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Kathryn Morrison, MSPT, has more than 15 years of experience in social science research and has worked on numerous projects on disability policy, particularly as it relates to students and young children. She has worked extensively on alternate assessment development using evidence-centered design (ECD) and universal design for learning (UDL). Morrison is currently working on an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant to design and test educational tools for students with disabilities and other struggling learners. Morrison also provides technical assistance to state Part C programs that deliver services for children with disabilities and their families.
Morrison is experienced in assessment design, development, and testing. Most recently, she led teams designing developmentally appropriate observation-based assessment tasks for kindergarteners. She was project manager for SRI’s contract with the National Center and State Collaborative project. Funded by a General Supervision Enhancement Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, this project brought together 26 states to build an alternate assessment for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Morrison was a co-leader for two additional assessment design projects: Alternate Assessment Design-Mathematics and Alternate Assessment Design-English Language Arts. Both projects were funded by Enhanced Assessment Grants and worked with small groups of states to improve the technical quality of their alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
Morrison provides technical assistance to Part C programs in multiple states through the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy) and the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI). These centers are helping states enhance their data systems and build their capacity to use data and create systems change.
Some of Morrison’s past projects include the National Study on Alternate Assessments (NSAA), a study of the alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. She was an integral part of the team that designed the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS), which gathered information about the experiences, outcomes, and kindergarten transitions of preschoolers with special needs. She was also part of the team involved in the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data from the National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study (NEILS), which examined the experiences and outcomes of more than 3,300 infants and toddlers with or at risk for disabilities. Her work on these projects included project management, survey design, on-site data collection through classroom assessments and focus groups, liaison work with schools and early intervention programs, data analysis, and report writing.
Morrison holds a bachelor of science degree in biology from Santa Clara University and a master of science degree in physical therapy from Boston University.