IES Director John Q. Easton announced the appointment of Deborah Speece as Commissioner of the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) effective August 23, 2011. Known for her innovative studies of the classification and diagnosis of learning disabilities, Speece is a national leader in special education research and response to intervention strategies.
"We are so pleased to have such a well regarded and well known special education researcher join the IES senior leadership as Commissioner of the National Center for Special Education Research," said Easton. "Debbie will reach out broadly to the field to continue building the NCSER research portfolio."
For the past 27 years, Speece has served on the faculty in the College of Education at the University of Maryland where she is a professor in the Department of Special Education. The former co-editor of Learning Disabilities Research & Practice and Associate Editor of the American Educational Research Journal , Speece served on NCSER’s Technical Working Group for the Evaluation of Response to Intervention Strategies in Elementary Reading and on expert review panels for IES grant applications. A former educator in the Toledo, Ohio public schools, Speece has also taught children with learning and behavioral disabilities and she has served as the Coordinator of Early Childhood programs for the Children's Resource Center in Bowling Green, Ohio.
"I am honored to be selected as the Commissioner of the National Center for Special Education Research and look forward to working with Dr. Easton, the IES Commissioners, and the NCSER staff to advance our mission," said Speece. "Scientists who claim special education as their field of study are among the finest scholars in the country and I am eager to work with them, the special education community, and our colleagues in sister disciplines who are interested in addressing the challenges faced by children and youth with disabilities, their families, and their teachers."
Speece is the co-editor of two books, Research on Classroom Ecologies: Implications for Inclusion of Children with Learning Disabilities and Developmental Perspectives on Children With High-Incidence Disabilities . She served on the editorial board of eight scholarly research journals including Exceptional Children, Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness , and Contemporary Educational Psychology . In 2003 she won the School Psychology Review's Outstanding Article of the Year Award. A Fellow of the International Academy of Research in Learning Disabilities, Speece received her B.S. and M.Ed. in special education from Bowling Green State University and her Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Established in 2004 under the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, NCSER is one of the four centers within the Institute of Education Sciences. The center sponsors research to expand the knowledge and understanding of the needs of children and youth with disabilities and their families. Additionally, NCSER funds research designed to improve the services offered to meet these student’s needs and it works with the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance to evaluate the effectiveness and implementation of these services.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law established to ensure that children with disabilities and families of such children receive access to a free appropriate public education and to improve educational results for infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities.
View, download, and print IDEA (PL 108-446, 2004) as a PDF file (422 KB)
Established by the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002, the Institute of Education Sciences is the research arm of the Department of Education. Its mission is to expand knowledge and provide information on the condition of education, practices that improve academic achievement, and the effectiveness of Federal and other education programs. Its goal is the transformation of education into an evidence-based field in which decision makers routinely seek out the best available research and data before adopting programs or practices that will affect significant numbers of students.
View, download, and print ESRA (PL 107-279, 2002) as a PDF file (165 KB)
Content on Proposed Regulations:
The U.S. Department of Education has published regulations to implement the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA). The official version of this notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) is published in the Federal Register.
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