Crucial topics for students with disabilities and guidance for special education directors and teachers were provided this week by Dr. Melody Musgrove, Director of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) for the U.S. Department of Education.
Musgrove was the keynote speaker at the Oklahoma Directors of Special Services (ODSS) Fall Conference held in Norman on October 23-24.
Musgrove’s call to kindle high expectations of and improve outcomes for all children stirred the passions of enthusiastic leaders in special education. Dr. Rene Axtell, Oklahoma’s Assistant State Superintendent of Special Education, praised Musgrove’s commitment and leadership toward Oklahoma’s educators. “Our State is so fortunate that Dr. Musgrove could come in person to share her inspiration and guidance with us today. She is a frontrunner for excellence in special education,” Axtell said.
Musgrove was invited to speak by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE), working in collaboration with the Special Education Services (SES) and the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA), and Oklahoma Directors of Special Services (ODSS).
The White House selected Musgrove as director of the OSEP in August 2010. OSEP is responsible for providing leadership to the early intervention and educational agencies serving the nation’s 6.7 million infants, toddlers, children and youth under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Musgrove’s career is distinguished by her commitment to collaborative frameworks that find creative solutions to difficult educational problems. She is focused on improving outcomes for all children, and experienced in using data to influence systemic improvement decisions. Since becoming director, Musgrove has been leading OSEP staff through a thoughtful process, in collaboration with stakeholder groups, to change the way OSEP works and to shift, as Secretary Arne Duncan has said, “from a compliance-driven bureaucracy to an engine of innovation” that is focused on improving results for children and families.