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Last Updated: 03/18/2018


 Article of Interest - IEP Issues

CEC Continues to Call for the Elimination of Benchmarks and Objectives in IEP's

from the CEC (Council for Exceptional Children), March 13, 2003

CEC Press Release, For Immediate Release, Contact: Lynda Van Kuren, 703-264-9478 (O), 703-205-0660 (H), or Charles Rogers, 703-264-9491 (O)

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CEC Calls for Revamped IEPs and Measures to Reduce the Over-Identification of Children from Diverse Backgrounds to Improve IDEA


ARLINGTON, VA, MARCH 13, 2003—To dig special education teachers out from the mountains of paperwork that keep them from teaching and planning lessons for their students, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is calling for major revisions to the Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs) mandated by the federal government. CEC recommends that:
a.  IEPs include three-year goals for students. The three-year student goals would coincide with natural transition points for students, i.e., kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school.


b.  Benchmarks and short-term objectives be eliminated.


c.  Annual reviews would document changes to the previous year’s IEP on present levels of performance, IEP goals, special education and related services, and educational placement.


d.  Any time a child is not progressing under a current IEP, an IEP meeting and review of the child’s placement and services would be implemented.


These changes will enable teachers to reduce paperwork while increasing accountability through meaningful documentation of student progress.

CEC further recommends that funds be made available to purchase technology as well as hire clerical personnel to help special education teachers overcome the paperwork burden.


Reducing the Over-Identification of Children from Diverse Backgrounds in Special Education

CEC also says that practices that encourage the inappropriate placement of students from diverse backgrounds in special education must be eliminated.

CEC recommends:
a.  Implementing pre-referral interventions in general education classes to guard against inappropriate referrals, testing, and misclassification.


b.  Supporting efforts to prepare, recruit, and retain qualified professionals from culturally and linguistically diverse groups to ensure that all personnel are prepared and competent to teach and assess children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.


The changes stated above should be part of the upcoming reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), according to the association.


To see the complete report of CEC’s IDEA Reauthorization Recommendations, go to


The Council for Exceptional Children, a professional association for special educators, works to improve the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents.

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