Special Education

OSERS Left Out Again

By Christina A. Samuels — May 27, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Slowly, the Education Department is starting to fill out its top ranks. Just yesterday, it announced the names of nine new education officials, which you can read about here on the Politics K-12 blog.

But there’s been nothing but silence, so far, on the appointment of a new assistant secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Right now, the office is headed by Andrew J. Pepin, an executive administrator “delegated the authority to perform the functions of Assistant Secretary for OSERS.”

One of the branches of OSERS is the Office of Special Education Programs, which is pretty hot right now, considering all the interest in federal special education stimulus funding and local “maintenance of effort.” Right now that department is being led by acting director Patricia J. Guard.

Months ago, I heard Connie Garner, the policy director for disability and special populations for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s office, was a possible OSERS pick. Her body of work proves her familiarity with the issues; in addition to being a parent of a child with a disability, she also did a great deal of work on the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in 2004.

But since then, leaks have been few and far between. The word is now that Garner is busy working on health care reform. Would the department seek to bring back Judy Heumann, a former OSERS assistant secretary now with the District of Columbia’s Department on Disability Services? Might the department try to lure Alexa Posny back to Washington? Now the education commissioner in Kansas, Posny served for a time as the director of OSEP, and was known (at least, to me) for her really amusing PowerPoint presentations. Trust me, it’s hard to weave humor into presentations on federal special education policy, but she did a good job of it.

Do you have some tips? What kind of person would you like to see in these offices? Feel free to leave a comment.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Special Education Opinion Inclusive Teachers Must Be 'Asset-Based Believers'
Four veteran educators share tips on supporting students with learning differences as they return to classrooms during this pandemic year.
16 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Special Education Opinion 20 Ways to Support Students With Learning Differences This Year
Embed student voices and perspectives into the classroom is one piece of advice educators offer in this third pandemic-affected school year.
16 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Special Education Schools Must Identify Students With Disabilities Despite Pandemic Hurdles, Ed. Dept. Says
Guidance stresses schools' responsibilities to those with disabilities, while noting that federal COVID aid can be used to address backlogs.
2 min read
School children in classroom with teacher, wearing face masks and raised hands
DigitalVision/Vectors/Getty
Special Education Attention Deficit Rates Skyrocket in High School. Mentoring Could Prevent an Academic Freefall
Twice as many students are diagnosed with ADHD in high school as in elementary school, yet their supports are fewer, a study says.
4 min read
Image of a child writing the letters "ADHD" on a chalkboard.
Getty