Feb. 19, 2015

NYSUT's Professional Issues Forum for health care professionals including school counselors
Register now for the 13th annual NYSUT Professional Issues Forum on Health Care to be held April 18 at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Albany. The registration deadline is April 3.

With an expanded program offering 18 workshops, this conference provides professional development and networking opportunities for pre-K-12 school nurses; higher education health care faculty and professionals; school psychologists, and school counselors; VNA nurses; nurses and health care professionals in hospitals and other health care facilities.

For more information, contact Marianne Perry in Program Services at 800-342-9810, ext. 6297. More

Peace First Prize recognizes young peacemakers
Peace First Prize
The Peace First Prize recognizes peacemakers ages 8-22 for their compassion, courage and ability to collaborate with others to create positive change. The goal is to celebrate your powerful stories and inspire others to make peacemaking part of their daily lives.

Celebrate your peacemaking story by applying for the Peace First Prize by March 30. More

New York State School Counselor Association Annual Conference 2015
"School Counselors: Advocating Access for All!"

The Sagamore Resort, on Lake George, Bolton Landing, NY
Nov. 20-21, 2015
Call for Programs

The New York State School Counselor Association is seeking qualified presenters for the 2015 Conference! Topics addressing comprehensive school counseling program design and implementation and accountability for school counselors are welcome. Workshops relevant to the following topics will also receive special consideration:

Our Call for Programs application for this event is linked here. We will be accepting all applications online again this year. The link is also posted on the NYSSCA website. Please consider proposing a workshop to share your best practices, collaborations, research, resources and/or wisdom! The deadline for submission is May 1, 2015.

We encourage you to forward this correspondence to other school counselors in your school district and/or local counseling association. Conference information including hotel reservations can be found on the NYSSCA website at www.nyssca.org.More

Increasing school counselor time with students is important
The Huffington Post
Vinay Bhargava, a contributor for The Huffington Post, writes: "National School Counseling Week is Feb. 2-6, and it's a great time to pause and reflect on the amazing contributions that school counselors make every day. I started Mytonomy in 2011 with current high school counselor Sean Burke, and we think about how we can help counselors impact students every day. Counselors like Gerry Oxx, at Godinez Fundamental High School in Santa Ana, California, are particularly inspiring. In his office by 5:30a.m. on most days, Gerry gets his paperwork out of the way early, so that he can maximize the in-person time with this students during the day."More

Senate GOP seeking to restore $1 billion in school aid
Senate Republicans said that restoring a type of school aid that was cut during the economic recession will be their "No. 1" school budget priority. That promise will pit suburban and rural school districts against urban districts for a limited amount of discretionary money in the 2015-16 fiscal year, lawmakers said. The Republicans are targeting what's known as the "Gap Elimination Adjustment," state government's term for the $2.6 billion reduction in education aid triggered by the 2008 stock market plunge. The cuts, enacted in 2010, hit schools in Nassau and Suffolk counties especially hard because of the Island's slightly greater-than-average wealth as compared with the rest of state.More

How can we increase the value of a student's evaluation?
By: Howard Margolis
An evaluation is only as effective as the questions it aims to answer. And often, evaluators fail to see the precise, critical questions that need answering. They don't know the child or situation well enough to identify them. Therefore, they tend to do what they normally do, often leading to boilerplate evaluations and reports that leave parents and teachers wondering, "What new and valuable answers and recommendations did the evaluator provide?"More

Schools favor inclusion when forced to report academic progress
Disability Scoop
As Congress debates the role of testing, a new report finds that schools with the greatest accountability for students with disabilities are most likely to promote inclusion. Schools held to more stringent academic reporting standards are more likely to deliberately transition kids with disabilities from self-contained to mainstream classrooms, according to the study from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute for Education Sciences. The findings suggest that educators may be more motivated to help students with disabilities achieve alongside their typically-developing peers when schools must account for progress.More

Glimmer of hope in 8-year battle to replace No Child Left Behind
The Christian Science Monitor
The eight-year effort to reauthorize No Child Left Behind, the controversial bill that sets federal education policy, has come down to a battle over testing and accountability among some odd bedfellows. All sides agree that an updated law is an urgent necessity. But the question of what role standardized tests should play and how to hold underperforming schools to account divides deeply.More

House lawmakers push 'No Child' overhaul forward
U.S. News & World Report
The House Education and the Workforce Committee has passed a bill to reauthorize the long-outdated No Child Left Behind Act, despite strong objections from Democratic committee members, the Obama administration and dozens of education advocacy groups. The bill, dubbed the Student Success Act, passed on a party-line vote (21-16). It would significantly scale back the role of the federal government in overseeing public education, give states more flexibility in designing accountability systems and consolidate dozens of federal education programs.More

Depression in teachers impacts classroom learning
Elementary school teachers who have more symptoms of depression may have a negative influence on some students' academic performance, a new study suggests. In the small study, third-grade teachers who were struggling with symptoms of depression — such as poor appetite, restless sleep, crying spells and feeling like a failure — were generally less likely to create and maintain a high-quality classroom environment for their students compared with teachers who had fewer signs of depression.More

Education group wants to halt high-stakes testing for evaluations
District Administration Magazine
Education advocacy group ASCD is calling for a two-year moratorium on using standardized test results for teacher or school evaluations. The move represents a growing push nationally to cut back on testing and limit its use as an accountability measure because it may not accurately reflect a teacher's classroom performance.More

How children learn to read
The New Yorker
Why is it easy for some people to learn to read, and difficult for others? It's a tough question with a long history. We know that it's not just about raw intelligence, nor is it wholly about repetition and dogged persistence. We also know that there are some conditions that, effort aside, can hold a child back. Socioeconomic status, for instance, has been reliably linked to reading achievement. And, regardless of background, children with lower general verbal ability and those who have difficulty with phonetic processing seem to struggle. But what underlies those differences? How do we learn to translate abstract symbols into meaningful sounds in the first place, and why are some children better at it than others?More

Slowing down to learn: Mindful pauses that can help student engagement
One way to promote engagement and learning is to consciously create pauses throughout the day. We can create a sense of spaciousness in our classroom by slowing down the pace of our speech and punctuating our lessons with silence. Introduced well, this practice can improve classroom discourse.More