Assistant Secretary Johnny Collett Leaving Department of Education

In a move that seemed to take everyone by surprise, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) Johnny Collett announced his resignation as of today.  He has indicated that he is returning to Kentucky to spend more time with his family. Collett has served as the head of the agency since his 2017 nomination to the post.  Mark Shultz, who has been commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration since August, will take on the role as Assistant Secretary in an acting capacity.
Collett is known for his initiative to “rethink special education.” Read More

OSEP’s Effective Personnel for ALL: Attract, Prepare, Retain Initiative

Throughout the year, the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has made a focused effort to support States in their work to address special education personnel shortages.  This effort has included a symposia series and other targeted activities.  Currently, OSEP is inviting the public share their  thoughts on how they can best support States in their work to Attract, Prepare, and Retain Effective Personnel. Sharing challenges and successes can make a difference for others facing similar challenges.

Comments can be posted to the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Blog with the comment period ending September 30, 2019.

Registration for the 2019 Special Education Legislative Summit is Now Open

If you haven’t had the opportunity yet, this is the year to join your colleagues from Washington state to storm the Hill and advocate for our students receiving special education and other services.  The Special Education Legislative Summit (SELS) is an amazing experience to learn about the key issues affecting special education today and share information with Washington legislators who have the ability to make a positive impact on the lives of our students.

Registration for SELS is now open .  The goal of CEC and CASE is to have all 50 states in attendance, so this year is a great time make Washington state’s voice heard loud and clear in the other Washington.

For more information about SELS, visit  Register now and reserve your place at SELS!

Calls to Action from CASE

A call to action is from our Policy and Legislative Committee and CASE leadership in regards to a request for comment on a redefining of Public Charge. There is also a deadline associated with this call to action–Dec 10. We are providing you with what CASE has  submitted and suggestions on what to personalize. We have been told the letters must be substantially different or will not be accepted. The PDF is how it should look and the Link is the editable document. If you have any trouble, please do not hesitate to email me and I will send in a different format. 

The third call to action is from our Research Committee. From time to time, we will have requests from researchers and if the CASE Research committee feels the results would be of significant benefit to our members we agree to facilitate the collection of data. We do try to keep these requests to a minimum! 

The last request is one I have madein several of the weekly updates and is also a survey on Education Research.This survey is being sent out by the Insitutte of Education Science (IES) andthe Jefferson Education Exchange. If you have not taken this short survey,  please do so now. 


OSERS is committed to rethink anything and everything to ensure that we are in the best position to achieve our mission. Consistent with that commitment, we are beginning a process of rethinking Results Driven Accountability (RDA). This process, and any associated outcomes, will demonstrate our commitment to

support states in their work to raise expectations and improve outcomes for children with disabilities, to provideflexibility within the constructs of the law, and to partner with parents and families, and diverse stakeholders.

This process cannot be successful without input from local administrators. Please join us Tuesday, December 4, to share your thoughts, experiences, and suggestions on rethinking RDA.

OSERS Accountability Brainstorming Session: Local Administrators

Date:                                     Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Time:                                    1:30pm to 2:30pm ET

Registration Link:  

To join the call, please register using the link listed above. Once you are registered, you will receive an automated email containing the dial-in number and a personalized access code.

In preparation for this conversation, please find below a set of questions that will help frame our discussion. 

General Discussion Questions

  • Topic 1: State Performance Plans/Annual Performance Reports (SPP/APRs)
    • From your perspective, how can we improve the SPP/APR? What should change? What should stay the same?
    • How can we improve the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP; B-17 and C-11) work? What should change? What should stay the same?
  • Topic 2: Determinations
    • How can we improve the determinations process? What should change? What should stay the same?
  • Topic 3: Differentiated Monitoring and Support (DMS)
    • How can we best carry out IDEA’s monitoring and support provisions? What should change? What should stay the same?
  • Topic 4: General Questions/Feedback

You may also submit input to OSERS will review and consider all input, but will not respond to messages at this time.

We look forward to your participation.

Best regards,

Ruth Ryder

Deputy Director

Office of Special Education Programs

U.S. Department of Education

Email: | Subscribe


Regulatory Comments on “Public Charge”

Please weigh in by DECEMBER 10, 2018!

Background: In mid-October, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed regulation known as “public charge.” You can read the proposal in full at .

Here’s the BOTTOM LINE:  For over a 100 years “public charge” has been part of immigration law.  In the past it has been used (as it seems intended now) to keep out certain groups of immigrants (Irish, Jewish, disabled, etc.).  The real gist of these rules is to screen out who will be a “public charge,” i.e., dependent on public services/benefits.  These benefits include, among others, Medicaid, SNAP, and housing assistance.

This proposal broadens the definition of “public charge” to someone who receives just one benefit/service.  The new proposal would have DHS scrutinize each of along series of factors that could weigh against letting the immigrant in — for example, pre-existing health conditions, ability to get a job, and disability or having a child with a disability.

FOR SCHOOLS:  If you opened the link above, you saw immediately the complexity of these rules. There is an exemption for Medicaid in schools. However, many immigrant families will not understand that and will be afraid to give consent for IDEA services, for fear of the effects on their immigration status. In fact, some CASE members have already reported this happening, including parents asking to withdraw their children from current services.

ACTION: CASE has developed comments and requests that each CASE member considers making comment. See below for details.

DEADLINE:  December 10.


1.  Use the  template link and fill in district-specific information in the highlighted areas. Personal stories are critical. DHS has already indicated they will not read “form letters!” By “personalizing” the highlighted areas, you will be making it a more individualized letter! This is a critical part of the directions!

2.   To submit your comments:

  • Format your response as a Word/PDF document (use organizational letterhead if possible)..
  • Go to
  • In the ‘Comment” box, type “(name of unit) is pleased to submit the following comments on the proposed regulation on “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.”
  • Below the comment box:
    • Upload your file.
    • Enter your first and last name.
    • Click ‘continue.’
  • Review the information on this page, including a check to ensure your document is attached.
  • Click the ‘I have read and understand’ item.
  • Click ‘Submit Comment.

3.  NOTE:  You can also send a copy of your comments to your Senators and House members.  We recommend attaching to an email and indicating that the proposed regulation is of deep concern to your members


Dear CASE member;
My name is Adam Lockwood and I am an Assistant Professor of School Psychology at Western Kentucky University. I am writing to request your assistance in an IRB approved research study examining special education academic assessment practices in the United States of America. Your participation is requested because you are a special education administrator and your input is vital to this study.
The information gathered in this study is intended to help provide data regarding who administers the tests of academic achievement used for special education eligibility, and what training these professionals have in this area. As there is currently limited information on this topic, this information is important for determining the assessment training needs of educators.
Participants who complete the survey will be eligible to participate in two drawings for Amazon gift cards worth $150 each.
The online survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.  Your responses to the survey will be confidential and protected. Those who choose to participate in this study will complete the instrument online; the link is provided below: 

Please complete the Survey

Support for Teachers and Leaders

As you think about ways to help retain your teachers this school year, I hope you will consider how much CEC has to offer to your teachers and encourage them to join! If you want materials for your teachers, contact Judy Harrison at CEC and I am sure she will be glad to send some your way! And I guess I should say, if you are not a member of CEC and CASE, now is the perfect time to join! If you are a lapsed member, you should have gotten a special offer from CEC and CASE to rejoin so go back and look up that email and see what benefits CEC and CASE hold for you and your teachers! Here’s hoping you have a great 2018-2019 school term!

Discussing Disproportionality

This issue is very important to our CASE President Wolfram, who has appointed an Ad Hoc committee to work on the topic. With that in mind, we are already setting up three Cracker-barrel sessions during our Fall conference to have open discussions on how this plays out differently in the various states and provinces. This is important work and we really need to hear from our members on various areas such as do you think the risk ratio method works well for your district …

If you have any thoughts or examples, please share them on the CASE Facebook page.

Resources to help with all that you have on your plate…

Exceptional Children has an exciting new resource that CEC contributed to developing: The High-Leverage Practices Video Series. The video series supports teacher educators and new teachers with concrete, easy-to-access examples of High-Leverage Practices in action, in real classrooms with real students. The videos and supporting resources are easily and freely accessible online, offering a practical, real-world illustration of HLPs by teachers intentionally and explicitly using the practice to meet the specific needs of students in their classrooms. HLP videos highlight research-based practices that are captured in settings that resonate with diverse contexts, subject areas, grade levels and student needs. Moreover, the videos demonstrate practices across levels of intensity.