Kurt E. Engelmann, Ph.D., began his career in education in the early 1980s as a tutor working with a variety of learning-disabled students, ranging from adult remedial readers to severely language-delayed first graders. In the mid-1980s Dr. Engelmann worked as a behavioral consultant for the Engelmann-Becker Corporation in cooperation with the Eugene “4J” School District and Lane County ESD in Oregon. During that time he also worked on the development of a behavioral research program for the Oregon Research Institute that focused on teaching students appropriate social behaviors. From 1994 to 2000, Dr. Engelmann served as an Outreach Coordinator in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington.
Since July 2000, Dr. Engelmann has been the Administrative Director and President of the National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). As Administrative Director and President, he is responsible for organizing administrative support for Direct Instruction (DI) implementations, serving as liaison between school district administrators and NIFDI, and coordinating medium and long-term planning of NIFDI implementation efforts. Under his direction, NIFDI has implemented the DI model in elementary schools and middle schools serving highly at-risk populations in a variety of settings, including rural communities (Oregon, Kansas, Nebraska, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia), urban communities (Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Los Angeles County, New Orleans and Philadelphia), island communities (Hawaii and Guam) and internationally (Cape York, Australia).
Under Dr. Engelmann’s leadership, NIFDI became affiliated with several organizations that promote effective school reform. NIFDI joined New American Schools in 2002 and the Coalition for Comprehensive School Improvement (CCSI) in 2004. Engelmann served as the Treasurer of CCSI. For two years he also served as Implementation Manager of a Comprehensive School Reform Quality Initiative grant received by NIFDI and the Center for Applied Research in Education (CARE) from the US Department of Education.