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President's Message

Summer 2015
Mixed Methods Research in Special Education 
David E. Houchins, Georgia State University

Since the spring of 2015, a small group of dedicated researchers has met to discuss how mixed methods research (MMR) is an effective means of conducting special education studies. Numerous special education researchers across the country recommended that MMR be given greater consideration particularly as it relates to funding. The primary purpose of the group is to develop a document that (a) describes and defines MMR, (b) provides information on how to conduct MMR, (c) describes MMR indicators/standards needed to evaluate the quality of studies, and (d) provides information on how to write grant proposals that include MMR. The goal is to have a working document to discuss by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) 2016 conference.Continue reading

Research Policy and Funding

1.  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!

2.  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".
3.  DR Comments on IES Research Priorities and Programs

In response to an invitation from IES, the DR Board of Directors consulted with members and submitted a response in late 2014 outlining our perspective on areas in need of research support in special education.  The DR Board welcomes member comments.  See the DR response

4.  Congress Completes Work on FY 2015 Appropriations: ED Research Level Funded

In December, 2014 Congress passed and the President signed an omnibus appropriations bill funding federal government programs through the end of FY 2015 (September 2014 - June 2015).  For the two IES research centers, NCSER and NCER, the result was the same level of funding as in FY 2014.  NCSER is receiving $54 million and NCER $179.9 million. See the funding levels for all US Department of Education programs.



1.  Call for 2016 DR Award Nominations

DR is is accepting nominations for its 2016 research awards until October 15, 2015.  Included among these awards is a new Mixed Methods Student Research Award.  Nominations - by others or self-nominations, are invited for the following awards:

--Kauffman-Hallahan Distinguished Researcher Award
--Distinguished Early Career Research Award
--Early Career Publication Award
--Student Research Awards (for qualitative, quantitative, single-subject and mixed methods research)

Information about the nomination procedures is available here.

2.  DR Issues White Paper on Children and Youth from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds

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