2018, the year of smart resolutions

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Welcome to 2018 and our new and improved weekly newsletter, Special Education Today. Each week, this communication is sent to more than 100,000 professionals in special education.

Last year began with a great deal of uncertainty—a new Congress and a new presidential administration.  My colleague and friend, Mikki Garcia, pledged during her CEC presidency that CEC would “not back down in 2017”—and we didn’t.  We kept true to CEC’s core values in so many tangible ways. From public policy action alerts with literally tens of thousands of letters being sent to Congress to meeting critical needs of our field through the High Leverage Practices initiative.  For 2018, we will not only “not back down,” we will continue to advance our mission through advocacy, standards and professional development.

It’s that time of year when we all make resolutions—let’s join together and make smart resolutions that we all can keep.

  • Become an advocate. It is simple. With the click of a mouse or swipe of a finger you can safeguard public education. Don’t let an uninformed politician dictate how you do what you spent years training to do. Let’s make sure every child has access to a Free Appropriate Public Education.  Send a letter to your member of Congress and subscribe to CEC’s Policy Insider today!
  • Celebrate the standards that define your practice! CEC Standards set the bar for licensure, define the curriculum in teacher training programs, and, combined with the Specialty Sets, CEC Standards are the basis for the development of job descriptions and programs at the district level. New standards are currently being developed by a group of dedicated members, who will ensure that the standards are rigorous and address the needs of today’s students and learning environments. In partnership with CEC’s division, The Association for the Gifted , CEC has also agreed to take over standards for gifted education from the National Association of Gifted Children.  And that is not all, in another collaborative effort, CEC is working with Council of Administrators of Special Education to explore the establishment of standards specifically for administrators in special education.
  • Do something for you! I know time and money are tight in the world of public education. So to help you keep this resolution access one of CEC’s information packed recorded webinars. View it on your own, or better yet, organize an in-service discussion group of special educators and general educators at your school site!

While you work on these doable resolutions, I want you to know that the volunteer leaders and the professional staff at CEC are working diligently on behalf of every educator, ensuring that all students have access to learning without limits.

Let’s enter 2018 not with trepidation, but with conviction and the overwhelming sense of optimism that inspired us to work in this meaningful profession.


CEC President Laurie VanderPloeg's Signature

Laurie VanderPloeg
CEC President


Board to strengthen CEC leadership

On Nov. 11, 2017, the Board of Directors voted to accept the recommendations of the Governance Assessment Workgroup and to begin revisions to CEC’s governance practices to ensure that the work of all governance entities help the organization fulfill  its mission, align with its values, and add value for members and to the profession. In order to accommodate the approved changes, the CEC’s Bylaws need to be updated. This is a reminder that members can read about the proposed amendments and submit their comments for consideration by the board.

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