[...] some are postulating that cognitive testing and psychological assessment have little or no value in guiding the selection of interventions. [...] some are positing that mental illness is merely a barrier to learning, rather than mental health's being the foundation upon which education is built.
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE The Future of School Psychology: I Dreamed a Dream BY RALPH E. “GENE” CASH “For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision; but today well-lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomor- row a vision of hope.” —ancient Sanskrit poem Editor’s Note ecisions we make today help to determine who and D what we will be tomorrow. In the 1970s school psy- chologists decided, with a huge boost from public policy, to hitch our wagons to special education and the refer–test–place model of service delivery. In hindsight, that decision was unwise, even though it was made with the best of intentions. “You can’t do this without school psychologists,” we opined. While this alliance created numer- RTI is a wonderful service delivery model, but it is not A dvocacy is in the air! Communiqué pub- lished a number of articles recently on var- ious advocacy topics. Well, they just keep coming; this time in the form of articles on social justice. Spurred by School Psychology Review’s special topic, “Promoting Social Justice,” in its De- cember issue, several authors have submitted articles ous jobs for school psychologists, we have come to realize that the future of school on that subject, thereby helping to create our own special education has not been a panacea and that school psy- mini-series this month. Read the thoughtful critique chologists should serve all students, not just those in exceptional psychology. No, the of key social justice concepts by James B. Connelly student education. real future of school (“Rethinking Social Justice”) and keep that in mind as School psychology is in the process of making another well- psychology lies in you read “Advancing Social Justice Through Primary intentioned mistake, partially in reaction to our frustrations with maintaining the Prevention” and “Social Justice in Psychology: Mov- the refer–test–place model. We are gradually and systematically ing Forward.” Related articles about NCLB’s eﬀect on divorcing ourselves from our heritage as comprehensive psycho- emphasis on being the achievement gap; preserving school psychologi- logical evaluators and as mental health service providers. We are psychologists. cal services during diﬃcult economic times; the new aligning ourselves with a general education initiative and framing NASP Bilingual School Psychology Interest Group; a our roles primarily as interpreters of data obtained by others in practicum experience in Africa and its eﬀects on stu- the service of enhancing academic achievement. Is there anything wrong with those functions? Not dents’ cultural sensitivity; and “A Diﬀerence Maker as far as they go, but they are supported by what, in my opinion, are some fundamentally ﬂawed as- on Behalf of Children” whose goal is for students to sumptions. First, some are assuming not only that all children can learn at the same rate, but also understand their rights to equity, justice, and quality that all children can achieve a standard often referred to as “grade level.” Second, some are postu- in education round out Communiqué’s coverage of lating that cognitive testing and psychological assessment have little or no value in guiding the se- this timely topic. lection of interventions. Third, some are positing that mental illness is merely a barrier to learning, Advocacy? Have you ever thought about running for rather than mental health’s being the foundation upon which education is built. Fourth, some seem NASP oﬃce? Read “Who Wants to Be a NASP Leader,” by to be accepting that school psychologists are not interventionists but that our role is to guide and Charles Deupree. It’s primary season for NASP oﬃcers to evaluate interventions. Of course, not all school psychologists embrace all of these assumptions and delegates—how about throwing your hat in
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