In The Politics of Autism, I write about special education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
At Education Week, Christina Samuels reports that the Senate HELP Committee will hold a December 5 hearing on the nomination of Johnny Collett to head the federal office of special education and rehabilitative services.
A number of special education advocates have had kind words to say about him, including Paulette Logsdon, the executive director of the Kentucky Special Parent Involvement Network. In an email to Education Week, she said she was "delighted" about the appointment. Her organization, also known as KY-SPIN, is a federally-funded parent training and information center. Every state has at least one PTI, charged with linking parents with resources to help them support their children with disabilities.
"Some of us at SPIN have worked with him on individual issues, and as parent center staff. This ranges from his work with the State Advisory Panel, to [individualized education program] development, to transition issues. He has always had us at the table when discussing issues regarding parents or children with disabilities," Logsdon said.
Nancy Reder, who heads government relations for national special education administrators' group, said Collett "is just a thorough professional, very thoughtful, he has tons of experience at all levels."
And Chris Minnich, the executive director of CCSSO, said in an interview that Collett's nomination "is a sign these kids are going to be protected, but also pushed in a way that we set high expectations for these kids," he said. "I think it's a really important nomination, and I'm really proud of Johnny for getting it."