Teri Williams Valentine has over 20 years of experience developing and managing integrated systems of special education law, policy, and practice focused on student access and opportunity.
As a Senior Program Associate with WestEd’s Special Education Policy and Practice team, Williams Valentine focuses on funding and accountability systems within the framework of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and state special education law. As a technical assistance facilitator with the National Center for Systemic Improvement and a member of the research team examining California’s governance and accountability framework, she helps states examine their own systems and increase their capacity for improving student outcomes through coherence of vision, action, and resource allocation.
Prior to joining WestEd in 2020, Williams Valentine served as the Director of Special Education Planning and Policy at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She managed the agency’s special education general supervision responsibilities as well as the state’s special education policy agenda. Under her leadership, the state improved its implementation of IDEA requirements and has met state requirements since 2014. Additionally, the state began its most significant reform effort since the reauthorization of IDEA to reconceptualize student-centered Individualized Education Program (IEP) development using a framework of improvement and implementation science.
Williams Valentine has been a panelist for Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) leadership conferences and for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education.
Williams Valentine holds a JD from Northeastern University School of Law and a BA in religion from Haverford College.