Dr. Nathan Jones is the commissioner of the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER). In his research, Dr. Jones focuses on the intersection of education policy and classroom teaching, particularly in special education. Much of this work has examined on the measurement of teachers' work, including how to conceptualize and measure teaching effectiveness.
In addition, Dr. Jones has leveraged state and district administrative datasets to explore pressing questions surrounding special education staffing policies, including whether students with disabilities have access to high-quality general education and special education teachers and whether staffing models such as co-teaching and the use of paraprofessionals lead to improved student outcomes.
Dr. Jones is on leave from his position as an associate professor in the Special Education Program at Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. He is a founding member of the BU Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences. Dr. Jones received his PhD in Special Education & Education Policy from Michigan State University.
The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), one of the four Centers within the Institute of Education Sciences, supports rigorous research on infants, toddlers, children, and youth with and at risk for disabilities through advancing the understanding of and practices for teaching, learning, and organizing education systems. NCSER supports such research through its research grants program to identify existing practices, programs, or policies that may be associated with student outcomes; develop new, or modify existing, interventions; evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of fully developed interventions; and develop and validate measures and assessments. NCSER-supported Research and Development Centers aim to address important issues in special education by implementing large-scale but focused programs of research and leadership activities. Through its research training programs, NCSER supports institutions to train postdoctoral fellows, individual early career scientists, and methodology training institutes to develop the research skills in our next generation of special education researchers.
NCSER Program Officers
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
Reading, Writing, and Language
Technology for Special Education
Research Grants Focused on NAEP Process Data for Learners with Disabilities
Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Competence
Transition to Postsecondary Education, Career, and/or Independent Living
Families of Children with Disabilities
Systems, Policy, and Finance
Early Intervention and Early Learning
Educators and School-Based Service Providers
Research Training Programs in Special Education
Research Grants Focused on Systematic Replication
Cognition and Student Learning
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Competitions related to Pandemic Recovery:
- Research to Accelerate Pandemic Recovery in Special Education grants program (324X)
- AI Institute collaboration with the National Science Foundation
- Math Learning Challenge