Is ‘$Billion-dollar-boondoggle’ alternative fact?

In Alternative Facts Are Alive in Education As Well: A Response to Johns, Kauffman, and Martin, a group of psychologists, special educators, school administrators, and others interested in educational policy respond to the monograph by Johns, Kauffman, and Martin (2016) published on SpedPro. The signatories to the response, who are listed in the appended table, raise and respond to a series of three questions. Here are those questions, drawn from the document:

  1. Is their [Johns et al.] distain for RTI an implicit endorsement of the use of ability achievement discrepancy models or its more complicated and even less reliable counterpart, patterns of cognitive strengths and weaknesses, as their preferred method of SLD identification?
  2. Do the authors believe that general education is committed to, and successfully implementing research- based intervention(s), that promote early intervention, prevent disabilities, and reduce the need for special education for some students?
  3. Do the authors believe that as currently implemented, that beyond procedural compliance, special education provides the powerful intervention(s) that students with disabilities need to be successful in school and the workplace?

View a copy of Alternative Facts Are Alive in Education As Well: A Response to Johns, Kauffman, and Martin in your browser; to download a copy, control- or right-click on the link and follow the directions in the dialog box that appears.

Mark R. Shinn, Ph.D. Jack M. Fletcher, Ph.D. Jim Ysseldyke, Ph.D.
Robert Pasternack, Ph.D. Stevan Kukic, Ph.D. W. Alan Coulter, Ph.D.
Chris McHugh Susan M. Koceski, Ph.D. Ed P. O’Connor, Ph.D.
Chris Birr, Ed.S. Rebecca C. Davis, M.Ed. Erica Lembke, Ph.D.
Ed Steinberg, Ph.D. John L. Hosp, Ph.D. Kim Gibbons, Ph.D.
Daniel J. Reschly, Ph.D. Corey D. Pierce, Ph.D. David Tilly. Ph.D.
Jeremy W. Ford, Ph.D. Randy Allison Beth Harn
Judy Elliott, Ph.D. George M. Batsche, Ed.D. Leanne S. Hawken, Ph.D.
Joseph F. Kovaleski, D.Ed. James A. Tucker, Ph.D. Lisa H. Stewart, Ph.D.

Is RTI a billion-$$ boondoggle?

The Concept Of RTI: Billion-Dollar Boondoggle
by Beverley Holden Johns, James M. Kauffman, and Edwin W. Martin.

The writers argue that RTI and iterations known as tiered frameworks for education (e.g., one known as a multi-tiered system of supports, MTSS) are being widely implemented without necessary research confirming their superiority to the framework created in 1975 and known generally as IDEA. Widespread implementation of RTI and similar frameworks without reliable research evidence of their superiority to IDEA could, like many other efforts to improve education without reliable empirical evidence, be a very expensive mistake.

View a copy of The Concept Of RTI: Billion-Dollar Boondoggle in your browser (or, to download and save a copy on your own computer [189 KB], right- or control-click on the link and follow the directions in the dialog box that appears).

Penn State position

Hi everyone,

As a reminder,

We’re looking for a new faculty colleague at Penn State who is knowledgeable about evaluating educational interventions for children with or at risk for high-incidence disabilities using experimental or quasi-experimental methodologies. A draft position description is now posted below and under the “positions in higher ed” category. There are many opportunities for multidisciplinary collaborations with renowned faculty in education, psychology, sociology, and related fields across Penn State. The Social Science Research Institute, which is co-funding the position, is absolutely first rate in its support of cross-college collaborations, and has dedicated resources for initial support of promising educational research activities. The campus is idyllic, and the quality of life is high. Please consider applying!

Best wishes,


Director for Juniper Gardens Children’s Project

Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, one of the most successful efforts to build collaboration between local community and scientific research teams in educational history, requests nominees for its third director in its 50-year history. The position will carry a joint appointment with the University of Kansas  Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies and Applied Behavioral Science.

The Juniper Gardens Children’s Project (JGCP) has a rich history for outstanding contributions to the scientific literature. Currently 11 Ph.D.-level researchers are examining a diverse array of questions associated with improving outcomes for children. Research teams focus on ways to (a) improve learning and development in young children; (b) promote social, behavioral and academic school success; (c) develop advanced measurement systems to inform and improve practice; (d) advance autism research to improve practice and outcomes; and (e) build capacity to implement evidence-based practices.

As developed in detail at the KU employment site, the position will have specific duties and offer unique opportunities. Qualified applicants should apply online:

Department Chair of Inclusive Education at Kennesaw State University

Reporting to the Dean of the Bagwell College of Education, the chair serves as the academic and administrative leader of the Inclusive Education Department and is the department representative in all official communications. The chair is expected to collaborate with faculty across the college and with other campus units, school districts, and external agencies. Typically, the chair teaches one class per year. The position is a 12-month appointment, and the salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience.  Complete information and application process available at Position remains open until filled.

Purdue University Autism and ABA Faculty Position

Purdue University
Associate/Full Professor in Special Education Program, Department of Educational Studies
The Department of Educational Studies at Purdue University invites applications for appointment to a 10- month tenure track position at the level of Associate/Full Professor in Special Education with specific specialization in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and applied behavior analysis. The faculty member will be expected to continue a strong program of ASD focused research supported by scholarly publications and extramural funding, to contribute to clinical practices serving individuals with ASD and their families, and to teach at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels. The faculty member will also be expected to assist in the development of a graduate level course sequence in behavior analysis.

Required qualifications for this position include a PhD in Special Education, Psychology, or a related field, Board Certification in Behavior Analysis- Doctoral Level, demonstrated scholarly excellence; expertise and experience in the area of ASD; and demonstrated excellence in teaching. Preference will be given to candidates who have P-12 teaching experience, experience working with individuals with ASD, and experience working with in-service and preservice teachers. Successful candidates are expected to demonstrate a commitment to diversity and equity in education through their scholarship, teaching, and/or engagement.

The successful candidate will participate in a vibrant interdisciplinary Autism cluster whose membership cuts across departments and colleges. Purdue University’s Autism Cluster is comprised of faculty with areas of specialization ranging from molecular, cellular, and organismal through behavioral, educational, and systems levels. The successful applicant will join a large cohort of researchers and clinicians committed to interdisciplinary and collaborative investigation of autism and to making a positive impact on the quality of life of individuals with autism and their families.

Application Procedure: Applicants should submit a letter of application, curriculum vita, teaching philosophy statement, a statement of research interests, two writing samples of peer-reviewed publications, and contact information for three references to Dr. Mandy Rispoli, Special Education Search Committee Chair, Department of Educational Studies, 100 North University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, Review of applications will begin November 1, 2016 and continue until the position is filled. A background check is required for employment in this position. Teaching and research statements should address alignment with the Purdue College of Education’s strategic plan ( Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Asst Prof in Teacher Evaluation and Special Education at University of New Mexico–search cancelled

This search was cancelled due to budget cuts as of 6 October 2016.

The Department of Special Education in the College of Education at the University of New Mexico is soliciting applications for an assistant professorship that will begin in August of 2017. The position will focus on teacher evaluation and accountability, including preparation of educators to work with students with high-incidence disabilities. Read on or download the complete accompanying PDF for a complete version of the announcement.
Continue reading Asst Prof in Teacher Evaluation and Special Education at University of New Mexico–search cancelled

Vanderbilt ABA position 2017

Vanderbilt University’s Department of Special Education Seeks Applicants for a Position in Applied Behavior Analysis

The Department of Special Education at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University invites applications for a tenure line position in the area of Applied Behavior Analysis. Although the position is open rank, we strongly encourage applications at the assistant and associate levels. The duties of the position are to: (1) develop and/or maintain a nationally recognized program of research on behavior analytic interventions for individuals with or at risk for disabilities, (2) seek external funds to support this program of research, (3) teach courses as part of a BACB-approved sequence to students from a variety of program areas (e.g., low incidence disabilities, high incidence disabilities, early childhood), (4) contribute to the ongoing development of the ABA program, (5) collaborate with faculty across program areas, (6) advise students in the ABA program, (7) partner with local districts and agencies that serve individuals with or at risk for disabilities, and (8) engage in service to the university and field. Affiliation with the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development is possible ( 

The successful candidate will hold a doctorate in Special Education or a related field with national certification as a doctoral level behavior analyst (BCBA-D). Expertise and experience in applied behavior analysis, as well as preparing practitioners in behavior-analytic assessments and interventions are necessary.

Candidates should submit an application letter describing their qualifications and how their accomplishments address the expectations noted above. They should forward curriculum vitae, three samples of scholarly writing, and contact information for three people from whom letters of reference may be requested. Screening of applications will begin November 1, 2016, and continue until the position is filled. Questions regarding this position should be directed to Mary Louise Hemmeter, Search Chair (  Employment will also require a background clearance check.

Application materials should be submitted to: ABA Search, Department of Special Education, PMB 228 Peabody College, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37203 (or electronically to

Vanderbilt University has a student body of 12,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Twenty-three percent of our students are from racially/ethnically diverse backgrounds. In addition, there are over 1000 international students from 84 countries. Vanderbilt values individuals who can share different points of view; strives to create an atmosphere where faculty of diverse races and ethnicities receive support from other faculty; and aspires to become a leader among its peer institutions in making meaningful and lasting progress in responding to the needs and concerns of all underrepresented groups. Vanderbilt University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. People of color, women, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

U.Va. faculty positions for 2017

The Curry School of Education, Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education at the University of Virginia is seeking applications for multiple tenure-track and tenured positions in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education in the area of Special Education. Rank is dependent upon qualifications. Areas of interest include: assessment, applied behavior analysis, response to intervention, instructional strategies in academic domains or behavior management. Faculty member(s) collaborate with program and department faculty developing and implementing teacher preparation programs and designing and delivering doctoral preparation. Other duties include mentoring doctoral students’ research and dissertation activities; advising undergraduate and graduate students on courses of study; and supervising graduate students’ practica and related learning activities. Incumbents are expected to design and conduct rigorous research, working with interdisciplinary faculty across the school and the University, and to be successful in seeking extramural research funding. Finally, faculty partner with local, state, national, and international organizations to formulate and secure appropriate policies and services for individuals with disabilities and their families, as well as service providers.

A Ph.D. in special education or a related field is required by the start-date of the appointment. Knowledge of experimental research methods (group contrast or single-subject or both) is essential, as is the ability to work collaboratively with colleagues. Experience working with children with autism or high-incidence disabilities including learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, or mild to moderate intellectual disabilities is preferred. Experience working with schools and school districts developing and implementing academic or behavioral programs is also preferred. At least three years of classroom experience teaching special education at the K-12 level is preferred, as is an outstanding teaching record at the post-secondary level. Preference will be given to candidates who have expertise in working at the primary and elementary (K-8) levels and who are eligible for licensure as a teacher in Virginia or another state.

For a tenure-track appointment, potential to obtain extramural funding for experimental or other causal-inference research in the areas of interest outlined above, including an already establish publication record is required.

For appointment as Associate or Full Professor without term the applicant must have an established national reputation, a documented line of research related to the areas of interest outlined above and a track record of existing and sustained extramural funding.

To apply visit and search on Posting Number 0619519. Complete a Candidate Profile online, attach a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of teaching philosophy, statement of research interests and contact information for three references.

Applicant review begins on October 17, 2016, and the search remains open to applicants until filled.
For information about the positions, please contact Bill Therrien, Professor and search chair at

For information about the application process, please contact Adam Pearson at
The Curry School of Education and the University of Virginia are Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employers. We seek to build a culturally diverse intellectual environment and welcome applications from women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities.

Investigation: Texas systematically denied students sped services

Brian M. Rosenthal of the Houston Chronicle published a report entitled “Denied: How Texas keeps tens of thousands of children out of special education” that documents systematic denial of special education services to approximately 250,000 students in Texas. Over the course of more than 10 years, Mr. Rosenthal reported, the Texas Education Agency routinely scored local school agencies (“LEAs”) on their compliance with state guidelines, one of which addressed the percentage of students identified for special education.

LEAs could earn a perfect score on that part of their report card only if they identified 8.5% or fewer of their students as needing special education. In 2015 the state was identifying 8.5%, a substantial drop from the nearly 12% it was identifying in 2004.

In detailed analyses, Mr. Rosenthal and his colleagues presented compelling graphics showing these changes. He also provided documents as well as the usual journalist cases to illustrate the strains on individuals and families.

Some Texas educators argued that the decreases are a consequence of improved instructional practices (e.g., adoption of response to instruction), but that position does not hold water. Were it true, the effects would be largely specific to learning disabilities, but Mr. Rosenthal noted, the decline is evident in multiple categories of special education in Texas. In addition, as an expert on response to instruction, Douglas Fuchs of Vanderbilt University, told Mr. Rosenthal, were those reforms to be working, then reading achievement would have risen in Texas; it has not.

Faculty Position at Texas State University

Hello all,

We at Texas State University are very pleased to announce another opening for an assistant professor position in Special Education. We are looking for one or more of the following areas of expertise: (a) special education teacher preparation; (b) in-service training, retention, or educator improvement research; (c) special education and STEM content area; and/or (d) early childhood special education.

Here’s the link to the position posting:

Texas State is a fast-growing, emerging research institution serving the central Texas region (Round Rock, Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio and areas to the east and west of I-35). We have campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock, but this position will be at our San Marcos campus, which is the main campus. Our students are bright, energetic, and very motivated to excel. Our Special Education group consists of seven full-time faculty members, all of whom are quite active in their respective fields, and who are also very nice and fun folks! We are a collegial group, and our university offers excellent support for new faculty members. In addition, we have established great research relationships with area school districts.

The San Marcos area is a wonderful place to live and work, located about halfway between Austin and San Antonio. We have easy access to an incredible array of cultural, leisure, and sporting activities in the central Texas area, and beautiful coastal and hill country activities are just a short drive to the east or west.

We’re very happy to be able to get this announcement out so early! Please help us spread the word about this opportunity.


Brenda Scheuermann, Ph.D.
Special Education Programs; Coordinator, Behavioral Disorders/Positive Behavioral Supports Programs
Department of Curriculum & Instruction
Texas State University
601 University Drive
San Marcos, Texas 78666


KU doctoral study opportunity

Kansas University (KU) announced support for doctoral students beginning in the academic year 2016-17. The faculty at KU is seeking students interested in studying about intensive interventions for students with learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, and autism spectrum disorder; tiered systems of prevention and intervention; evidence-based practices for students with or at risk for those disabilities; and school-based inquiry. KU has a stellar recommendation for its contributions over the years and its faculty.

Learn more by downloading the accompanying PDF.

U.Va. autism position

The University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education will hire a senior scholar with expertise in autism. The position, to be filled at the rank of associate professor or professor, will affiliate either with the faculty in special education (Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education) or clinical and school psychology (Human Services). However, the person filling it will also collaborate with other individuals throughout the University of Virginia (e.g., pediatrics, psychology) who are part of a university-wide initiative on autism and autism spectrum disorders.

Screening of applications begins 1 March 2015. The position is open until filled. For the official documents go to and search on Posting Number 0617962. Please download and review the accompanying announcement for more detail.

SUNY New Paltz position for a generalist in special education

Assistant Professor of Special Education
Posting Date: October 21, 2015

Duties: The Department of Educational Studies at the State University of New York at New Paltz invites applications for a faculty position in Special Education to begin Fall 2016. This is a full-time, tenure track position for a generalist in Special Education, preferably with expertise in assessment methods and instructional methods in the areas of math, science and/or technology.

In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in special education, the successful applicant will be expected to:

  • Participate in program development, review, and revision;
  • Engage in research and other scholarly activities;
  • Supervise field experiences;
  • Pursue external grants; and
  • Provide service to the school, university, and community, including advising students.

Continue reading SUNY New Paltz position for a generalist in special education

SUNY New Paltz position with emphasis on ASD

Assistant Professor of Special Education
Posting Date: October 21, 2015

Duties: The Department of Educational Studies at the State University of New York at New Paltz invites applications for a faculty position in Special Education to begin Fall 2016. This is full-time tenure track position in Special Education that requires specialization in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The successful candidate will be expected to teach courses in Special Education practices (e.g., inclusive education, methodology, behavior management), supervise field experiences, and engage in research and other scholarly activities. In addition, the successful candidates will be expected to advise students and provide service to the school, university and community, which would include contributing to the development of college-wide interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate program development activities in the area of ASD.

Continue reading SUNY New Paltz position with emphasis on ASD