Area of Work

Special Education

WestEd helps education and human service agencies build state and local capacity to improve developmental and academic outcomes for children and young adults with disabilities. We also provide technical assistance to state agencies and professional development to early intervention and district personnel, conduct research and program evaluations, and develop evidence-based resources.

One of our signature initiatives, the National Center for Systemic Improvement, works with states to help them transform their systems to improve outcomes for children — from infants to youth — with disabilities.

Featured WestEd Experts

Making a positive difference in the field

  • Rorie Fitzpatrick

    Rorie Fitzpatrick

    Fitzpatrick serves as Director of the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI), which plays a major role in helping states achieve a national vision of Results-Driven Accountability (RDA) for special education and early intervention programs.

    Rorie Fitzpatrick has worked in education for more than 20 years, with significant expertise and experience at the statewide level in improving results for students with disabilities. Prior to joining WestEd, Fitzpatrick served as Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction for the state of Nevada.

  • Michelle Rovins

    Michele Rovins

    Michele Rovins serves as the Associate Director of the National Center for Systemic Improvement, a nationwide technical assistance center that helps states transform their systems to improve outcomes for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.
    Rovins has over 25 years of experience in the field of education, mostly focused on the education of children and youth with disabilities. Specializing in systems change, technology systems development, implementation, and evaluation, she has successfully managed several projects for the U.S. Department of Education and served as the Chief of Staff for the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.