Skip to main content

Cross-walks: Alignment of the CEC High Leverage Practices with the CEC Initial Practice-Based Professional Preparation Standards for Special Educators

In July 2020, the CEC Board of Directors approved the CEC Initial Practice-Based Professional Preparation Standards for Special Educators. These standards are the result of three years of work by the CEC Standards Development Work Group (SDWG). The SDWG carefully followed the guidance outlined in Shaping the Future of Special Education: Framing CEC’s Professional Preparation Standards  (CEC, 2017). The Framing Paper stated that: 

Essential specialized practices for special educators are defined in part by High Leverage Practices (HLPs), and for children with disabilities, birth through 5 years, the DEC Recommended Practices (2014). (p. 9)

Based on the above, the authors of the Framing Paper recommended that the next set of CEC standards be “practice-based and influenced by CEC’s High-Leverage Practices and DEC’s Recommended Practices (2014).” (p. 9)

The following cross-walks have been prepared to demonstrate the strong influence of the HLPs (McLeskey et al., 2017) in the writing of the CEC Standards. Throughout the development process the SDWG referenced the HLPS and ensured that these were embedded in the Standards. In addition, HLPs are cited in the Knowledge Bases that were prepared by the SDWG for each of the Standard Components.

The first chart is a cross-walk of the HLPs to the CEC Standards Components. The second displays the cross walk by CEC Standard Component. 

Last Updated:  9 November, 2020

Crosswalk: High Leverage Practices to CEC Standards Components

High Leverage Practice CEC Standard Component
HLP 1:  Collaborate with professionals to increase student success. 7.2  Candidates collaborate, communicate, and coordinate with families, paraprofessionals, and other professionals within the educational setting to assess, plan, and implement effective programs and services that promote progress toward measurable outcomes for individuals with and without exceptionalities and their families.
7.3  Candidates collaborate, communicate, and coordinate with professionals and agencies within the community to identify and access services, resources, and supports to meet the identified needs of individuals with exceptionalities and their families.
7.4  Candidates work with and mentor paraprofessionals in the paraprofessionals’ role of supporting the education of individuals with exceptionalities and their families.   
 

HLP 2:  Organize and facilitate effective meetings with professionals and families.

    
 

7.1  Candidates utilize communication, group facilitation, and problem–solving strategies in a culturally responsive manner to lead effective meetings and share expertise and knowledge to build team capacity and jointly address students’ instructional and behavior needs.

HLP 3:  Collaborate with families to support student learning and secure needed services.


 

1.2  Candidates advocate for improved outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities and their families while addressing the unique needs of those with diverse social, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds.
7.2  Candidates collaborate, communicate, and coordinate with families, paraprofessionals, and other professionals within the educational setting to assess, plan, and implement effective programs and services that promote progress toward measurable outcomes for individuals with and without exceptionalities and their families.
 
HLP 4:  Use multiple sources of information to develop a comprehensive understanding of a student’s strengths and needs.

2.1  Candidates apply understanding of human growth and development to create developmentally appropriate and meaningful learning experiences that address individualized strengths and needs of students with exceptionalities.

4.1  Candidates collaboratively develop, select, administer, analyze, and interpret multiple measures of student learning, behavior, and the classroom environment to evaluate and support classroom and school-based systems of intervention for students with and without exceptionalities.
4.2  Candidates develop, select, administer, and interpret multiple, formal and informal, culturally and linguistically appropriate measures and procedures that are valid and reliable, to contribute to eligibility determination for special education services.
4.3  Candidates assess, collaboratively analyze, interpret, and communicate students’ progress toward measurable outcomes using technology as appropriate, to inform both short- and long-term planning, and make ongoing adjustments to instruction.
6.3  Candidates systematically use data from a variety of sources to identify the purpose or function served by problem behavior to plan, implement, and evaluate behavioral interventions and social skills programs, including generalization to other environments.
 

HLP 5:  Interpret and communicate assessment information with stakeholders to collaboratively design and implement educational programs.


    
 

4.1  Candidates collaboratively develop, select, administer, analyze, and interpret multiple measures of student learning, behavior, and the classroom environment to evaluate and support classroom and school-based systems of intervention for students with and without exceptionalities.
4.3  Candidates assess, collaboratively analyze, interpret, and communicate students’ progress toward measurable outcomes using technology as appropriate, to inform both short- and long-term planning, and make ongoing adjustments to instruction.
 
HLP 6:  After special education teachers develop instructional goals, they evaluate and make ongoing adjustments to students’ instructional programs.

4.3  Candidates assess, collaboratively analyze, interpret, and communicate students’ progress toward measurable outcomes using technology as appropriate, to inform both short- and long-term planning, and make ongoing adjustments to instruction.

5.1  Candidates use findings from multiple assessments, including student self-assessment, that are responsive to cultural and linguistic diversity and specialized as needed, to identify what students know and are able to do. They then interpret the assessment data to appropriately plan and guide instruction to meet rigorous academic and non-academic content and goals for each individual.

HLP 7:  Establish a consistent, organized, and respectful learning environment. 6.1  Candidates use effective routines and procedures to create safe, caring, respectful, and productive learning environments for individuals with exceptionalities.
6.2  Candidates use a range of preventive and responsive practices documented as effective to support individuals’ social, emotional, and educational well-being.
 

HLP 8:  Provide positive and constructive feedback to guide students’ learning and behavior.


 

5.2  Candidates use effective strategies to promote active student engagement, increase student motivation, increase opportunities to respond, and enhance self‐regulation of student learning.
6.2  Candidates use a range of preventive and responsive practices documented as effective to support individuals’ social, emotional, and educational well-being.
 

HLP 9:  Teach social behaviors.

5.2  Candidates use effective strategies to promote active student engagement, increase student motivation, increase opportunities to respond, and enhance self‐regulation of student learning.
6.2  Candidates use a range of preventive and responsive practices documented as effective to support individuals’ social, emotional, and educational well-being.
6.3  Candidates systematically use data from a variety of sources to identify the purpose or function served by problem behavior to plan, implement, and evaluate behavioral interventions and social skills programs, including generalization to other environments.
 
HLP 10:  Conduct functional behavioral assessments to develop individual student behavior support plans.  6.3  Candidates systematically use data from a variety of sources to identify the purpose or function served by problem behavior to plan, implement, and evaluate behavioral interventions and social skills programs, including generalization to other environments.

HLP 11:  Identify and prioritize long- and short-term learning goals.


    
 

2.2  Candidates use their knowledge and understanding of diverse factors that influence development and learning, including differences related to families, languages, cultures, and communities, and  individual differences, including exceptionalities, to plan and implement learning experiences and environments.
3.1  Candidates apply their understanding of academic subject matter content of the general curriculum to inform their programmatic and instructional decisions for individuals with exceptionalities.
5.1  Candidates use findings from multiple assessments, including student self-assessment, that are responsive to cultural and linguistic diversity and specialized as needed, to identify what students know and are able to do. They then interpret the assessment data to appropriately plan and guide instruction to meet rigorous academic and non-academic content and goals for each individual.
 

HLP 12:  Systematically design instruction toward a specific learning goal.


 

2.2  Candidates use their knowledge and understanding of diverse factors that influence development and learning, including differences related to families, languages, cultures, and communities, and  individual differences, including exceptionalities, to plan and implement learning experiences and environments.
3.2  Candidates augment the general education curriculum to address skills and strategies that students with disabilities need to access the core curriculum and function successfully within a variety of contexts as well as the continuum of placement options to assure specially designed instruction is developed and implemented to achieve mastery of curricular standards and individualized goals and objectives.
5.3  Candidates use explicit, systematic instruction to teach content, strategies, and skills to make clear what a learner needs to do or think about while learning.
HLP 13:  Adapt curriculum tasks and materials for specific learning goals. 3.1  Candidates apply their understanding of academic subject matter content of the general curriculum to inform their programmatic and instructional decisions for individuals with exceptionalities.
3.2  Candidates augment the general education curriculum to address skills and strategies that students with disabilities need to access the core curriculum and function successfully within a variety of contexts as well as the continuum of placement options to assure specially designed instruction is developed and implemented to achieve mastery of curricular standards and individualized goals and objectives.
5.6  Candidates plan and deliver specialized, individualized instruction that is used to meet the learning needs of each individual.
 
HLP 14:  Teach cognitive and metacognitive strategies to support learning and independence. 3.2  Candidates augment the general education curriculum to address skills and strategies that students with disabilities need to access the core curriculum and function successfully within a variety of contexts as well as the continuum of placement options to assure specially designed instruction is developed and implemented to achieve mastery of curricular standards and individualized goals and objectives.
5.3  Candidates use explicit, systematic instruction to teach content, strategies, and skills to make clear what a learner needs to do or think about while learning.
5.6  Candidates plan and deliver specialized, individualized instruction that is used to meet the learning needs of each individual.
 

HLP 15:  Provide scaffolded supports.

3.2  Candidates augment the general education curriculum to address skills and strategies that students with disabilities need to access the core curriculum and function successfully within a variety of contexts as well as the continuum of placement options to assure specially designed instruction is developed and implemented to achieve mastery of curricular standards and individualized goals and objectives.

5.6  Candidates plan and deliver specialized, individualized instruction that is used to meet the learning needs of each individual.
6.3  Candidates systematically use data from a variety of sources to identify the purpose or function served by problem behavior to plan, implement, and evaluate behavioral interventions and social skills programs, including generalization to other environments.
 

HLP 16:  Use explicit instruction.


 

5.3  Candidates use explicit, systematic instruction to teach content, strategies, and skills to make clear what a learner needs to do or think about while learning.
6.3  Candidates systematically use data from a variety of sources to identify the purpose or function served by problem behavior to plan, implement, and evaluate behavioral interventions and social skills programs, including generalization to other environments.
 

HLP 17:  Use flexible grouping.


 

5.4  Candidates use flexible grouping to support the use of instruction that is adapted to meet the needs of each individual and group.
5.5  Candidates organize and manage focused, intensive small group instruction to meet the learning needs of each individual.
 
HLP 18:  Use strategies to promote active student engagement. 5.2  Candidates use effective strategies to promote active student engagement, increase student motivation, increase opportunities to respond, and enhance self‐regulation of student learning.

HLP 19:  Use assistive and instructional technologies.

    
 

4.3  Candidates assess, collaboratively analyze, interpret, and communicate students’ progress toward measurable outcomes using technology as appropriate, to inform both short- and long-term planning, and make ongoing adjustments to instruction.
5.1  Candidates use findings from multiple assessments, including student self-assessment, that are responsive to cultural and linguistic diversity and specialized as needed, to identify what students know and are able to do. They then interpret the assessment data to appropriately plan and guide instruction to meet rigorous academic and non-academic content and goals for each individual.
5.2  Candidates use effective strategies to promote active student engagement, increase student motivation, increase opportunities to respond, and enhance self‐regulation of student learning.
5.6  Candidates plan and deliver specialized, individualized instruction that is used to meet the learning needs of each individual.
 

HLP 20:  Provide intensive instruction.


 

5.5  Candidates organize and manage focused, intensive small group instruction to meet the learning needs of each individual.
5.6  Candidates plan and deliver specialized, individualized instruction that is used to meet the learning needs of each individual.
 

HLP 21:  Teach students to maintain and generalize new learning across time and settings.

    
 

3.2  Candidates augment the general education curriculum to address skills and strategies that students with disabilities need to access the core curriculum and function successfully within a variety of contexts as well as the continuum of placement options to assure specially designed instruction is developed and implemented to achieve mastery of curricular standards and individualized goals and objectives.
6.3  Candidates systematically use data from a variety of sources to identify the purpose or function served by problem behavior to plan, implement, and evaluate behavioral interventions and social skills programs, including generalization to other environments.
 

HLP 22:  Provide positive and constructive feedback to guide students’ learning and behavior.

5.2  Candidates use effective strategies to promote active student engagement, increase student motivation, increase opportunities to respond, and enhance self‐regulation of student learning.
6.2  Candidates use a range of preventive and responsive practices documented as effective to support individuals’ social, emotional, and educational well-being.
 

Standard 1: Engaging in Professional Learning and Practice within Ethical Guidelines
Candidates practice within ethical and legal guidelines; advocate for improved outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities and their families while considering their social, cultural, and linguistic diversity; and engage in ongoing self-reflection to design and implement professional learning activities.
 

CEC Standard Component High Leverage Practice
1.1    Candidates practice within ethical guidelines and legal policies and procedures.   
1.1    Candidates advocate for improved outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities and their families while addressing the unique needs of those with diverse social, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds. HLP 3:  Collaborate with families to support student learning and secure needed services.
1.1    Candidates design and implement professional learning activities based on ongoing analysis of student learning; self-reflection; professional standards, research and contemporary practices.  

Standard 2: Understanding and Addressing Each Individual’s Developmental and Learning Needs 
Candidates use their understanding of human growth and development; the multiple influences on development, individual differences, diversity, including exceptionalities, and families and communities to plan and implement inclusive learning environments and experiences that provide individuals with exceptionalities high quality learning experiences reflective of each individual’s strengths and needs. 
 

CEC Standard Component High Leverage Practice
2.1    Candidates apply understanding of human growth and development to create developmentally appropriate and meaningful learning experiences that address individualized strengths and needs of students with exceptionalities.

HLP 4:  Use multiple sources of information to develop a comprehensive understanding of a student’s strengths and needs.

2.1    Candidates use their knowledge and understanding of diverse factors that influence development and learning, including differences related to families, languages, cultures, and communities, and  individual differences, including exceptionalities, to plan and implement learning experiences and environments. HLP 11:  Identify and prioritize long- and short-term learning goals.
HLP 12:  Systematically design instruction toward a specific learning goal.
 

Standard 3: Demonstrating Subject Matter Content and Specialized Curricular Knowledge
Candidates apply their understanding of the academic subject matter content of the general curriculum and specialized curricula to inform their programmatic and instructional decisions for learners with exceptionalities.
 

CEC Standard Component High Leverage Practice
3.1    Candidates apply their understanding of academic subject matter content of the general curriculum to inform their programmatic and instructional decisions for individuals with exceptionalities. HLP 11:  Identify and prioritize long- and short-term learning goals.
HLP 13:  Adapt curriculum tasks and materials for specific learning goals.
 
3.1    Candidates augment the general education curriculum to address skills and strategies that students with disabilities need to access the core curriculum and function successfully within a variety of contexts as well as the continuum of placement options to assure specially designed instruction is developed and implemented to achieve mastery of curricular standards and individualized goals and objectives. HLP 12:  Systematically design instruction toward a specific learning goal
HLP 13:  Adapt curriculum tasks and materials for specific learning goals.
HLP 14:  Teach cognitive and metacognitive strategies to support learning and independence.
HLP 15:  Provide scaffolded supports.
HLP 21:  Teach students to maintain and generalize new learning across time and settings.
 

Standard 4: Using Assessment to Understand the Learner and the Learning Environment for Data-Based Decision Making
Candidates assess students’ learning, behavior, and the classroom environment in order to evaluate and support classroom and school-based problem-solving systems of intervention and instruction. Candidates evaluate students to determine their strengths and needs, contribute to students’ eligibility determination, communicate students’ progress, inform short and long-term instructional planning, and make ongoing adjustments to instruction using technology as appropriate. 
 

CEC Standard Component High Leverage Practice
4.1    Candidates collaboratively develop, select, administer, analyze, and interpret multiple measures of student learning, behavior, and the classroom environment to evaluate and support classroom and school-based systems of intervention for students with and without exceptionalities. HLP 4:  Use multiple sources of information to develop a comprehensive understanding of a student’s strengths and needs.
HLP 5:  Interpret and communicate assessment information with stakeholders to collaboratively design and implement educational programs.
 
4.1    Candidates develop, select, administer, and interpret multiple, formal and informal, culturally and linguistically appropriate measures and procedures that are valid and reliable, to contribute to eligibility determination for special education services. HLP 4:  Use multiple sources of information to develop a comprehensive understanding of a student’s strengths and needs.
4.1    Candidates assess, collaboratively analyze, interpret, and communicate students’ progress toward measurable outcomes using technology as appropriate, to inform both short- and long-term planning, and make ongoing adjustments to instruction. HLP 4:  Use multiple sources of information to develop a comprehensive understanding of a student’s strengths and needs.
HLP 5:  Interpret and communicate assessment information with stakeholders to collaboratively design and implement educational programs.
HLP 6:  Use student assessment data, analyze instructional practices, and make necessary adjustments that improve student outcomes. 
HLP 19:  Use assistive and instructional technologies.
 

Standard 5: Using Effective Instruction to Support Learning
Candidates use knowledge of individuals’ development, learning needs and assessment data to inform decisions about effective instruction. Candidates use explicit instructional strategies and employ strategies to promote active engagement and increased motivation to individualize instruction to support each individual. Candidates use whole group instruction, flexible grouping, small group instruction, and individual instruction. Candidates teach individuals to use meta-/cognitive strategies to support and self-regulate learning.
 

CEC Standard Component High Leverage Practice
5.1    Candidates use findings from multiple assessments, including student self-assessment, that are responsive to cultural and linguistic diversity and specialized as needed, to identify what students know and are able to do. They then interpret the assessment data to appropriately plan and guide instruction to meet rigorous academic and non-academic content and goals for each individual.  HLP 6:  Use student assessment data, analyze instructional practices, and make necessary adjustments that improve student outcomes. 
HLP 11:  Identify and prioritize long- and short-term learning goals.
HLP 19:  Use assistive and instructional technologies.
 
5.1    Candidates use effective strategies to promote active student engagement, increase student motivation, increase opportunities to respond, and enhance self‐regulation of student learning.     HLP 8:  Provide positive and constructive feedback to guide students’ learning and behavior.
HLP 9:  Teach social behaviors.
HLP 18:  Use strategies to promote active student engagement.
HLP 19:  Use assistive and instructional technologies.
HLP 22:  Provide positive and constructive feedback to guide students’ learning and behavior.
 
5.1    Candidates use explicit, systematic instruction to teach content, strategies, and skills to make clear what a learner needs to do or think about while learning. HLP 12:  Systematically design instruction toward a specific learning goal.
HLP 14:  Teach cognitive and metacognitive strategies to support learning and independence.
HLP 16:  Use explicit instruction.
 
5.1    Candidates use flexible grouping to support the use of instruction that is adapted to meet the needs of each individual and group.

HLP 17:  Use flexible grouping.

5.1    Candidates organize and manage focused, intensive small group instruction to meet the learning needs of each individual. HLP 17:  Use flexible grouping.
HLP 20:  Provide intensive instruction.
 
5.1    Candidates plan and deliver specialized, individualized instruction that is used to meet the learning needs of each individual.  HLP 13:  Adapt curriculum tasks and materials for specific learning goals.
HLP 14:  Teach cognitive and metacognitive strategies to support learning and independence.
HLP 15:  Provide scaffolded supports.
HLP 19:  Use assistive and instructional technologies.
HLP 20:  Provide intensive instruction.
 

Standard 6: Supporting Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Growth
Candidates create and contribute to safe, respectful, and productive learning environments for individuals with exceptionalities through the use of effective routines and procedures and use a range of preventive and responsive practices to support social, emotional and educational wellbeing. They follow ethical and legal guidelines and work collaboratively with families and other professionals to conduct behavioral assessments for intervention and program development.
 

CEC Standard Component High Leverage Practice

6.1    Candidates use effective routines and procedures to create safe, caring, respectful, and productive learning environments for individuals with exceptionalities.

6.1    Candidates use a range of preventive and responsive practices documented as effective to support individuals’ social, emotional, and educational well-being.

HLP 7:  Establish a consistent, organized, and respectful learning environment.

HLP 7:  Establish a consistent, organized, and respectful learning environment.
HLP 8:  Provide positive and constructive feedback to guide students’ learning and behavior.
HLP 9:  Teach social behaviors.
HLP 22:  Provide positive and constructive feedback to guide students’ learning and behavior.
 

6.1    Candidates systematically use data from a variety of sources to identify the purpose or function served by problem behavior to plan, implement, and evaluate behavioral interventions and social skills programs, including generalization to other environments. HLP 4:  Use multiple sources of information to develop a comprehensive understanding of a student’s strengths and needs.
HLP 9:  Teach social behaviors.
HLP 10:  Conduct functional behavioral assessments to develop individual student behavior support plans. 
HLP 15:  Provide scaffolded supports.
HLP 16:  Use explicit instruction.
HLP 21:  Teach students to maintain and generalize new learning across time and settings.
 

Standard 7: Collaborating with Team Members
Candidates apply team processes and communication strategies to collaborate in a culturally responsive manner with families, paraprofessionals, and other professionals within the school, other educational settings, and the community to plan programs and access services for individuals with exceptionalities and their families.
 

CEC Standard Component High Leverage Practice
7.1    Candidates utilize communication, group facilitation, and problem–solving strategies in a culturally responsive manner to lead effective meetings and share expertise and knowledge to build team capacity and jointly address students’ instructional and behavior needs.

HLP 2:  Organize and facilitate effective meetings with professionals and families.


    
 

7.1    Candidates collaborate, communicate, and coordinate with families, paraprofessionals, and other professionals within the educational setting to assess, plan, and implement effective programs and services that promote progress toward measurable outcomes for individuals with and without exceptionalities and their families.

HLP 1:  Collaborate with professionals to increase student success.
HLP 3:  Collaborate with families to support student learning and secure needed services.

7.1    Candidates collaborate, communicate, and coordinate with professionals and agencies within the community to identify and access services, resources, and supports to meet the identified needs of individuals with exceptionalities and their families. HLP 1:  Collaborate with professionals to increase student success.
    
 
7.1    Candidates work with and mentor paraprofessionals in the paraprofessionals’ role of supporting the education of individuals with exceptionalities and their families.    HLP 1:  Collaborate with professionals to increase student success.
    
 

References 

Council for Exceptional Children. (2017). Shaping the future of special education: Framing CEC’s professional preparation standards. 
McLeskey, J., Barringer, M-D., Billingsley, B., Brownell, M., Jackson, D., Kennedy, M., Lewis, T., Maheady, L., Rodriquez, J., Scheeler, M. C., Winn, J., & Ziegler, D. (2017). High-leverage practices in special education. Council for Exceptional Children & CEEDAR Center. 
 

© 2021 Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). All rights reserved.