Eight universities around the country will establish centers to study ways of improving the education of students with special needs, thanks to $8.7 million in recent grants from the Department of Education.
Most will focus on improving the reading skills and behavior of younger students. Experts at those centers will select several elementary schools, where they will put into place model programs for pupils in grades K-3 who are having difficulty reading or who have gotten into trouble for bad behavior
“President Bush and I are committed to making sure our education system offers America’s students with disabilities the opportunity to learn through methods and programs that are proven to work,” U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige said in announcing the grants Oct. 5. The Education Department awarded the competitive grants out of the federal special education budget.
One center will focus on strategies for meeting the needs of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers deemed at risk of developing behavioral problems. It will also serve as a clearinghouse for family members and practitioners to exchange information on effective programs.
Another center will study issues related to the accurate and early identification of children with learning disabilities. It will review current research about learning disabilities and conduct studies in areas where more information is needed. It will also provide a system of getting out information on research to encourage educators to put the knowledge into practice.
List of Recipients
The new centers and their grant amounts are:
- The University of South Florida, Center for Evidence-based Practice: Young Children with Challenging Behavior, $750,000;
- The University of Kansas, Center for Early Intervention in Reading and Behavior to Improve the Performance of Young Children, $1.2 million;
- The University of Nebraska, Research and Demonstration Center for Behavior and Learning, $900,000;
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Behavior and Reading Improvement Center, $1.2 million;
- The University of Oregon, Center for Improving Reading Competence Using Intensive Treatments Schoolwide, $899,999;
- The University of Oregon, Research and Demonstration Center on Schoolwide Behavior Support, $889,983;
- Vanderbilt University, Center for Research on Learning Disabilities, $700,000;
- The University of Texas at Austin, Preventing Reading Difficulties: A Three-Tiered Intervention Model, $900,000; and
- The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Coordination, Consultation, and Evaluation Center for Implementing K-3 Behavior and Reading Intervention Models, $1.2 million.