School Counselor Accountability
1. Read (describe new learning gained from reading this article)
This article describes how the public schools have been forced to show objective results. No Child Left Behind, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act have been making public education increasingly more and more accountable. In the last few years state and federal educational funding has been significantly reduced. School districts have been forced to dedicate most of their resources to improve specific measurable student outcomes across ethnic and economic lines. Principals, under shrinking budgets, are forced to focus on their bottom line - objective student outcomes - when deciding what school personnel is valuable enough not to be let go.
ASCA is the main organization representing (lobbying) for the school counseling profession. This organization is under pressure to encourage its members to make themselves relevant to the educational systems they are working for. This article blasts the traditional “bean counting” model of accountability, by school counselors, which relies on reporting the totals for different types of activities, and demands evidence-based outcomes as criteria for best practices. ASCA has been trying to make the school counselor relevant in these challenging times. The National Model of a Comprehensive Counseling Program emphasizes how school counselors can make a difference in their schools. Researchers, it seems, are looking to expand traditional methods for assessing needs and evaluating school programs. Action Research is being used to try to prove that counselors actually make a difference when it comes to measurable student outcomes.
2. Respond (Reflect, respond, or react to this new learning.)
It is imperative for the school counselor to remain relevant in these turbulent times. I am not comfortable advocating for counselors at the school, district, or national level. At school level, however, it is my perception that...