President's Message


Fall 2017

Urgent, Relentless and Goal-Directed

Kristen McMaster          
University of Minnesota


One of my favorite quotes from the special education literature is from Naomi Zigmond’s article, “Special Education at a Crossroads.” She wrote,
“. . . special education is, first and foremost, instruction focused on individual need. It is carefully planned. It is intensive, urgent, relentless, and goal-directed. It is empirically supported practice, drawn from research” (Zigmond, 2001, p. 45).

I use this quote to impress upon teacher candidates their responsibility to deliver high-quality, research-based instruction that leads to meaningful progress and outcomes for the students they serve. I also use it to urge doctoral students (and to motivate myself) to do research that provides teachers with the empirically-supported practices they need to foster such meaningful progress and outcomes. Continue reading . . .

DR is now posting its newsletter, Focus on Research, on this site.  See the full Fall 2016 DR Newsletter here.

Research Policy and Funding

DR Responds to IES Request for Comments on NCSER/NCER Research Goals (October, 2017)

In July, 2017, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) announced it was seeking input on its education and special education research programs, specifically around two of its five research goals—Efficacy and Replication (Goal 3), and Effectiveness (Goal 4). Specifically, IES asked for feedback on whether these goals, as currently configured, are meeting the needs of the field, or whether changes should be considered to incentivize and support more replication and effectiveness studies. The invitation for public comment was issued on behalf of the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) and the National Center for Education Research (NCER) and comments were due October 2, 2017.

In response, the Division for Research developed a survey to obtain perspectives and recommendations from DR members, from Principal Investigators who had received grant funding over the last decade for Goal 2,3,and 4 awards, and from faculty affiliated with the National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention. The DR Board developed its response to the IES invitation for comment based on the input it received.


1. DR's 2018 Research Award Recipients Named
Congratulations to the six recipients of our 2018 Research Awards program. 

Kauffman-Hallahan-Pullen Distinguished Research Award:  Dr. Naomi Zigmond
Early Career Research Award:  Dr. Sarah Powell
Early Career Publication Award:  Dr. Justin Garwood
Student Research Awards:  Drs. Allison Gilmour, Sarah Hart, and Tosha Owens

2.  DR Seeks Nominations for DR Vice President
Each year, DR members elect a new Vice-President who will serve 4 years in a leadership role for the Division (Year 1: Vice-President; Year 2: President-Elect; Year 3: President; and Year 4: Past President). This year, we will be electing this new addition to the DR presidential line for the period of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2022.

CEC-DR is a terrific group of people with whom to work. We are leaders who advance special education research and related public policy for CEC. Our board members are committed to high quality research, evidence-based practices, and influencing the field.

If you are interested in running, know someone who you believe should be nominated, and/or have any questions, please contact Betsy Talbott at etalbott@uic.edu. You may also learn about CEC-DR elsewhere on our website: www.cecdr.org.  The deadline for nominations (including self-nominations) is Feb. 1st, 2018.

Click to see previous announcements.

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