The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) issues position statements on topics that are of wide concern to our community. These statements build consensus using research and evidence-based practice. Statements are created by the Policy Steering Committee and approved by the Board of Directors.
Positions Currently Being Drafted
Current Position Statements
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) vigorously supports educational reforms within the public schools which promote rigorous learning standards, strong educational outcomes, shared decision making, diverse educational offerings, and the removal of unnecessary administrative requirements. Charter schools, including virtual charter schools, are a form of public schools, and, as such, they are one approach many believe can be effective in achieving these objectives. However, such schools must reflect a commitment to free and universal public education, with equality of educational opportunity for all.
Regardless of who takes responsibility for the delivery of educational services for children and youth with exceptionalities - children and youth with disabilities and those who are gifted and talented - who attend a charter school, the chartering agency and authorizer, and, ultimately, the highest governmental authority, must ensure that the rights of children and youth with exceptionalities are upheld.
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) supports educators with disabilities including faculty, teacher candidates, and teachers in classrooms, schools, and institutions of higher education. Within the CEC membership, members embody a wide range of disabilities including learning, sensory, physical, and emotional areas. CEC recognizes the unique gifts, talents, and insights that educators with disabilities bring to the field of education. CEC believes that educators with disabilities possess strengths that emanate from first-hand experience managing disabilities during their education and employment.
These strengths are utilized daily when working with students. Personal experience with disability often places educators with disabilities in a unique position to understand and effectively teach children and youth while providing a role model of success. Other strengths of educators with disabilities include their compassion and empathy for students and families as a result of their own experiences, enabling them to build stronger rapport and partnerships through mutual understanding.
The Council for Exceptional Children recognizes that all children and youth with disabilities have the right to live and flourish in a safe environment where they are protected and have support to protect themselves from all forms of maltreatment—neglect as well as physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. Experiencing maltreatment can create a cascade of negative effects on children and youth’s health and cognitive, behavioral, language, and social development. CEC believes that professionals in special education must play an active role in preventing and responding to instances of maltreatment.
Download the Full Position Statement Here (2009) - Currently Under Review
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) recognizes access to the most effective educational strategies as the basic educational right of each child or youth with a disability. CEC believes that the least restrictive positive educational strategies should be always used to respect the child’s or youth’s dignity and that this especially pertains to the use of physical restraint and seclusion.
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) recognizes the impact that Response to Intervention (RTI) can have on the education of all children, roles of special educators, and the special education system. The RTI process is designed to identify struggling learners early, to provide access to needed interventions, and to help identify children with disabilities. RTI is a process intended to assist in identifying children with disabilities by providing data about how a child responds to scientifically based intervention as part of the comprehensive evaluation required for identification of any disability. Special educators play an integral role and have a strong and clear identity in the RTI process. To that end, CEC believes that any RTI process must include nonnegotiable guarantees related to special education and the key role of special educators.
Download the Full Position Statement Here (2004) - Currently Under Review
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) recognizes the important impact a safe and positive school climate has on the personal development and academic achievement of all students. Research has shown that schools implementing supportive and positive school climate strategies are more successful in creating environments conducive to learning. Recent incidents of school violence, including harassment directed at students with disabilities and/or gifts and talents, have drawn attention to the unacceptable cost of not assuring a safe and positive climate in our schools for all students. Furthermore, students with disabilities may be more at risk because they do not necessarily have the ability to understand and report what is happening to them.
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) recognizes the importance of special education teachers in the education of all children and youth. Special educators have always believed that children’s individual learning needs should drive instruction; indeed, pedagogy is the heart of special education practice. One way to judge a special education teacher’s knowledge and skill is through a thorough and valid teacher evaluation. High-quality evaluations that are rigorous, systematic, and developed collaboratively with special education teachers drive continuous improvement and excellence. The principles of good evaluation apply to all teachers. Thus, all teachers should be included in one evaluation system that is appropriately differentiated based on their professional role.
About Our Historical Archive
Positions provided below have, at one time, been a key part of CEC’s strategic direction. However, due to changing times and viewpoints, these positions have not been reviewed and may no longer fully represent the viewpoint of our community.