McCandliss studies the development of children’s early literacy from the perspective of developing cognitive and brain systems, with an emphasis on questions of how the neural substrates of cognition change via learning and education, and how they differ in children with developmental dyslexia. His research employs several diverse techniques to investigate cognitive change across development and learning, including training studies in adults and children, longitudinal research with school-age children, and naturalistic school-based observational and intervention studies, crossed with neurobiological measures of functional and structural brain development. After completing his PhD. in Psychology with a focus in electrophysiology and developmental cognitive neuroscience at the University of Oregon, he became an Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University. In 2009, he was granted an endowed professorship at Vanderbilt University, and named the Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor, where he founded the Educational Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory. He is currently a Professor at Stanford University, where he is a member of the Graduate School of Education, the Department of Psychology, and the Stanford Neuroscience Institute.
Dr. Elizabeth Blanco, Chief of Special Education Services of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), provides leadership and oversight for the Department of Special Education Services, serving 7,000 students (infant, preschool, K-12 and adult) with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). Dr. Elizabeth Blanco is passionate about implementing Response to Intervention. She works closely with the SFUSD Curriculum and Instruction Department to ensure students are provided tiers of reading intervention prior to special education identification. Dr. Blanco served as a Director of Curriculum, Special Projects/GATE (K-12) in Southern California. She was responsible for leading a comprehensive redesign of Title I Services including research-based reading programs and supplemental services. Dr. Blanco holds an Ed.D. in Urban Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California. She also has a Master of Arts in Educational Administration and a Master of Arts in Special Education from California State University, Los Angeles as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development from California State University, Los Angeles. As a special education educator, she has had the privilege of teaching children with intellectual and learning disabilities to read.
Dr. Blanco is the key leader of the Superintendent’s Cabinet and Deputy’s Superintendent’s Instruction, Innovation and Social Justice Team, leading systemic change for the District resulting in equity, access, and increased student achievement for all students. She believes that cross departmental planning, parent and community involvement and positive relationships are key for the development of a coherent system. Dr. Blanco is honored to be in partnership with Stanford University in leading the SFUSD’s Leadership Team through the navigation of California's new regulations regarding Dyslexia Assembly bill AB1369 which requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction for California to develop guidelines to plan, provide, evaluate, and improve educational services to students with dyslexia.