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Margaret McLaughlin, Ph.D.

Assoc. Dean, College of Education
University of Maryland

Margaret J. McLaughlin, Ph.D. is Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, College of Education, and a Professor in the Department of Special Education, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.


Dr. McLaughlin has been involved in special education all of her professional career. She began as a teacher of students with serious emotional and behavior disorders and also taught students with learning disabilities. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Virginia and has held positions at what was formerly the U.S. Office of Education and at the University of Washington. She has been involved with the study of special education policies since receiving her Ph.D. and has directed a number of projects in that area, including four national research centers. She has been studying the impact of educational reform on special education since the late 1980s and has watched the evolution of these policies in general education as well as special education. Dr. McLaughlin has consulted with numerous state departments of education and local education agencies on issues related to students with disabilities and the impact of standards-driven reform policies and has written extensively in this area.


She has also served on or co-chaired four National Academy of Sciences Committees that have addressed topics of students with disabilities and standards, assessment accommodations, finance reform and on the disproportionate representation of minority students in special education.


Currently she serves as the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education in the College of Education and directs the Policy Leadership Doctoral Program in conducting large-scale research in special education policy and teaches graduate courses in disability policy.