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President's Message

Summer 2016
Increasing Funding for NCSER
Elizabeth (Betsy) Talbott         
University of Illinois at Chicago


I have been pleased and honored to serve as your president this past year. CEC-DR continues to advocate for funding for the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), along with members of 22 organizations who are Friends of IES.  In March of 2016, Friends of IES, led by Deb Ziegler of CEC, hosted an educational session for lawmakers on Capitol Hill showcasing research on transition for young people with disabilities. Continue reading . . .

Research Policy and Funding

1.  DR Joins Labor-HHS-ED Community in Urging Higher Federal Spending in FY 2017

Now that President Obama has issued his budget request for FY 2017 which begins October 1, 2016, works begins in Congress to develop and pass appropriations bills, hopefully before the start of the new fiscal year.  The Division for Research joined over 600 other organizations in February 2016 in sending a letter to leaders of the US House and Senate appropriations committees urging that they allocate as high a funding level as possible to labor, health, education and related programs and services in the FY 2017 3012(b) allocations for their respective subcommittees.  Each appropriations subcommittee is allocated a certain amount of funding under the full Committee’s 302(a) allocation.  These allocations, which are referred to as 302(b) allocations, establish the cap on spending for each of the appropriations bills.  The subcommittees themselves do not determine the level of funding for each appropriations bill; they only determine how that money is spent among the agencies and programs under the subcommittee’s jurisdiction.  Noting that programs and services of the “Labor-HHS” spending bill continue to be short changed in the annual appropriations process (these programs received a 3.3% increase in 2016 over the 2015 appropriation, while nondefense discretionary programs overall saw a 6.9% increase), this joint letter asks Congressional leaders to take the first step in their appropriations process to re-invest in these programs.

2.  Friends of IES to Hold Capitol Hill Special Education Research Event March 4 - You are Invited!

If you'll be in Washington, DC on March 4, plan to attend this event.  Friends of IES, a collaboration of organizations (including AERA, CEC, APA, NCLD, SRI, Vanderbilt University and others) supporting IES funding and programs, has invited national experts in the field of special education transition to make a presentation for Hill staff and the public highlighting one area of significant IES research investments and outcomes:  Transitioning to Adult Productivity:  Supporting Secondary Students with Disabilities in Successful Movement to College and Career.  This event is designed to help familiarize policy makers with the work of IES, in particular on research supported by the Institute's National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER). Presenters will be:  Mary Wagner (SRI International), David Test (UNC Charlotte), Laurie Powers (Portland State University), and Erik Carter (Vanderbilt University).  Check out the invitation for details and RSVP.

3.  URGENT! Stand Up for Education Research Funding!

The education research community is sending a letter to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee opposing their proposal to slash federal funding for IES-sponsored education research for FY 2016.  Special education research would be cut by more than $18 million to $36 million, the lowest funding level in more than 20 years, and 54% lower than FY 2004 when the special education research program was transferred to IES! If enacted, NCSER would be unable to fund new research grants in the coming year. Similar cuts in funding for NCER are also proposed. The DR Board of Directors strongly urges you to sign-on to the community letter, prepared by LEARN and AERA, as individual researchers, encourage your colleagues to do the same, and  ask your department, college and university to sign on as well.  Sign-ons can be completed online - it will take you only a minute - at: .  You can see the letter before you sign-on.  Join DR, CEC and many other organizations and individuals to express your concern. Deadline:  Please sign-on as soon as you read this; the absolute deadline for sign-ons is September 3, 2015!

4.  IES Issues Technical Work Group Recommendations

Two Technical Working Group Summaries Are Now Available: "Practitioner Perspectives on Emerging Research Needs" and "Improving Relevance in Education and Research and Researcher Perspectives on Strengthening IES’s Research Grant and Training Programs".



1.  DR White Paper on Diversity in SPED Research

DR has recently developed a white paper entitled "Increasing the Involvement of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students in Special Education Research." The primary purpose of this paper was twofold:  to determine the inclusion of CLD children and youth in empirical studies and to provide recommendations to the field to further increase their participation in the strength of the research base (2015)

2. Initiative on Scientific Publishing 

Dr. Brian Cook, former DR President and University of Hawaii researcher, describes and encourages serious consideration of an approach for changing how research is conducted and reported:  an initiative for journal editors to encourage, if not require, that researchers adhere to practices that promote transparency, openness, and replication. Read about the Center for Open Science’s Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) guidelines to “translate scientific norms and values into concrete actions and change the current incentive structures to drive researchers’ behavior toward more openness.” (2016)

3.  2016 DR Research Awards Announced

The DR Board of Directors is pleased to announce the following recipients of DR's 2016 Research Awards:

Kauffman-Hallahan Distinguished Researcher Award: Dr. Rob Horner
Distinguished Early Career Research Award: Dr. Brian Boyd
Early Career Publication Award: Dr. Alexandra Hollo
Student Research Award: Dr. Debra McKeown, Dr. Elizabeth Bettini, Dr. Alicia F. Saunders and Dr. Melissa K. Driver
Full Awards Announcement

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