IES Director John Q. Easton announced that Joan McLaughlin, the current Deputy Commissioner of the National Center for Special Education Research, has been named Acting Commissioner, effective July 1, 2013.
"Joan has been a great asset to the National Center for Special Education Research. Her background and experience in special education and early childhood is extensive, and her willingness to take on this new role makes Joan the perfect choice to serve as Acting Commissioner," Easton said. "The other commissioners and I look forward to working closely with Joan as we continue to advance IES's mission to provide rigorous and relevant research aimed at improving education outcomes for all students."
McLaughlin first joined the Institute of Education Sciences as Deputy Commissioner of the National Center for Special Education Research in February 2009. In addition to her role as Deputy Commissioner, McLaughlin served as NCSER's program officer for the Early Intervention and Early Learning in Special Education grant program.
Prior to joining IES, McLaughlin spent 16 years working in the Education and Family Services area of Abt Associates Inc., a research consulting firm. While there, she served as principal investigator or project director for numerous evaluations of federal education, food assistance, and early childhood programs. McLaughlin has also served as a program officer in the Office of Analysis and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service, where she oversaw design, process, and implementation studies of programs and initiatives focused on maternal and child health and child nutrition issues. She also served as a program analyst in the Program Evaluation and Methodology Division of the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
McLaughlin received her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Notre Dame and her master's and doctoral degrees in developmental psychology from Cornell University.
McLaughlin replaces Deborah Speece, who is leaving after serving 2 years as Commissioner to become Associate Dean of Research and Faculty Development in the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law established to ensure that children with disabilities and families of such children receive access to a free appropriate public education and to improve educational results for infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities.
View, download, and print IDEA (PL 108-446, 2004) as a PDF file (422 KB)
Established by the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002, the Institute of Education Sciences is the research arm of the Department of Education. Its mission is to expand knowledge and provide information on the condition of education, practices that improve academic achievement, and the effectiveness of Federal and other education programs. Its goal is the transformation of education into an evidence-based field in which decision makers routinely seek out the best available research and data before adopting programs or practices that will affect significant numbers of students.
View, download, and print ESRA (PL 107-279, 2002) as a PDF file (165 KB)
NCSER Summary of Research Findings 2006–2012
This document highlights findings from NCSER’s program of research that targets infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities or who are at risk for developing disabilities. Findings include the identification of efficacious interventions, validation of assessments to identify children for earlier intervention, and the development of technological innovation to provide support and instruction for children with disabilities and their families.
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View, download, and print as a PDF file (401 KB)