NASET News Alert

First Commiss of Spec Ed

May 26, 2006

Edward J. Kame'enui Named Department's First Commissioner for Special Education Research

May 18, 2005-Washington DC--Edward J. Kame'enui, an international authority on learning problems and special education, has been named the nation's first commissioner for special education research. He will lead the National Center for Special Education Research, a newly established office within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES)—the research, evaluation and statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Education. The center was established by Congress in the 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
"We are so pleased to have someone with Ed Kame'enui's background and considerable skills fill this key position," said Grover "Russ" Whitehurst, IES director. "In establishing this center, Congress charged us with sponsoring research to expand knowledge and understanding of students with disabilities in order to improve their education results, and Ed is uniquely qualified to lead that effort."
A native of Hawaii, Kame'enui began his special education career in 1971 as a teacher and houseparent at a Wisconsin residential treatment center for children identified with serious emotional and behavioral problems. He comes to IES from the University of Oregon, where he has been a faculty member for the past 17 years. In the mid-1980s, Kame'enui was a professor of special education at Purdue University, and he served one year as a research specialist and project officer in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the U.S. Department of Education.
Kame'enui earned a bachelor of arts degree at Pacific University in Oregon and a master's degree and Ph.D., both in special education, at the University of Oregon. He is a widely traveled lecturer on reading and learning disabilities, the author or coauthor of more than a dozen textbooks and more than 100 scholarly articles and book chapters.
The National Center for Special Education Research is one of four centers within IES, an independent arm of the U.S. Department of Education, established by the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002. The other three centers are the National Center for Education Research, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance.
The new National Center for Special Education Research will sponsor rigorous research aimed at improving education results and services for students with disabilities, and will evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
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