From the White House:
From Johnny Collett of Kentucky, to be the Assistant Secretary of Education for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Mr. Collett is the Director of Special Education Outcomes at the Council of Chief State School Officers. In this role, he supports states in their work to raise expectations and improve outcomes for children and youth with disabilities. He previously served as Director of the Division of Learning Services and State Director of Special Education at the Kentucky Department of Education. In this role, he provided oversight to a division that included special education, as well as other program areas such as English Learners, gifted and talented, response to intervention, the Kentucky School for the Blind, and the Kentucky School for the Deaf. He also served on the board of directors of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, serving a partial term as secretary-treasurer of the board. Mr. Collett also served in various other roles, including exceptional children consultant, assistant division director, and acting division director. Prior to working at the Kentucky Department of Education, he was a high school special education teacher. Mr. Collett is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, and Georgetown College (KY).From an April interview with Collett:
The same reason that academic success for any student is important to me. While it is true that much progress has been made over the last 40 years since the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), it is also true that there is still much work to do to ensure that all children, including students with disabilities, are prepared for success. For example, states have learned that a focus on compliance under IDEA, while necessary, is not sufficient by itself to improve achievement and outcomes for SWD. States are not content to maintain environments where the achievement of compliance alone is viewed as success. As a result, the focus has expanded beyond compliance to include intentional focus around results and to improving achievement and outcomes for SWD, as well as associated staff development and school improvement toward that end.At his confirmation hearing, senators should ask him about reports that DeVos wants to change rules concerning minority enrollment in special education.