About Us

About Us

About Us

NDTAC serves as a national resource center to provide direct assistance to States, schools, communities, and parents seeking information on the education of children and youth who are considered neglect, delinquent, or at-risk.

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Who We Are

The National Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Neglected or Delinquent Children and Youth (NDTAC) was established in 2002 through support from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). NDTAC serves as a national resource center to provide direct assistance to States, schools, communities, and parents seeking information on the education of children and youth who are considered neglected, delinquent, or atrisk. The education of youth involved in the juvenile justice system is a primary focus of the Center. 

NDTAC’s leaders are Dr. David Osher, Mr. Simon Gonsoulin, and Ms. Michelle Perry.

NDTAC works with State and local administrators and service providers of the Title I, Part D program to:

  • Ensure youth who are neglected or delinquent have the opportunity to meet the same challenging State academic standards that all children are expected to meet
  • Improve educational services for children and youth who are neglected, delinquent, or at risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system
  • Provide children and youth who are neglected or delinquent with the services needed to make a successful transition from institutions to schools and/or employment
  • Prevent youth who are at risk of academic failure from dropping out of school
  • Provide children and youth who have dropped out of school, or who are returning to school after residing in an institution, with a support system to ensure their continued education 

Our Mission

The overarching mission of NDTAC is to improve educational programming for youth who are neglected or delinquent. NDTAC is legislated to:

  1. Provide information, resources, and direct technical assistance to States and those who support or provide education to youth who are neglected or delinquent. See the Technical Assistance section for more information.
  2. Develop a model and tools to assist States and providers with reporting data and evaluating their services. See the Program Evaluation & Data Reporting section for more information.
  3. Serve as a facilitator to increase information-sharing and peer-to-peer learning at State and local levels. See the Facilitating Information Sharing section for more information.

Technical Assistance
Information, resources, and technical assistance are provided through a variety of avenues, including Web site resources, Center-sponsored conferences and Webinars, and personalized assistance.  On this site, practitioners can learn about innovative programs and practices, gain information on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), amended in 2001, and how it affects the neglected and delinquent population, and connect to direct assistance. View NDTAC’s Direct Assistance page to learn more about our technical assistance offerings and locate the NDTAC staff member that has been assigned as the liaison for your State. Visit our Events page to learn about our web-based conferences (Webinars), monthly Q&A calls, and other related events around the country. Join the Title I, Part D / NDTAC e-mail list to keep up to date with the Center’s resource and technical assistance offerings and to connect with your peers in the field.

Program Evaluation & Data Reporting
NDTAC, in collaboration with the US Department of Education (ED), has worked to create a model for evaluating all Title I, Part D programs routinely and in a uniform manner. The first collection began in the 2004-2005 SY. Currently, a set of performance measures are collected annually from each State through ED’s Consolidated State Performance Reports (CSPR). A major focus of NDTAC’s technical assistance services is the annual data collection process and data quality improvement.  Visit the Reporting and Evaluation section for more information about the CSPR, data reporting tools, and other Part D data-related activities. 

NDTAC also assists in disseminating the program’s evaluation results for purposes of (1) addressing Federal reporting requirements, such as the Title I, Part D indicators for the Government Performance and Results Act; (2) providing information to congress and legislators on the progress of students in Part D programs; and (3) providing feedback to the field about the performance of juvenile justice education programs in their States or localities.  

Facilitating Information Sharing and Peer-to-Peer Learning
State and local administrators across the country often face similar challenges and independently find solutions that may benefit their peers.  NDTAC recognizes that the opportunity to discuss questions and innovative solutions with other administrators, practitioners, and experts in the field is invaluable. Therefore, the Center coordinates activities that facilitate cross-agency and cross-State communication.  NDTAC also works to facilitate collaborative relationships between agencies and families, mentors, and community organizations.

Our Leadership

NDTAC is operated by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), a nonprofit research organization that performs basic and applied research, provides technical support, and conducts analyses based on methods of the behavioral and social sciences.

The Center’s principal investigator is Dr. David Osher. Mr. Simon Gonsoulin serves as the Center’s director and Ms. Michelle Perry as its deputy director.

Dr. David Osher has over 25 years of experience as a teacher, administrator, and researcher. Dr.Osher has a wide-ranging background in juvenile justice, children’s mental health, and the education of children at risk of poor community outcomes.

Mr. Simon Gonsoulin brings to NDTAC over 30 years of experience in education, special education, and juvenile justice. Mr. Gonsoulin is an expert in issues related to juvenile justice education and administration as well as special education administration.

Ms. Michelle Perry brings almost 15 years of experience in the areas of project management, training and technical assistance. She brings expertise in the areas of special education, early warning systems, dropout prevention and data systems related to a variety of projects with the U.S. Department of Education. 

Our Staff

Staff members are listed in alphabetical order. Please feel free to contact us for further information. General comments and requests may be sent to NDTAC@air.org

David Blumenthal
State Liaison

Okori Christopher
Project Technologist

Greta Colombi
Senior Researcher

Greta Columbi

Katherine Deal
State Liaison

Katherine Deal

Simon Gonsoulin
Project Director

Simon Gonsoulin

Kia Jackson
Research Assistant

Rob Mayo
State Liaison

Rob Mayo

David Osher
Principal Investigator

David Osher

Michelle Perry
Deputy Project Director

Jake Sokolsky
Research Associate

Sara Trevino

Jenna Tweedie
Research Associate

Jenna Tweedie

NDTAC Expert Panel

NDTAC benefits from a diverse and knowledgeable panel of experts, comprised of 14 individuals with expertise in educational and related services for youth who are neglected or delinquent (N or D). Panelists bring experience as researchers and evaluators of N or D programs, SEA and SA program administrators, and local practitioners. 

Shay Bilchik, J.D.
Research Professor; Director,
Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR)
Georgetown Public Policy Institute
Georgetown University

Sixto M. Cancel
Chief Executive Officer
Think of Us

Jenny Collier, J.D.
Project Director
Robert F. Kennedy Resource Center
for Juvenile Justice

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

David Domenici, J.D.
Executive Director
Center for Educational Excellence in
Alternative Settings


Lili Garfinkel
Juvenile Justice Program
PACER Center


Heather Griller Clark, Ph.D.
Principal Research Specialist,
Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate
School of Education

Arizona State University

David Houchins, Ph.D.
Center for Research on Atypical Development
and Learning (CRADL)
Department of Educational Psychology,
Special Education, and Communication Disorders 

Georgia State University

Lindy Khan, Ed.D.
Director, Innovation and Support,
Student Programs & Services
Director, Adult Correctional Education, 
Contra Costa County Office of Education


Peter Leone, Ph.D.
Department of Counseling, Higher 
Education, and Special Education (CHSE)

University of Maryland at College Park

Kent McGuire, Ph.D., M.A.
President and CEO
Southern Education Foundation

Kathleen McNaught, J.D.
Assistant Staff Director of Child
American Bar Association’s Center on
Children and the Law


Thomas O’Rourke, Ed.D.
Educational Consultant
Former Superintendent of Schools
Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice

Nina Salomon
Senior Policy Analyst
Council of State Governments
Justice Center (CSG)


Dorothy (Dottie) Wodraska, M.Ed.
Educational Consultant


NDTAC Partners

The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is proud to partner with the following organizations as the National Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Neglected and Delinquent Children and Youth in support of the U.S Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education’s efforts to address
Title I, Part D of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act:

Telephone: (202) 309-8595
3220 N St NW
PMB 249
Washington, DC 20007
website: http://keleherassociates.com/

Telephone: (301) 592-2130
1050 Thomas Jefferson St., NW,
Suite 2134
Washington, DC 20007
website: http://www.lpeassociates.com/