President's Message


Spring 2017

Springing to Action (March 2017)
Kristen McMaster          
University of Minnesota


I’ll start this Spring President’s Message with a great big THANK YOU to CEC-DR members! Over the past couple of months, we have requested participation in standing committees, work groups, and input and contributions from past CEC-DR board members, and you have risen to the occasion: We’ve received overwhelming responses from many of you who are ready and willing to carry out the CEC-DR mission. Your response is much appreciated, as there is much work to be done!   Continue reading . . .   

Fall 2016

(Re)Focusing on What's "Special" about
Special Education Research

Kristen McMaster          
University of Minnesota


It is my honor to serve as President of CEC-DR, and I am so grateful for this opportunity. I would like to thank the CEC-DR Board for all of their work in the past year, especially our Past President, Betsy Talbott, for her outstanding leadership in advocacy for special education research funding. She, along with Linda Lewis, continues to lead the way in working with the Friends of IES (led by Deb Ziegler) to fight for increased funding for the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER).  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

1. Research Matters:  DR's New Initiative (March 2017)

CEC-DR has launched an initiative to collect stories about how research in special education and related fields is making a difference for exceptional children, people with disabilities, and their families. We are calling this initiative "Research Matters" and envision a series of one or two page stories designed to be used in an array of advocacy efforts, particularly in communicating with policymakers and other stakeholders about the problems that special education researchers are addressing, especially research that is funded with federal dollars. 

We encourage DR members to submit their own research 'stories'  so that we can share them with members and with stakeholders who want to know how research in special education matters and why federal funding for research is vital.

2.  Advocacy Tool:  NCSER Funding Map and Overview   (September, 2016)

DR and CEC’s Public Policy unit teamed up recently to develop materials that depict some features of federal funding over the last decade – including the sharp decline in funding - for the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), located in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the research arm of the US Department of Education. These materials were used in July 2016 by participants in CEC’s Legislative Summit during their visits to Congressional offices and will continue to be used in CEC’s efforts to secure adequate funding for NCSER research initiatives.  See Betsy Talbott’s Summer 2016 DR President’s Message for an overview of recent and upcoming advocacy plans.

The DR Board encourages DR members to review the NCSER Funding Map and Overview (2005-1015) and use this document as you engage in discussions over the critical importance of continued strong federal funding for research related to the development and education of children and youth with disabilities.  The map shows where NCSER grants have been awarded, by state, over the last decade and the overview clearly illustrates the significant decline in federal funding from $83 million in FY 2005 to $54 million in FYs 2014-2016.  




1. DR Invites Nominations for 2018 Research Awards

DR invites nominations, including self-nominations, for its 2018 Research Awards Program.  Please note that the deadline for nominations has been moved up this year to September 15, 2017.  Nominations are invited for the following awards:

1. Kauffman-Hallahan-Pullen Distinguished Researcher Award
2. Distinguished Early Career Research Award
3. Early Career Publication Award
4. Student Research Awards 

2.  DR Invites Nominations for the 2018 Doctoral Student Seminars in Special Education

DR’s Doctoral Student Seminars in Special Education Research is an online seminar and discussion series designed to foster connections among doctoral students at different universities and to contribute to raising the standard of research.  See the program description and nomination instructions/forms.

3.  DR/JSE Podcast:  Commentary on Zirkel: Judicial Rulings Specific to FBAs or BIPs Under IDEA and Corollary State Laws - An Update

DR and JSE have teamed up to produce occasional podcasts on issues of current interest in the education of children and youth with disabilities.  From the April 2017 JSE issue, listen to Rob Horner and Mitch Yell discuss their commentary on this recent article by Perry Zirkel.  

4. New Procedures for Online Access to The Journal of Special Education

Sage Publications publishes and manages The Journal of Special Education (JSED) for the Hammill Institute, and has recently moved to a new online platform and created a new URL for JSED. DR members who have accessed or would like to access the JSED online journal will need the new online activation instructions.

**Instructions for DR members who have previously activated an account for online access
** Instructions for DR members who have not previously activated an account for online access

5. 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)

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The CEC Policy Insider Blog features updated posts throughout the week, providing you with real-time federal special and gifted education policy news. Read the blog or sign up here to receive the Policy Insider newsletter delivered to your inbox every week.

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