers Tackle the ‘Covid Slide?’," which also links to the MCPER publication 10 Key Policies and Practices for Reading Intervention. To read the story, visit the website of The Dallas Morning News.

UT Austin spotlights MCPER’s Precision Math project
May 4, 2021

A new feature by The University of Texas at Austin spotlights MCPER's Precision Math project, which aims to overcome systemic barriers and promote greater diversity, equity, and inclusion for multilingual students in early STEM.

Precision Math, funded by a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, is currently testing an evidence-based, integrated STEM intervention for first-grade multilingual students. At MCPER, the project is led by Christian Doabler, Leticia Martinez, and Maria Longhi. Also involved are UT Austin professor Eric Knuth and colleagues at the University of Oregon and Oregon Research Institute. 

For more information and to read the article, including quotes from Doabler and College of Education Dean Charles R. Martinez Jr., visit the UT Austin website.