Editor's Note

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					PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
Imagine: Education for
the New Millennium
BY RALPH E. “GENE” CASH

“We do not need magic to change the world; we carry all the power we
 need inside ourselves: we have the power to imagine better.”
                                                    —J. K. Rowling                                                                       Editor’s Note
              ublic education has not served all students equally, nor




P             has it even approximated its stated goal of equality
              of educational opportunity. Attempts to remedy the
              inequities, such as the Education of All Handicapped
              Act and its IDEA iterations, as well as the Elementary
 and Secondary Education Act and its successor, No Child Left Be-
 hind, have met with limited success. However, these laws have
 failed miserably at achieving the most basic objectives of public
                                                                                 The solution to the
                                                                                 declining test scores
                                                                                 and growing dropout
                                                                                                                           T
                                                                                                                                        he NASP Convention in Boston was terrific!
                                                                                                                                        Our coverage will start in the May issue.
                                                                                                                                            The big news, of course, continues to
                                                                                                                                        be the economy and how it is affecting chil-
                                                                                                                           dren, families, schools, and—in many cases—ourselves.
                                                                                                                           Administrators are being forced to make difficult deci-
 education: ensuring that it is completed and that all who obtain                                                          sions about where to allocate resources within very tight
 a diploma are economically competitive (Heckman & LaFontaine,                   rate is not punishing                     budgets. Some school psychologists are already feeling
 2008). Many possible causes of this increasing failure to educate               poorly performing                         the pinch: Positions are being cut, services limited, and
 an alarming percentage of our youth could be postulated—larger                  schools, retaining                        roles redefined. Reeves, Cowan, and Skalski, in their
 enrollments of students with disabilities, greater numbers of Eng-              children grade after                      front-page article, describe this as a time of risk but
 lish language learners, increased societal stress, proliferation of                                                       also one of opportunity. The risks are pretty clear. The
 substance abuse, the rise in developmental and emotional handi-
                                                                                 grade, frightening                        opportunity lies in demonstrating to our local admin-
 caps, the flight to private schools, disintegrating family structure,            students and teachers                     istrators our value in relation to the challenges that are
 etc. However, blaming these extrasystemic factors, no matter how                with high-stakes test-                    most urgent in our own districts. Their mantra is school
 valid the cause–effect relationships, is counterproductive to posi-              ing, or overhauling                       psychologists as “Part of the Solution, No Matter the
 tive change in public education.                                                teaching strategies.                      Problem.” I strongly urge everyone to read that article
     There are two causes of the decline in our educational system                                                         and take some direct action in your school and dis-
 that can be changed directly. The first results from the fact that                                                         trict. NASP has developed an impressive array of hand-
 bright, capable women subsidized education in this country for much of the last century. They took                        outs and other resources to help in this effort. Most of
 teaching positions for which they were chronically underpaid and underutilized because they believed                      what needs to be done, however, needs to be done on a
 in the profession of teaching, there was status in being an educator, they were denied opportunities                      school-by-school, district-by-district level and that boils
 for higher status jobs, and they were not usually primary breadwinners. All four of those reasons for                     down to individual effort by each one of us. These will
 women’s sacrifices on behalf of education have evaporated. Well-paid, year-round jobs have become                          be hard times for a lot of students and families; school
 available to the majority of female workers in other sectors of the economy. Teaching is no longer a                      psychologists need to rise to the occasion and be lead-
 high-status profession. Many, if not most women, especially single mothers, must now work full-time                       ers in helping them. Many of us are underutilized in our
 to make ends meet. The brightest and most capable women of our country are, in large measure, no                          schools. We have skills that can really help right now.
 longer willing to underw
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Does your principal know that? Besides the "Part of the Solution, No Matter the Problem" article, you will see that the economic climate and school psychology's response is a theme repeated throughout this issue.
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