A Special Education expert for five decades, Dr. Steven C. Imber served as a professor of special education from 1973 2021. He serves as a special education advocate, consultant to attorneys, parents and schools. He has conducted more than 600 independent educational evaluations.
B.S. Psychology (High Honors) State University of New York at Buffalo
Doctoral Studies, Clinical Psychology, University of Connecticut
M.A. from the Department of Educational Psychology (Special Education - Learning Disabilities), University of Connecticut (Kappa Delta Phi)
Ph.D. from the Department of Educational Psychology (Special Education -Emotional Disturbance (High Honors)
As a special education expert, Dr. Imber has worked on cases with children, adolescents and adults with a broad array of disabilities. He provides professional advocacy and consultation for children with the following disabilities:
Attention Deficit Disorders
Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Intellectual Disabilities (Cognitive Deficits)
Other Disabilities and Disorders
Areas of Expertise:
Criminal Defense of Individuals with Disabilities – competence to stand trial and comprehension of Miranda Warning Rights
Family Custody Matters involving Disputes regarding matters of Education and Special Education
Special Education Regulations and Law
Dr. Imber has been involved in cases from the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.
Depositions and Direct Testimony Dr. Imber has testified in federal court, various district courts, superior court, family and probate court and in numerous due process hearings since 1975.
Below are listed recent cases in which Dr. Imber provided testimony during depositions or directly in various court matters:
October 21, 2021, Family Court: State of Hawaii, Plaintiff
October 19, 2021, Hancock County Circuit Court, West Virginia Criminal Action, Defendant
September 29, 2021, Chicago Public Schools Cook County, Defendant
July 6, 2021, Worcester County Probate and Family Court, Plaintiff
August 10, 2021, Springfield District Court, Defendant
May – June 2019, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Division of Administrative Law Appeals, Bureau of Special Education Appeals BSEA, Plaintiff
Published several articles in national and international journals within the fields of special education and psychology
Presented at several local, state, regional, national and international conferences and meetings
Rhode Island Office Sprout Building 166 Valley Street Providence, RI 02909 Telephone: 401-421-4004
New York Office 61-43 186th Street Fresh Meadows, NY 11365 Telephone: 516-273-1961
In short, an expert who purports to claim that he (or she) can support the position of any client may be strong on an overindulged sense of confidence, but a bit weak on integrity. During the past several years, I have learned that issues that pertain to educational decision-making that is truly in the best interests of the child are complex, intriguing and deserving of a blend of careful scientific and intuitive analysis
On March 22 the U.S. Supreme Court issued an 8-0 opinion in the case Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, ruling in favor of the parents of a student with autism spectrum disorder who had charged that the district did not meet the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA. The parents argued that their child did not receive a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) that was mandated by Congress.
Prior to 1966, the Supreme Court sought to define the Constitution's protection against self-incrimination with regard to juveniles, to the mentally impaired, and to psychological coercion by police (see Gallegos v. Colorado, 1962; Blackburn v. Alabama, 1960; Fikes v. Alabama, 1957; Chambers v. Florida, 1940).
Virginia Rhodes, EdD has over 35 years experience in Urban School District Policy, School Development, Administration and Teaching. Dr. Rhodes' specialties include persistently failing city schools, new school start-ups, intentional school design
District and individual school strategy for equity
Replacing factory model district & school structures with highly engaging models
Replacing punitive discipline with developmental systems
*STEM start-ups and environmental school design
Innovative teacher hiring, and teacher-led school models, including in districts with collective bargaining
Replacing toxic district or school culture with human-friendly models
Effective school security and safety--beyond electronics to the human side
Collaborating with community grassroots organizing partners
Background - Dr. Rhodes has provided consulting services to an international firm on certain aspects of U.S. public school practices prior to their exploration of a related market sector. She acted as a consultant to the University of Cincinnati Career Center assisting in the development of pre-service teacher hiring expectations. Dr. Rhodes was retained by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to co-investigate a study for mental health and achievement factors related to excessive student mobility.
As a consultant on AdvancedEd School Accreditation Teams, she has evaluated high school performance. Dr. Rhodes has researched and written numerous articles on school mobility, achievement, culture, and STEM (NSF). She has conducted numerous training workshops and spoken on urban school district policy and other related topics to various community groups and national educational organizations.
What does it take to improve science performance in an inner-city high school? Could a science "immersion" strategy change motivation and interest in science? How can we meet a key strategic goal of our urban district: "All students graduate and are prepared for postsecondary education, successful careers and productive citizenship."
Creative professionals in team-based work settings value work communications skills among their colleagues. As public schools create professional learning communities and experiment with teacher-led curriculum and program development, traditional interview processes may prove inadequate for these new collaborative environments. New and creative selection models may be needed to enable teacher or other professional teams to choose candidates with the 21st century skills needed for success. In public sector environments, work rules are often highly developed and professionals are entitled to interview. Qualifications, training, experience and seniority as determinants often get reduced to transfer rights using seniority as the main or only criteria. This trend detracts from creating a competitive environment in which to attract & retain a high-quality teaching staff. Solutions can be found within existing contract parameters, however, if the attributes necessary to teach 21st Century skills are actually required to be demonstrated, not just described, in the interview process.
Critical to a dynamic STEM school is a high level of instructional rigor. While this is true in all STEM schools, it is a particular challenge in those programs that serve populations inexperienced with high levels of rigor in their previous coursework.
Establishing a STEM High School (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics), and the Aiken Environmental, Ohio's first public environmental high school proved to be successful strategies to increase student engagement and raise standardized scores in science. High-poverty urban students from declining academic and disciplinary environments produced significant gains on science test results and credit attainment towards graduation. Using multiple overlapping rigor and SEL strategies, students experienced "science immersion," project-based learning, and a social-emotional curriculum that emphasized personal development and team/community-building skills.
Dr. Joseph S. Schwartzberg, is an Educational Consultant / Expert Witness who provides consultation and testimony on cases involving students with disabilities.
Dr. Schwartzberg was responsible for developing and administering legally compliant special education programs for the 14 districts of North San Diego County. For 13 years, he served as the Senior Director of the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education for the San Diego County Office of Education. For the 7 years prior, he was the Division Director for the Southern Westchester, NY, Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES).
Litigation Support - Dr. Schwartzberg is experienced and skilled at deposition and trial testimony in state and federal court, broad knowledge and expertise in several areas, including but not limited to the following: matters related to the appropriate programming / services for children with disabilities, standards of care and school district responsibilities, child abuse and mandated reporter responsibilities,school safety, other agency services and responsibilities, plaintiff and defendant responsibilities, family court, civil court and administrative hearings, alternative dispute resolution.
Areas of Expertise:
Standards of Care
Other Agency Responsibilities
Appropriate Programming for Students with Disabilities