KANSAS COMMISSIONER RECEIVES SENATE CONFIRMATION
TOPEKA, October 14, 2009/ The White House announced the confirmation of Dr. Alexa Posny as the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) . Shewill assume her new duties as the Assistant Secretary next month.
President Obama said, “Dr. Posny brings with her valuable expertise in this field, and I am grateful for her decision to serve in my administration.”
As the Kansas Commissioner of Education, Posny is 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 a little over $4.5 billion dollars. Prior to this, she was appointed as the Director of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) for the U.S. Department of Education (ED), a position in which she assisted state and local efforts to effectively educate all children and youth with disabilities. Other positions that Posny has held included 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 1 Technical Assistance Center (TAC) network of TACs across the United States, and a Senior Research Associate at Research and Training Associates in Overland Park, KS. Currently she serves on the Board of Directors for the Chief State School Officers, the National Council for Learning Disabilities, and chairs the National Assessment Governing Board’s Special Education Task Force. She is a member of the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHY) and the National Down Syndrome Society.
Dr. Posny’s tenure as the Kansas Commissioner of Education, while short, has resulted in many positive and effective outcomes for students and teachers. Her belief that all children can achieve to high levels has translated into a number of initiatives that serve all Kansas children well. One such program that Dr. Posny was instrumental in starting in Kansas is the Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS). MTSS is a coherent continuum of evidence-based, system-wide practices to support a rapid response to academic and behavioral needs, with frequent data-based monitoring for instructional decision-making to empower each Kansas student to achieve to high standards.
Posny has also been very active in the recruitment and retention of teachers in our state. She was instrumental in the development of the Teaching in Kansas Commission (TKC) and has worked to implement the recommendations that come from the Commission. As a result of the work of the TKC, Kansas was the first state to formalize a legal regulation honoring career teachers. The U.S. Department of Education asked Kansas to be part of a national webinar discussing the process of developing the teacher leader work that resulted in the regulation. The work of the Commission has also impacted higher education, P-12 education, and educators through state-piloted mentoring for both teachers and leaders, professional development, standards revision, and the teacher leader endorsement to name a few of the recommended deliverables accepted by the State Board of Education.TKC brought together stakeholders with a single purpose—improve recruitment and retention.