Lynnae M. Ruttledge Confirmed as Commissioner, Rehabilitation Services Administration, U.S. Department of Education.
Lynnae M. Ruttledge has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Commissioner, Rehabilitation Services Administration, U.S. Department of Education, on Dec. 24, 2009. Ruttledge had served as the director of the Washington Department of Social and Health Service, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation since 2005. She was responsible for leading Washington’s vocational rehabilitation program, working annually with more than 23,000 individuals with significant disabilities to achieve their vocational goals. Previously, Ruttledge served in leadership positions at the Oregon Department of Human Services, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services for more than 17 years. Ruttledge began her public service career in Michigan as a classroom teacher in the public school system. She has received numerous recognitions and awards including serving as a Mary E. Switzer Scholar on Emerging Workforce Issues with the National Rehabilitation Association in 2000 and being honored with the Oregon Governor’s Award as Disabled Oregonian of the Year in 2000 and the Washington Governor’s Award for Leadership in Management in 2007. As a person born with a disability, Ruttledge received assistance from the vocational rehabilitation program and graduated from the Northern Michigan University with a B.S. in Education.
(December 24, 2009)
Alexa E. Posny, Confirmed by the Senate as Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan congratulated Alexa E. Posny for being confirmed by the Senate on Monday, Oct. 5 as assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services.
Posny comes to the department from Kansas where she served as commissioner of education for the state. As commissioner, Posny was responsible for helping over 450,000 students meet or exceed high academic standards, licensing over 45,000 teachers and overseeing a state education budget of more than $4.5 billion. Prior to her work as commissioner, Posny served as the director of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) for the U.S. Department of Education, a position in which she assisted state and local efforts to effectively educate all children and youth with disabilities. Posny has also served as the Kansas deputy commissioner of education, Kansas state director of special education, director of special education for the Shawnee Mission School District, director of the Curriculum and Instruction Specialty Option as part of the Title I Technical Assistance Center (TAC) network of TACs across the United States, and a senior research associate at Research and Training Associates in Overland Park, Kan. Posny earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, a master’s degree in behavioral disabilities and a doctorate in educational administration both from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Posny has also served on the Board of Directors for the Chief State School Officers, the National Council for Learning Disabilities, and chaired the National Assessment Governing Board’s Special Education Task Force. Posny has also been a teacher at the elementary, middle school, high school and university levels.
(October 8, 2009)
October is Disability Employment Awareness Month
Expectation + Opportunity = Full Participation!
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today issued the following statement in support of President Obama's proclamation of October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month:
"President Obama and I recognize the critical role that education plays in empowering the next generation of Americans with disabilities. Through education, we can help people with disabilities build a strong foundation of knowledge and marketable skills with expectations for employment and the ability to give back to others in their communities. Stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act represents an unprecedented investment in students with disabilities and demonstrates the administration’s commitment to helping all Americans achieve success in school and work. We are proud of the many projects underway at the Department of Education to assist children and adults with disabilities in acquiring the tools they need to achieve their dreams," Secretary Duncan said.
To celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) will feature innovative, employment-based projects and individual success stories on http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/deam-2009.
In addition, the office will join the Department of Labor, Social Security Administration and other federal agencies for a celebration sponsored by the American Association of People with Disabilities Oct. 12-13 in Duluth, Minn., highlighting the importance of exposing youth with disabilities to work-based learning and job shadowing opportunities. OSERS staff will be gathering input in coming weeks from parents, educators, students with disabilities and others to inform work on upcoming legislative reauthorizations and issues of importance to students with disabilities.
(October 6, 2009)
Transition Activities in OSERS
Over the last four decades, the transition of youths with disabilities from school to productive adulthood has received high priority from OSERS' Office of the Assistant Secretary (OAS) and all three program components within OSERS: the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). These offices award discretionary and formula grants to states, and execute regulatory and policy guidance in an effort to have a successful impact on education and employment outcomes for youths with disabilities. To build upon this priority and the history of accomplishments among the program components, the OSERS Transition Steering Committee (Steering Committee) was established. OAS and all three program components of OSERS are represented on the Steering Committee. The purpose of the Steering Committee is to facilitate the collaborative efforts of OSERS to improve outcomes for youths with disabilities in their transition from secondary school to adulthood. One of the Steering Committee's first activities was the development and dissemination of Transition Activities in OSERS.
Transition Activities in OSERS describes past, present and upcoming OSERS transition activities, such as projects supporting youths with disabilities served by state agencies, written products offering technical assistance and OSERS-sponsored conferences facilitating the exchange of information among transition partners. It is intended to be used as a working document to broaden awareness of OSERS transition activities and includes link offering more detailed information whenever possible.
(August 19, 2009)
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services released state determinations on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for Part B and Part C for fiscal year 2007. The 2004 amendments to the IDEA require each state to develop a State Performance Plan (SPP) that evaluates the state's efforts to implement the requirements and purposes of the IDEA, and describes how the state will improve its implementation. The SPP includes baseline data, measurable and rigorous targets, and improvement activities for 20 indicators such as graduation rate, dropout rate, participation and performance on assessments, meeting evaluation timelines, and ensuring that complaints and hearings are resolved within required timelines.
(June 2, 2009)
Duncan Hails Passage of President's Stimulus Package, Cites "Historic Opportunity to Create Jobs and Advance Reform"
Education Secretary Arne Duncan today called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) a "historic opportunity to create jobs and advance education reform." He credited the "leadership of the President and the Congress in laying groundwork for a generation of education reform and economic opportunity."
The ARRA provides more than $100 billion in education funding and college grants and tuition tax credits, as well as billions more for school modernization. It includes:
- $12 billion for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) programs.
- $5 billion for Early Childhood, including Head Start, early Head Start, child care block grants, and programs for infants with disabilities. (Includes Department of Health and Human Services programs).
(February 18, 2009)