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).

Vanderbilt Math or Reading Disabilities 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.

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.

Oregon Post-doc in academic interventions and assessment

Folks at the University of Oregon’s Center on Teaching & Learning (CTL) are hoping to fill the second year of an IES post-doc with a hard-working, recent Ph.D. graduate interested in academic interventions and assessment. This is a one-year appointment. Although the start date is 1 September 2015, it’s possible that date is flexible (e.g., the postdoc could start later in 2015 and be funded later into 2016). More information about CTL and our projects can be found here: Download a PDF describing the position.

Frances Partridge Connor

Frances Partridge Connor, an influential figure across many aspects of special education, passed away 28 March 2015 in Boca Raton, FL. She was the Richard March Hoe Professor Emeritus of Education at Teachers College of Columbia University in New York (NY, US).

For many decades, Professor Connor affected the practice and policy of special education. She not only chaired the special education program at Teachers College, but also served as president of the International Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). In addition, she advised local, state, federal, and international government agencies about educational policies related to children and youths with disabilties. She was also a member of multiple research teams focused on improving the tools of teachers and methods for advancing outcomes for children with disabilties.
Continue reading Frances Partridge Connor

Two positions at U.Va.

The University of Virginia’s special education program in the Curry School of Education seeks applications for two faculty positions. Both will focus on high-incidence disabilities with teaching, research, and service responsibilities, and both should show a commitment to causal-comparative research methods, especially group-contrast or single-subject experimental methods.

  • Associate or full professor: Applicants should have a evidence of external funding and an excellent record of scholarship with a national reputation.
  • Assistant professor: Applicants should have early career work commensurate with time in rank and at least the beginning of a strong scholarly record.

A PDF of the actual U.Va. special education position announcement is available for download. It provides the formal details of the announcements. John Wills Lloyd is chairing the search. The positions will likely close 2013-14.

The University of Arizona announces funding for doctoral students who want to become professors in special education

The University of Arizona announces funding for doctoral students who want to become professors in special education.

• Fellowships include:
o Full tuition
o An annual stipend of $30,000
o Funds for professional travel

• Our goal is to produce faculty skilled in evidence-based practice in their specialty area. Possible specializations include:
o Learning disabilities
o Bilingual/multicultural special education
o Deafness/hard of hearing
o Visual impairment and blindness
o Emotional and behavioral disorders
o Severe and multiple disabilities
o Positive behavioral support

• Doctoral students receive exceptional training through an apprenticeship model, engaging in the same activities that will be required when they become faculty

• A unique feature is a one-semester externship at another university with a leading scholar in the student’s specialization

• UA graduates are now faculty at universities and colleges across the country

•Learn more about the program and our application process at

Webinar on Evidence-Based Practices

DR mark
CEC mark

Webinar: Everything You Wanted to Know About Evidence-Based Practices (and Shouldn’t be Afraid to Ask)

On 8 March 2011, CEC and the Division for Research are co-hosting a webinar on evidence-based practices that DR has developed as a service to its members and to other university faculty and their graduate students. The webinar, presented by Bryan Cook, the new chair of CEC’s Committee on Evidence-Based Practices, explores what evidence-based practice means for researchers, teacher educators, practitioners and administrators, and how evidence-based practices differ from other practices that claim to be research-based. As with CEC/DR’s previous webinars, one registration can be used for a group, as long as the group is using one computer. All you need is an internet connection, a speaker phone, and a computer projector, and your entire group can participate in the webinar. After the webinar is over, you will receive your own copy of the webinar file, which you can keep to re-show to classes or other groups at your convenience. With the CEC member discount, each webinar registration costs only $89.00.

Click here to register online at the CEC web site.

Continue reading Webinar on Evidence-Based Practices

IDA funding research projects

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) announced a two-pronged effort to promote research about multisensory structured-language reading instruction. In one part of the effort, IDA seeks to raise funds from corporations, organizations, and interested individuals in support of research efforts; essentially, it seems, IDA is creating a fund that will be used to support research activities. In the other part of the effort, and a slightly surprisingly candid one, IDA is expressly calling for tests of whether multisensory structured-language reading instruction is as effective as its supporters presume that it is.
Continue reading IDA funding research projects

Hawai’i at Mānoa PhD program

The University of Hawai’i at Mānoa invites applications from people interested in advanced graduate studies in special education. The faculty at Hawai’i Mānoa seeks potential candidates for doctoral preparation as special education professors and teacher-educators with expertise in distance education, multicultural issues, evidence-based practices, and universal design for learning. Download a flyer and form for expressing interest here and learn more about the application procedures at

Rowan asst. prof.

Assistant Professor of Special Education

Position: Assistant Professor of Special Education, full-time, tenure track position , College of Education, Department of Special Educational Services/Instruction

Description: The Department of Special Educational Services/Instruction at Rowan University is searching for a tenure-track position at the Assistant Professor rank. The successful candidate will teach a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses as well as supervise candidates during their clinical practice experiences in NCATE accredited programs that lead to endorsement in Special Education at both the post-baccalaureate and graduate levels. In addition, the candidate will be expected to engage in scholarly activity, including professional presentations, grant writing, and publications and provide service to the department, college, university, community, and profession. Some teaching off campus at regional extension sites and through on-line instruction may be required.

Qualifications: Earned doctorate in special education or a closely related field from a regionally accredited or internationally recognized institution, eligibility for New Jersey teacher of students with disabilities certification, and a minimum of three years of professional experience teaching special education in a school setting. Candidates should have:
• Knowledge of current research-based interventions with diverse populations
• Ability to teach courses in assessment practices and procedures, positive behavioral support systems, assistive technology, and/or differentiated instruction in the inclusive classroom
• Ability to conduct and supervise research
• Knowledge and skill in using current and emerging instructional technologies
• Willingness to teach on-line courses
• Investment in being an active contributor in a learning community environment
• Experience/interest in developing and teaching on-line classes

Starting Date: September 1, 2010

Salary: Competitive

General Information: All positions are contingent upon budget appropriations.
Rowan University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Rowan University values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment.

Send letter with resume and transcript and three letters of recommendation to:
Dr. S. Jay Kuder, Chair
Department of Special Educational Services/Instruction
Education Hall
Rowan University
201 Mullica Hill Road
Glassboro, NJ 08020
E-Mail to: kuder [at] rowan [dot] edu

Application Deadline: November 15, 2009