Arkansas State Personnel Development Grant

1401 W. Capital Ave.
Suite #425
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 319-7333
Fax: (501) 379-8387


Howard M. Knoff, Ph.D.Howard M. Knoff, Ph.D. has been the Director of the State Improvement Grant (SIG) and the State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) for the Arkansas Department of Education's Special Education Division (ADE-SEU) since the initial award of the SIG grant in October, 2003.  The SPDG grant was awarded to the ADE-SEU by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs as a five-year, $1 million per year grant in October, 2009.  Dr. Knoff also created Project ACHIEVE in September, 1990 while he was a professor at the University of South Florida (USF-Tampa). 

As SPDG Director, Dr. Knoff helps to oversee the primary SPDG goals that include:  the statewide implementation of Project ACHIEVE’s Positive Behavioral Self-Management approach; literacy and mathematics interventions for at-risk, underachieving, and students with disabilities; Response-to-Instruction and Intervention (RtI), Closing the Achievement Gap, and technical assistance to schools/districts in School Improvement status; and special education and related service personnel recruitment, training, and retention.  As Director of Project ACHIEVE, a nationally-known school effectiveness/improvement program that has been designated a National Model Prevention Program by the U. S. Department of Health & Human Service’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Dr. Knoff has trained over 1,500 schools or school districts over a 20-year period.  During his 22 years at USF, Dr. Knoff was the Director of its School Psychology Program for 12 years, and he also created and directed the Institute for School Reform, Integrated Services, and Child Mental Health and Educational Policy.

Dr. Knoff received his Ph.D. degree from Syracuse University in 1980, and has worked as a practitioner, consultant, licensed private psychologist, and university professor since 1978. Dr. Knoff is widely respected for his research and writing on school reform and organizational change, consultation and intervention processes, social skills and behavior management training, Response-to-Intervention, and professional issues. He has authored or co-authored 15 books, published over 75 articles and book chapters, and delivered over 500 papers and workshops nationally—including the Stop & Think Social Skills Program (Preschool through Middle School editions) and the Stop & Think Parent Book: A Guide to Children’s Good Behavior both through Cambium Press/Sopris West Educational Services.

Dr. Knoff received the Lightner Witmer Award from the American Psychological Association's School Psychology Division in 1989 for early career contributions, he is a Fellow of APA's School Psychology Division, and he has been awarded over $15 million in external grants during his career.  He was the 21st President of the National Association of School Psychologists which now represents over 26,000 school psychologists nationwide.

Relative to his national work in school reform and related areas, Knoff was a national trainer and member of the National Association of School Psychologist’ in-service cadre participating in the Associations of Service Providers Implementing IDEA Reforms in Education network (ASPIIRE) through the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in the U. S. Department of Education.  He also was a Committee Member in OSEP’s five year strategic planning process—working on the Positive Behavioral Support and School-Wide Discipline work group—during the Fall of 2000. In addition, Knoff completed an on-site three-year dissemination grant for Project ACHIEVE, also from OSEP, working with the Baltimore, Cleveland, and Tampa (Hillsborough County) city school districts.

Relative to school safety issues, Dr. Knoff was on the writing team that helped produce Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools, the document commissioned by President Clinton that was sent to every school in the country in the Fall of 1998; and he participated in a review capacity on the follow-up document, Safeguarding our Children: An Action Guide.

In addition, Dr. Knoff was invited to discuss both Project ACHIEVE and its safe schools component at the “National IDEA Summit,” sponsored by OSEP and held in Washington, DC in June, 2001. He also has discussed Project ACHIEVE at such national meetings as: (a) the 1999 Improving America's Schools Conference "Creating Safe Schools and Healthy Students Institute," sponsored by the U. S. Department of Education in Tampa, FL in October, 1999; (b) the Safe and Effective Schools for ALL Children: What Works! A National Teleconference sponsored by the U. S. Departments of Education and Justice and the Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice at the American Institutes for Research in Washington, D. C. in September, 1999; (c) the National Education Association's Safe Schools Summit in Los Angeles in April, 1995: and (d) the National Education Goals Panel/National Association of Pupil Personnel Service Organization's "Safe Schools, Safe Communities" meeting in October, 1994.  Dr. Knoff has been a featured speaker at numerous national and state conventions across the country; he provides frequent interviews in all areas of the media; and he was highlighted on an ABC News' 20/20 program on "Being Teased, Taunted, and Bullied" on April 28th, 1995.

Finally, from a consultation perspective, Dr. Knoff has worked with over 1,500 schools or school districts across the country as an organizational consultant or a technical consultant relative to the building-based implementation of Project ACHIEVE or one of its seven components. He has also consulted with such agencies as the Department of Defense Dependents School District, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Alaska State Department of Education, and a number of legal advocacy firms relative to expert testimony on cases related to student rights and assurances.  Dr. Knoff is constantly sought after for his expertise in a wide variety of school, psychological, and other professional issues.  He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (School Psychology Division), a Nationally Certified School Psychologist through the National Association of School Psychologists, a Licensed Psychologist in Arkansas, and he has been trained in both crisis intervention and mediation processes.

Model "Response-to-Intervention/Closing the Achievement Gap" School and District Implementation Guidebook Available. Accompanied by an "Implementation Q and A Resource"
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