Together again

In remembrance of Lynne Cooke, who passed away 7 July 2015, and Fred Weintraub, who passed away 2 May 2014:

Two Advocates for Students with Disabilities and Those Who Taught Them, Administered Special Education Programs, and Championed Their Rights.

Fred & Lynne at LC CEC Conf

Frances Partridge Connor

Frances Partridge Connor, an influential figure across many aspects of special education, passed away 28 March 2015 in Boca Raton, FL. She was the Richard March Hoe Professor Emeritus of Education at Teachers College of Columbia University in New York (NY, US).

For many decades, Professor Connor affected the practice and policy of special education. She not only chaired the special education program at Teachers College, but also served as president of the International Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). In addition, she advised local, state, federal, and international government agencies about educational policies related to children and youths with disabilties. She was also a member of multiple research teams focused on improving the tools of teachers and methods for advancing outcomes for children with disabilties.
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Frederick J. Weintraub, 1942-2014

Frederick J. Weintraub, one of the primary contributors to U.S. laws that guide special education, passed away 2 May 2014 at age 72. He was born 28 August 1942 in New York City, the son of Barbara and Israel Weintraub, and grew up in Philadelphia.

In addition to co-editing classic works on educational policy (e.g., Ballard, Ramirez, & Weintraub, 1982; Weintraub, Abeson, Ballard, & Lavor, 1976) and testifying before the U.S. Congress repeatedly, Fred is probably most widely known for his contributions to the development of the laws and regulations that are the foundations of special education in the U.S. In the mid-1970s he had substantial influence on Public Law 94-142 and the rules guiding its implementation. That law and those rules have quite literally affected the lives of millions of children and their families.

For most of his career, Fred worked for the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). He served in multiple different roles primarily focused on governmental relations, policy, and professional development. In 2006 CEC gave Fred its highest honor, the J. E. Wallace Wallin Lifetime Achievement Award. After his career with CEC, he moved to the Los Angeles area where he sometimes lectured at local universities and later served as a special monitor for the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Modified Consent Decree (based on the Chanda Smith Consent Decree).

Fred was a man of loyalty, consideration, character, and wit. He manifested all of those strengths when he sent a note to his friends a few weeks before his death, lamenting the fact that he would not see them at the annual CEC convention:

For the first time, since 1967, I will miss the pleasure of seeing you and my other CEC colleagues at the Convention. Since Philadelphia is where I grew up, my absence will be even more disappointing.

As some of you know my health has been declining for the past year leading to a near death system collapse in February. Since then I have been regaining my health and strength. However, we have found that the culprit for all the problems is Pancreatic Cancer, that is currently inoperable. While the chemo I am receiving may be of some help, I am not planning on submitting a session proposal for next year’s Convention.

I have had, thanks to many of you, a wonderful career. The campaigns we fought led to persons with disabilities having civil rights, children with disabilities having the right to an education and establishing national standards for the special education profession. Back in the early 1970’s I explained to a Member of Congress that he should support a civil rights amendment for people with disabilities by noting that at some point in our lives we will all be disabled. Well today I have an Accessible parking placard.

I am blessed to have a wonderful family and circle of friends. I am very proud of them and thankful for their support. For the past month we have shared stories about the adventures and experiences we had on this journey.
If there are stories you would like to share, I would love them. And if there are questions you may have about how we got here I’ll do my best to answer.

If you sense that I am spiritually and emotionally in a good place, you are correct. That is mostly because of the continuous support, assistance and love I receive from my wife and professional colleague Dr. Lynne Cook. If you are a friend of Lynne’s, as I know many of you are, a kind word or offer of support would be appreciated.

Finally, for those of you in Philly there is something you can do for me. Do one of the following:

  1. Have scrapple and eggs for breakfast
  2. Have an Italian Hoagie or Italian Cheese Steak with sweet and hot peppers for lunch (skip the Philly Cheese steak.
  3. Have a soft pretzel with mustard and a good beer
  4. Go to Independence Hall to remind yourself of what this journey has been about
  5. Share the experience

Best Wishes


Fred is survived by his wife, Lynne Cook and his daughters Marya Long and Heather Moore, as well as grandchildren. Donations can be made to the Frederick Weintraub Educational Leadership Scholarship at California State University, Northridge. See the obituary from the Los Angeles (CA) Times 18 May 2014.


Ballard, J., Ramirez, B., & Weintraub, F. J. (Eds.). (1982). Special education in America: Its legal and governmental foundations. Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children.

Weintraub, F. J., Abeson, A., Ballard, J., & LaVor, M. L. (Eds.). (1976). Public policy and the education of exceptional children. Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children.

Charles M. Huechert 1933-2011

Charles Melvin Heuchert died 20 September 2011 in Waynesboro (VA, US). Professor Heuchert, who was known as Chuck by many friends and colleagues, was born on 30 August 1933 in Henning (MN, US) to Karl and Amanda Lueker Heuchert. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force and a four-time graduate of the University of Michigan, completing Ph.D. studies in 1969.

After teaching engagements at Syracuse University, the University of Michigan, and Eastern Michigan University, Chuck joined the faculty at the University of Virginia. He was a member of the faculty at U.Va. in the special education program from 1969 through his retirement in 1998, serving in various capacities including as assistant and then associate dean for undergraduate studies and licensure.

Throughout a career that began as a teacher and spanned 40 years, Chuck was an active advocate for students with emotional and behavior disorders and a champion of compassion and caring for student’s emotional needs, promoting child-centered methods such as Life-Space Interviewing and Reality Therapy. In 1973 Chuck co-authored Pain & Joy in School with Edward W. Schultz and Susan M. Stampf and in 1983 he co-authored Child Stress and the School Experience with Schultz. In 1987-88 he served as president of the International Council for Exceptional Children, the world’s largest organization devoted to improving services for individuals with disabilities and the gifted.

Read an obituary from the Waynesboro News Virginian and the Curry School’s in memoriam

William Conley Rhodes, II, 1918-2011

William Conley Rhodes, II, died 18 February 2011 in The Villages (US, FL). Professor Rhodes, who was born in 14 November 1918 in Willets (LA, US), had a long career advocating for alternative perspectives about emotional and behavioral disorders.

Before his academic career, Professor Rhodes served in the US Army, achieving the rank of Captain. He completed bachelors and masters degrees at Emory University and took a doctoral degree in psychology from The Ohio State University. Professor Rhodes began his academic career at Vanderbilt University in the 1950s, working with Nicholas Hobbs. He then joined Eli Bower at the National Institute of Mental Health before going to the University of Michigan. After teaching and conducting research at the University of Michigan until 1980, Professor Rhodes finished his academic career as a senior scholar and visiting professor at the University of South Florida, where he taught until 2005.

An early paper in Exceptional Children by Professor Rhodes established his views about the reciprocal connection between children and their communities. Professsor Rhodes’ work on the Conceptual Project in Child Variance while at the University of Michigan in the early 1970s had substantial impact on special education for children and youth with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). The project resulted in a multi-volume publication called A Study of Child Variance that presented perspectives on EBD based on conceptual models popular at that time—biological, behavioral, psychodynamic, sociological, and ecological—and that ultimately set him on a path to adopting a view that taking a critical view was better than taking any particular theoretical view. His early-career interest in ecological approaches progressed into a later-career embrace of liberatory theory and post-modernism.

Professor Rhodes was the son of William and Nell Rhodes. He is survived by his wife, Estelle Smith Rhodes, whom he met and married in 1942; their children William Rhodes, III, Joseph Rhodes, Naomi Rhodes, and Trisha Rhodes; siblings; and eleven grandchildren.

Rhodes, W. C. (1967). The disturbing child: A problem of ecological management. Exceptional Children, 33, 449-455.

Rhodes, W. C. (1975). A study of child variance. Vol. 4: The future. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Rhodes, W. C., & Head, S. (Eds.) (1974). A study of child variance. Vol. 3: Service devlivery systems. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Rhodes, W. C., & Paul, J. L. (1978). Emotionally disturbed and deviant children: New views and approaches. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Rhodes, W. C., & Tracy, M. (Eds.) (1974a). A study of child variance. Vol. 1: Conceptual models. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Rhodes, W. C., & Tracy, M. (Eds.) (1974b). A study of child variance. Vol. 2: Interventions. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

(My thanks to the Rhodes children for sharing recollections of their father’s life with me and to Jim Paul for his help with some of these facts.—JohnL)

Melvin D. Levine, 1940-2011

Dr. Melvin D. Levine, a widely known pediatrician who championed learning differences among children, died 17 February 2011 in Rougemont (NC, US) at age 71 years. Dr. Levine developed an extensive following for his views about atypical learning through his writing and lecturing while he practiced at Children’s Hospital in Boston (MA, US) and the Center for Development and Learning and the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill (NC, US).
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Ivar Lovaas, 1927-2010

O. Ivar Lovaas, the clinical researcher responsible for the development of teaching procedures that are at the base of nearly all effective therapies for children with autism, passed away 2 August 2010. Professor Lovaas, who was born in Norway in 1927, was among a pioneering group of scholars who studied the use of principles based on behavioral psychology in treating deviant child behavior. Along with others, some of whom he numbered as co-authors (e.g., Donald M. Baer, Sidney W. Bijou), he can rightfully be considered a founder of applied behavior analysis.
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Kimberly L. Bright, 1957-2010

Kim Bright

Kimberly L. Bright, associate professor of special education at Shippensburg University, died 30 June 2010 in Harrisburg (PA, US).

Born 26 June 1957, she held degrees from several institutions of higher education. She received a bachelor’s degree from Millersville University, a master’s degree from Shippensburg University, and a doctoral degree from the Pennsylvania State University.

Prof. Bright began her career as a special education teacher. Later she became the director of special education for a local education agency in Pennsylvania. Prof. Bright served as treasurer for the Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD), an organization that she had previously served as the student representative, while completing graduate studies. In addition to her contributions to DLD, Prof. Bright also was active in the Pennsylvania chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children.

In addition to teaching courses about students with disabilities and effective teaching procedures, Prof. Bright also supervised many students during their practica. According to her colleague, David Bateman, “she is considered a mentor by many of the area’s best teachers.” To review comments by some of those individuals, read the tributes posted on her Facebook page.

Link to the obituary published by Hoover Funeral Homes.

Edward G. Carr, 1947-2009

Ted Carr

Edward Gary Carr, professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, died 20 June 2009 in an automobile accident. Professor Carr, who was know as “Ted” to friends and colleagues, conducted foundational studies about the functions that self-injurious behaviors served and contributed substantially to the development and refinement of methods known as “positive behavioral supports.” In addition, he assessed the benefits of teaching sign language to children with serious language problems such as Autism.

Professor Carr completed a doctoral degree at the University of California San Diego in 1973, worked briefly at the University of California Los Angeles, and then joined the faculty at Stony Brook where, in 2000, he was accorded the honor of an appointment as Leading Professor. During his tenure at Stony Brook he authored or co-authored scores of articles, chapters, monographs, and books; mentored many students; worked with organizations in the US and abroad; and founded and directed the Research & Training Center on Positive Behavior Support for Autism & Developmental Disabilities. His many publications include the books Communication-Based Intervention for Problem Behavior and How to Teach Sign Language to Developmentally Disabled Children.

Early in his career, Professor Carr began examining alternative explanations for self-injurious behavior among individuals with Autism, publishing “The Motivation of Self-injurious Behavior: A Review of Some Hypotheses” in the prestigious journal, Psychological Bulletin in 1977. Over the ensuing years he and colleagues increased the understanding of how self-injurious and other problem behavior might operate on the children’s environments, in effect serving a communicative function. He and others used this knowledge to develop and refine the procedures of functional behavior assessment. The work on humane means of reducing problem behaviors led Professor Carr and others to promote the methods of positive behavioral supports.

Link to biographical information about Professor Carr, a university-maintained page about him, and the Research & Training Center on Positive Behavior Support for Autism & Developmental Disabilities.

Kenneth A. Kavale 1946-2008

Kenneth A. Kavale, 1946-2008
Ken Kavale

Kenneth A. Kavale, a noted scholar who studied learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, intellectual disabilities, and special education policies, died Saturday 13 December 2008 in Virginia Beach (VA, US). Professor Kavale, who was born in 1946 in Brooklyn (NY, US) and was most recently a distinguished professor at Regent University in Virginia Beach (VA, US), was widely known for his work on the nature, assessment, and treatment of students with disabilities. He was author or co-author of hundreds of articles, book chapters, and books and had presented scores of papers at professional meetings, conferences, and other public venues.

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