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Russell Gersten, Executive Director

Russell Gersten, Ph.D., is the executive director at Instructional Research Group and professor emeritus in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. He is a nationally renowned expert in research design and implementation, special education, reading and math instruction, and translating research into practice. Dr. Gersten has directed or co-directed 52 applied federal and non-federal research grants (totaling more than $38 million) addressing a wide array of issues in education. He has authored over 150 publications in, as well as served on several editorial boards of, many prestigious journals in the field. He has substantial expertise in field research studying instructional innovations and the measurement of program implementation. He served on the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, a Presidential committee to develop research-based policy in mathematics for American schools. Dr. Gersten is currently the Principal Investigator of three large Institute of Education Sciences (IES) projects involving randomized trials, the Director of the Math Strand for the Center on Instruction, the Director of Research for the Regional Educational Laboratory – South West, and the Principal Investigator for several What Works Clearinghouse Projects. 

Joseph Dimino, Deputy Executive Director

Joseph Dimino, Ph.D. has had experience as a general education teacher, special education teacher, administrator, behavior specialist, and researcher. Currently, he is the deputy executive director of Instructional Research Group. As a co-principal investigator, he developed and conducted professional development for national studies assessing the impact reading comprehension and vocabulary instruction on teaching practices and student achievement. He was on the team that developed the Observation Measure for Vocabulary Instruction (OMVI). He was also a co-developer of the observer training for this measure. Dr. Dimino has extensive experience developing and providing professional development to teachers, administrators, instructional assistants and parents, in the areas of classroom management, early reading intervention, and vocabulary and reading comprehension instruction. Dr. Dimino was a panel member for the RTI Reading Practice Guide, the Foundational Reading Skills Practice Guide and a researcher for the RTI Mathematics Practice Guide and the updated English Learner Practice Guide. He is the lead developer and author for A Professional Learning Community Facilitator’s Guide to Accompany Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Educator’s Practice Guide.  Dr. Dimino has co-authored books in reading comprehension, early reading interventions and vocabulary instruction. He consults nationally in these areas and presents at state, national and international conferences. Dr. Dimino has published in numerous peer reviewed scholarly journals.

Madhavi Jayanthi, Research Director

Madhavi Jayanthi, Ed.D., is the research director at Instructional Research Group. She is the co-principal investigator of an IES-funded grant examining the impact of the Teacher Study Group professional development on teaching practice and student achievement in academic vocabulary, in eighth grade social studies classrooms. She also serves as the co-principal investigator of a National Science Foundation funded study examining the impact of a fractions intervention for fifth graders and of a randomized controlled trial examining the impact of a mathematics professional development in fractions for the Regional Education Lab–Southeast. Dr. Jayanthi has contributed to three IES practice guides—Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School; Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 Through 8, and Multi-Tier Intervention in the Primary Grades, Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics: Response to Intervention (RtI) for Elementary and Middle Schools. Dr. Jayanthi currently serves as co-editor of the Elementary School Journal. She has published research findings in many well-respected journals, including American Educational Research Journal, Review of Educational Research, Remedial and Special Education, and Learning Disabilities Research and Practice.

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