Kathryn Morrison

Senior Education Researcher, SRI Education

Kathryn Morrison, MSPT, has more than 20 years of experience in social science research and has managed numerous projects in the area of disability policy, particularly as it relates to students and young children. She has extensive expertise in technical assistance and in assessment design, development, and testing. She has worked extensively on alternate assessment development using evidence-centered design (ECD) and universal design for learning (UDL).

At SRI, Morrison provides technical assistance to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) early intervention and early childhood special education state programs in multiple states through the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy). The DaSy Center is helping states enhance their data systems and build their capacity to use data. She has participated in the development of several DaSy tools for Part C programs, including the Child Find Self-Assessment (CFSA) and the CFSA Quick Start Guide. In 2020, Morrison co-chaired DaSy’s biennial national conference: Improving Data, Improving Outcomes. She has also provided technical assistance for multiple Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five (PDG B-5) projects.

In her assessment work, Morrison was recently principal investigator for a project funded by the National Science Foundation to design and test educational tools for students with disabilities or other learning challenges. For another project, she led teams in designing developmentally appropriate observation-based assessment tasks for kindergarteners. She was also 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 co-led two additional projects funded by Enhanced Assessment Grants: Alternate Assessment Design-Mathematics and Alternate Assessment Design-English Language Arts. For both projects, she worked with small groups of states to improve the technical quality of their alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

Morrison has also contributed to numerous research projects through project management, survey design, onsite data collection, liaison work with schools and early intervention programs, data analysis, and report writing. She is currently coordinator for a project examining facilitators and barriers to the inclusion of children with disabilities in early learning and care. She has previously participated in 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 on the experiences, outcomes, and kindergarten transitions of preschoolers receiving special education services. 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.

Morrison holds a BS in biology from Santa Clara University and an MS in physical therapy from Boston University.

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