About the HLPs

In partnership with the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR), the Council for Exceptional Children has developed and published a set of high-leverage practices (HLPs) for special educators and teacher candidates. The HLPs are organized around four aspects of practice:

From these four aspects of practice, there are 22 practices intended to address the most critical practices that every K–12 special education teacher should master and be able to demonstrate. The selected practices are used frequently in classrooms and have been shown to improve student outcomes if successfully implemented.

The need for HLPs arose in recent decades from the rapid changes occurring in the field of special education. Teacher preparation programs have struggled to keep up with increased demands for instructional content and an evolving understanding of the complexity of why learners struggle.

Although there was consensus around the need for HLPs, CEC recognized that reaching agreement within the profession regarding which practices to include would require lengthy discussion and consideration. CEC partnered with the CEEDAR Center at the University of Florida and CEC’s Teacher Education Division (TED) to form an HLP writing team tasked with establishing criteria for identifying HLPs, selecting the practices, and writing the final document.

The HLP writing team consisted of special education practitioners, scholars, preparation faculty, and advocates. All twelve participants are CEC members who were appointed collaboratively by CEC, for their knowledge and expertise around both the reform of teacher preparation and the evidence base behind the practices in question.

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