Jul. 3, 2014

NYSSCA Awards Program
NYSSCA is accepting nominees for awards to be presented at our annual conference to be held on Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2014. This year's conference theme is "School Counselors: Informed, Accountable, Impactful" and complete Conference Information is available online at www.nyssca.org.

NYSSCA presents awards in the following areas:

This year, all award nominations will be submitted online here. For School Counselor of the Year nominees, click on "Apply Now." For the Leadership Grant, Career Achievement and Outstanding Program Awards, click on "Other Awards" and then follow the instructions to make an online nomination or application. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ron Smith.

Nominations are due Oct. 1. More

NYSSCA 2014 Conference news registration now open!
Registration forms, exhibitor information and hotel registrations. NYSSCA Conference 2014. Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2014. Hilton Albany. "School Counselors: Informed, Accountable, Impactful" call for programs form is available on the conference page of our website at www.nyssca.org.

Conference registration is now open. Online registration available here. "Paper" registration form is here.

Hotel reservations are to be made directly through the Albany Hilton and that info follows here: Make room reservations directly with the Albany Hilton 1-800-HILTONS (445-8667) or www.hiltonalbany.com. Use conference code 1NYSSC for the conference room rate.More

ASCA revised student standards-public comment period open
The ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors for Student Success: K-12 College and Career Readiness for Every Student is a revision of the 2004 ASCA Student Standards. After a two-year revision process, the new standards are now being released, and we want to hear your ideas and comments about the new version. Download the updated standards and provide your comments.More

Common Core Regents Exams materials
NYSED has posted for your use many documents related to the Common Core Regents Exams in ELA and Algebra I, including the exams in their entirety, Scoring Keys and Rating Guides, Annotated Exam Questions and the Conversion Charts.

Please note that the conversion chart for Algebra I shows the raw score, scale score, and performance level. However, the conversion chart for ELA has the weighted raw score, scale score, and performance level. In order to ensure an appropriate distribution of credits across the Regents Exam in ELA, each part is weighted. For more information about the weightings, see page 10 of the Test Guide at https://www.engageny.org/resource/regents-exams-ela-english-language-arts-test-guide.

The Regents Exam in Algebra I (Common Core), Scoring Key and Rating Guide, Annotated Exam Questions and Conversion Chart are found at http://www.nysedregents.org/algebraone.

The Regents Exam in English Language Arts (Common Core), Scoring Key and Rating Guide, Annotated Exam Questions, and Conversion Chart are found at http://www.nysedregents.org/hsela.

In addition, a summary of the standard setting process that resulted in the approved cut scores is posted at http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2014/June2014/PerformanceStandardsCommonCore.pdf.More

New York schools chief advocates more 'balanced literacy'
The New York Times
The reading lesson began like any other. Tara Bauer, a teacher at Public School 158 on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, took her perch in front of a class of restless fourth graders and began reciting the beginning of a book about sharks. But a few sentences in, Bauer shifted course. She pushed her students to assume the role of teacher, and she became a mediator, helping guide conversations as the children worked with one another to define words like "buoyant" and identify the book's structure.More

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña talks plans to fix city's most troubled classrooms
New York Daily News
It's simple mathematics: Subtract bad teachers, add incentives to keep the good ones and that equals better student performance in troubled schools. When Chancellor Carmen Fariña was chosen about six months ago to lead the nation's largest school system, she vowed to take a more aggressive approach to overhauling the city's most troubled classrooms. In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, she unveiled some details of the plan.More

Why do we still use class rank to select graduation speakers?
By: Brian Stack
The movement of schools across the country from a traditional to a standards-based or competency-based grading model is calling into question the age-old practice of asking the valedictorian and the salutatorian to be the speakers at graduation. Some high schools have already abandoned this model in favor of one that opens up the privilege of being selected as a graduation speaker to a much broader cohort of deserving students. Even the practice of calculating class rank is obsolete in today's educational environment.More

5 pieces of good news from a college admissions application essay counselor
The Huffington Post
Elizabeth Benedict, a college essay counselor, writes: "I'm taking a guess that all rising high school seniors not glued to the World Cup are either fretting about their college app essays, casting glances at the essay prompts, or trying to put the darn essays as far out of their summer vacationing minds as possible. The bad news is that these essays aren't going away — until you hit the send button on all of your applications in the fall or winter. But there are a few pieces of good news to share with you from my perspective as both an insider and outsider in the process."More

Why kids care more about achievement than helping others
The Atlantic
A new study from Harvard University reveals that the message parents mean to send children about the value of empathy is being drowned out by the message we actually send: that we value achievement and happiness above all else. The Making Caring Common project at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education surveyed 10,000 middle and high school students about what was more important to them, "achieving at a high level, happiness, or caring for others." Almost 80 percent of students ranked achievement or happiness over caring for others. Only 20 percent of students identified caring for others as their top priority.More

Survey finds parents conflicted about time dedicated to testing students
Education Week
A new survey paints a conflicting picture of parents' attitudes about the time students spend taking tests. The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice's annual Schooling in America Survey shows 44 percent of parents think that schools devote too much time to testing. That same survey, however, found that the majority of parents — 52 percent, in fact — think their children either spend the right amount of time (30 percent) on testing or not enough (22 percent). So depending on where you stand in the testing debate this survey could fuel that cause.More

Creating an emotionally healthy classroom environment
Teachers are not supposed to be psychological counselors. When a student has significant emotional problems, teachers should make sure they don't try to play that role and should instead refer the student to a school counselor or a licensed therapist. But what teachers can do is create an environment that helps alleviate the normal problems many students wrestle with and, at the very least, not add to them.More

Can see-through backpacks prevent school violence?
District Administration Magazine
Recent school stabbings and cases of students caught with weapons have driven some districts to ban traditional cloth backpacks in favor of easily searchable clear or mesh bags. "The idea is that clear bags will act as a deterrent and make it harder for someone to bring a weapon on campus," says Aubrey Chancellor, spokesperson for the North East ISD in San Antonio.More

Giving boys a bigger emotional toolbox
Is America's dominant "man up" ethos a hypermasculine cultural construct, a tenet rooted in biological gender difference or something in between? Educator Ashanti Branch doesn't much care or, more accurately, doesn't have time to care. He's too busy trying to make a difference in boys' lives. Boys in American public schools are suspended from and drop out of school at higher rates than girls. Black and Latino boys are suspended the most. Boys make up half of the student population in American public schools. But among those who are suspended multiple times and expelled, 75 percent are boys.More