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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

From our Schools to our Prison Pipeline

Failure to provide appropriate behavioral interventions may be contributing to delinquency among students with disabilities. Students of color, students with disabilities, and especially poor black males, are at greatest risk for being suspended repeatedly in a single school year, raising serious questions about the adequacy of behavioral supports that are being provided.

Effective interventions and programs that reduce risk and enhance protective factors for youths at risk for delinquency exist. These have the potential to reduce the human costs of victimization and save tax dollars in both the short and long terms. The school-to-prison pipeline is preventable, but harnessing the political will to do so is difficult. This challenge may well prove to be more formidable than accumulating the knowledge base required to reverse the flow from the school-to-prison pipeline toward the school-to-graduation-to-postsecondary-education path. Placing pressure on leaders to move beyond the simplistic rhetoric of zero tolerance and getting the “disruptive kids out of class” to address these complex problems and glaring racial disparities with compassion, care, knowledge, and determination will not be easy.

Adult prisons and juvenile halls are riddled with children who have traveled through the school-to-prison pipeline. Approximately 68 percent of state prison inmates in 1997 had not completed high school. Seventy-five percent of youths under age eighteen who have been sentenced to adult prisons have not passed tenth grade. An estimated 70 percent of the juvenile justice population suffers from learning disabilities, and 33 percent read below the fourth grade level. The single largest predictor of later arrest among adolescent females is having been suspended, expelled, or retained during the middle school years.

Yet despite the strong relationships that exist between troubled educational histories and subsequent arrest and incarceration, the specific ways in which schools may either contribute to or prevent the flow of students into the criminal justice system remains largely unexplored. Given the growing overall numbers of the prison population—now at a record 2.1 million—in the United States, along with the glaring racial disproportionality within this population, achieving a more accurate and complete understanding of these relationships is urgent.

As school psychologists how can we help to replace the school-to- prison pipeline with a school- to- post -secondary training path? Are there interventions that we know about that address the lack of skill development in some children? What kinds of behaviors are children exhibiting that require such restrictive placements? Are these placements in settings like those used for the "educably mentally retarded" or "emotionally disturbed"? Are these settings providing the kind of opportunities for educational and social growth that children and adolescents need?

Posted by Tammarrah Jones.

Is cross battery assessment essential, or is it too time consuming?

Flanagan and McGrew (1997, p. 322) purport that the cross battery assessment (XBA) approach provides “a much needed and updated bridge between current intellectual theory and research and practice.” The results of confirmatory factor analyses conducted over the past 10 years suggest that no intelligence battery sufficiently measures the full range of broad abilities and processes which define the constructs of intelligence laid out in contemporary psychometric theory.

Many batteries were found to fail to measure three or more broad cognitive abilities, specifically: Ga or auditory processing, Glr or long term storage and retrieval, Gs or cognitive processing speed, and Gf or fluid intelligence and reasoning. These findings motivated Flanagan and her colleagues to develop the cross battery approach to fill in the gaps in assessment.
The steps to XBA are outlined in the book Essentials of Cross-Battery Assessment (Flanagan, Ortiz, & Alfonso, 2007). It also includes software for XBA interpretation. The steps in XBA are: select a primary intelligence battery, identify the CHC abilities that are adequately represented, select tests not to measure CHC abilities not measured by the primary battery, administer primary battery and supplemental tests, enter data into the XBA Data Management and Interpretive Assistant, and then follow guidelines for interpretation.

Can you see this being useful in your practice? Or do you feel it is too time consuming or unnecessary?

Posted by Roxane Nassirpour.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Culturally-Competent Assessments

Culturally competent practice in assessment is essential to improving outcomes for all students. It can reduce the achievement gaps and the disproportionate placement of minority students in special education. Nonverbal cognitive and alternate assessment strategies are strongly recommended by NASP. Alternate assessment strategies such as curriculum-based assessment, test-teach-test and performance monitoring over time should also be conducted.

Despite these recommendations, the field has been unable to develop culture-free intelligence tests. This is due to a myriad of factors, but an underlying explanation is that different cultures value different views of intelligence. As school psychologists, we will be responsible for assessing children from a variety of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. How do we mitigate the limitations of the test in order to get a more accurate picture of the child's capability? What types of assessment do you plan to use for children from different cultures, socioeconomic statuses, linguistic backgrounds, etc.? How do you plan to address the assessment's limitations in your report?
Posted by Roxane Nassirpour.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Ever since a child is first born, he or she is welcomed into this world with the Apgar test to measure pulse, activity, appearance, reflex, and respiration. Any score below 3 is considered failing. Then, before one knows it, it is time to test four year olds to determine whether they are proficient in literacy or math (this usually takes place in Head Start Programs). Come kindergarten, a child undergoes testing to see whether he or she is gifted. By the time any child is 6 he or she has been on a testing roller coaster. Little do these children know that in their future, there are many more tests to come…

Further, a child who is in preschool may not perform the best to his or her abilities on cognitive tests due to many reasons. Perhaps the child at this age has problems concentrating, or is shy to show what he or she knows? I remember one of our professors mentioning that research has shown IQ tests to be less accurate predictors of learning and achievement before the age of 6. Perhaps this research should be taken into consideration before we test yet another child in preschool.

1.Should we expose preschoolers to any cognitive testing?
2. Do you feel that intelligence tests are adequate for a child that is only 4 years old?
3. Do we as nation like tests so much that we have structured society around them?

This blog was created by Tjasa Korda.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mirror, mirror on the wall...who's the fairest of them all?

A Projective test is a method of personality assessment in which an individual is presented with a standardized set of ambiguous, abstract stimuli and asked to interpret their meanings, wherein the individual's responses are assumed to reveal inner feelings, motives, and conflicts.
Although clinicians frequently use projectives, the subjective interpretation of responses to projective stimuli is problematic with regard to reliability and validity ( Beutler, 1995; Dawes, 1994). Recent refinements in scoring have focused on quantifying responses and comparing them to established norms ( Exner, 1993), with resulting improvement in reliability and validity.
It seems imperative that users score responses to projective tests objectively if adequate reliability and validity are to result. Without such objective scoring, the door is left open to biased interpretation. For example, if one believes the respondent is aggressive, one may tend to note responses that support such an impression and pay less attention to responses that do not fit as well.

History has shown that the scientific method is the most useful method for gaining reliable knowledge about the world. Will clinical practice improve with the adoption of empirically based rules?

Is there a place for subjective interpretation in psychological assessments and treatments or should clinical practice be guided by the scientific method?

Posted by Courtney Lynch.

Resiliency: The Best View of the Sky is from the Ground

We can teach resilience.

Resilience- the ability to cope successfully with adversity, is not only a naturally developed skill that many use as a means of survival, it is an ability that can be shaped and encouraged through specific activities that can be effectively taught in the classroom. "Contributory Activities", those activities in which children are involved in helping others, have been shown to make children less likely to display negative or angry behaviors and to foster resilience or practical problem solving. When we can convince children that they make a difference in the way we live, and we work at communicating with them in positive ways, they respond.

Even though schools are great places to develop resilience in children, parents can encourage practical problem solving by discussing why things have to be done, having family meetings, and collaborating about the conditions under which activities will be completed. Drs. Kenneth A. Dodge and Robert Brooks assert in the book Raising Resilient Children, that "success builds upon success, and that children faced with oceans of adversity, must be helped to find islands of competence."

As school psychologists, we can contribute to the relations our students have with us and to their levels of desire to persevere, adapt and thrive in their environments. We can teach ways to self-regulate ,and help our students to maintain good strong mentoring relationships.

The circumstances in the districts where we work can be dire. Children are failed by us more often than they are served. In addition to seeing the natural sparks in the metaphorical eyes of the children we serve, we must uncover the buried sparks and ignite sparks where they have been extinguished. What are some specific interventions that can encourage children?

Posted by Tammarra R. Jones.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

There's no I in TEAM...or is there?!?!?!

As School Psychologists we are going to be a part of the Child StudyTeam in whatever kind of school that we choose. As in any "team,"there are always going to be conflicting personalities and people thatare difficult to get along with. No matter what type of people we haveon our team, we're going to have to learn to work together. How do youfeel about team dynamics and how will they affect our jobs? Ifeveryone got along and had similar systems of working, that would bean ideal situation. But, that will not always happen.

There are many factors that contribute to the team dynamic--age, howlong they've been there, methods, opinions, and much more. Do youthink there are different strategies we can use to solidify themembers in order to work better together? What role, if any, does theSupervisor have in this?

Posted by Susan Bartolozzi.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


We can all agree that the interpretation of cognitive test scores mostly leads to decisions concerning the diagnosis, educational placement, and types of interventions used for children. Knowing this fact, it is absolutely necessary for us, as future school psychologists, to administer and score cognitive tests without any errors.

A recent study published in Psychology in the Schools (Graduate students’ administration and scoring errors on the Woodcock-Johnston III Tests of Cognitive Abilities, vol.46, issue 7, pgs. 650-657, July 2009) looked at the frequency and the types of errors that occurred during administration and scoring of Woodcock Johnston III Tests of Cognitive Abilities (WJ III COG). Data from 36 graduate students across 108 test records revealed a total of 500 errors across all records!!!! Three frequently occurring errors included the use of incorrect ceilings, failure to record errors, and failure to encircle the correct row for the total number correct.

Can we avoid making scoring errors on cognitive tests and if so how? Are these errors more likely to occur on WJ III or they happen regardless of the test used? Are we properly trained to administer cognitive tests? Do you think that wrong scores may result in some children being placed in the wrong settings?

And finally…What can our graduate programs do to ensure that we are all properly trained to administer cognitive tests?

Posted by Tjasa Korda.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Missing the Bigger Picture

As school psychologists, we are always concerned with the well-being of our students. I think this especially holds true when the student is suspected of abusing alcohol or drugs. And with SACs becoming less and less of a presence in the school systems, substance abuse counseling for all students will likely fall to the school psychologist.

It is the job all school personnel to ensure the safety of all students. However, when does protecting students from the harm of drugs or alcohol cross the line into invasion of privacy?

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court ruled that an 8th grade student who was stripped searched for suspicion of possession of prescription ibuprofen indeed suffered a violation of her right to privacy. (Safford Unified School District v. Redding (Case No. 08-479) )

Is it okay to strip-search our students in the name of safety? Should a 13 year old girl be subject to slipping her bra and underwear out of her clothes for inspection, or are we missing the bigger picture here?

Posted by Jessica Szybowski.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm Sending Out an S.O.S.

The following article was written by a school psychologist as his message to teachers in his school:

As future school psychologists, what do you feel your obligations are when dealing with situations

of difficult students? Do you feel that giving information and guidance to teachers on how to treat children or adolescents and handle these situations is enough? Sometimes teachers are very quick to refer students for evaluation, but how much are they doing in their classrooms before resorting to this? As school personnel as a whole, we should be treating each and every student with the idea that he or she needs that extra care to succeed. The article said:
"This type of caring extends beyond a call home to parents when homework or papers aren't completed. It's the quality of caring that challenges us to look beyond the traditional markers of educational excellence. It invites us to try and connect with the humanity in even the most difficult of students."

How do we, then, deal with teachers that do not put forth as much effort as we would like? How can we make up for this in another way?
Posted by Susan Bartolozzi.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Beyond Logical...

While completing my practicum hours as a school psychology candidate, I've found my placement district to be a very punitive environment. I think the logic behind the discipline policies is that consistency, clearly defined consequences, and regiment will yield desirable behavioral results. However, there is a plethora of research to suggest that using punishment to shape behavior is ineffective and often yields the opposite of the desired result. Clearly, their policies are ineffective because their rate of suspensions is near surpassing the state average. So, how do we as school psychologists, being familiar with empirical data on discipline, persuade our schools to change their policies?

Posted by Jessica Szybowski

Monday, April 27, 2009

Will the Real School Psychologist Please Stand Up?!?

Some people don't know the role of a school psychologist, and when they hear the term they automatically think of them as a typical "psychologist." It has been proposed by the APA to change the title of school psychologists in order to eliminate that confusion. As future school psychologists, what is your opinion on this topic? Do you feel that there should be a new title or term given for us or that it should be left alone? How do you feel this will impact our future careers?

The proposed changes would allow any licensed doctoral level psychologist to use the title “school psychologist” and work in public schools, even though they have no training in school psychology and are less qualified than we will be to perform school psychological services. How will this impact students? Will students receive competent care from unqualified doctoral level psychologists with no training in psycho educational evaluation and assessment? At a time when there is a shortage of school psychologists and an increased need for school psychological services, does it make sense for the APA to advocate these changes and limit current school psychologists from engaging in work they are qualified and trained to do?

Check out these links to find out more about the APA Model Act Revisions

This blog was created by Laura Martino and Susan Bartolozzi

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Change is Coming...

We are approaching a new wave in school psychology.

The change has been a long time coming! Decades of blind support for fashionable interventions and instructional techniques have utilized precious resources and failed to create any significant effects in our student's ultimate trajectories. Our goals for our schools, whether focused on academic growth or a decline in substance abuse, were often undefined and progress went unmeasured. Did we know whether these programs were effective?!

The answer is a resounding, "NO!"

There is a new movement. A movement encouraging us to bridge the gap between research and practice. Clearly the question becomes, "How?" What is your mission statement? In what aspect of your practice do you envision yourself making the strongest commitment to making empirically driven, data-based decisions?

This blog was created by Roxane Nassirpour and Tjasa Korda

Monday, April 13, 2009

Improving the Evidence-Based Practice Movement

We know that a problem solving approach is outcome-focused, data-driven, integrally linked to intervention, and context-specific.

Evidenced-Based Practice (EBP) as a problem solving approach “refers to a body of scientific knowledge, defined usually by reference to research methods or designs, about a range of service practices (e.g., referral, assessment, case management, therapies, or support services)”. It is directly related to applying data-orientated problem solving to students’ mental health and social-emotional needs. When deciding which type of EBP is appropriate in the school setting, we can take into consideration some of the most effective strategies:

· Parent Management Training (PMT)
· Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

(For additional information on PMT and CBT please see the link below:)
· Psychopharmacology (using psychostimulants/medication)

These are only three of many new approaches developing among contemporary literature. With all the different types of methods of intervention and prevention under the EBP umbrella, how do we decide which one will work best for us? Seeing that this method of practice is fairly new, how can we begin to shift the paradigm from traditional to an EBP approach? Do you agree that practicing school psychologists traditionally trained (i.e., relying on clinical judgment rather than the scientific method or the empirical literature) are the primary offenders of underidentification and misidentification of mental health problems in school settings?

This blog was created by Jamie Cowan and Tahina Reyes

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Suicide is one of the three leading causes of death among adolescents. It is estimated that in 2001 there were approximately 9.9 completed suicides per 100,000 adolescents in the 15-to24-year age group and 1.3 suicides per 100,000 children in the 10-to14-year age group (National Institute of Mental Health, 2004).

Suppose you had a 17 year old female student come to your office. She is terribly distraught that her boyfriend that she has been with for the past year has cheated on her and wants nothing to do with her. She can hardly keep her composure and keeps saying that she wants to die and she is going to kill herself. She tells you exactly how she will go about taking her own life. She states that she is going to take a bottle of aspirin and down it with a pint of vodka. How would you assess this situation? What do you think is the degree of lethality of this suicidal ideation? What would be your course of action?

This blog was created by Desiree Antas.

HELP...is anyone out there...

While teachers, parents and administrators commonly refer students to the school psychologist, many times, especially in high school some of these referrals are self-referrals. If a student is having issues and they decide to seek help, should we be held responsible to tell their parents? Currently there do not seem to be any case law decisions that address this specific question. In some states minors are given the right to access certain types of treatments without parental notice but usually only for conditions considered medical in nature like drug abuse or venereal disease.

Becky is a 16-year-old student at the local high school where you work. She asks to speak with you, the school psychologist, about some issues. You decide to sit down with Becky and have a pre-counseling screening session. In the session she tells you that she is having some issues at home and she wants to learn some methods on how to deal with them. She is not in any kind of harm but she needs someone to talk to about these issues. She asks that her parents not be notified because it might put extra strain on their relationship. You determine that Becky could probably benefit from spending some time talking with you, but you know contacting her parents will compromise that. You work in a district with unclear rules for this sort of issue. What are your ethical responsibilities to Becky? to her parents?

This blog was created by Jessica Sosnowski.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Moving Mountains...

Students in today’s schools, particularly middle and high schools, face an ever growing mountain of tough life situations and decisions to overcome. As future school psychologists we have to prepare ourselves to help these students cope with an array of problems that do not have easy solutions and that are often controversial topics when it comes to minors such as teen pregnancy, sexual activity and STDs, substance abuse, and violence of many different forms. Oftentimes students, parents, staff, and the community expect that we as school psychologists should be able to move this mountain of problems away from or off the student. While best treating the student a school psychologist must also keep in mind confidentiality policies, district policies, and state and federal regulations. There is a lot to consider when counseling students and these issues arise.
As school psychologists one of the most important things to be keep a watchful eye on are signs of child abuse or neglect, as it is our duty to report suspected cases that are made in good faith and the procedures made under state law for reporting are followed. We are fortunate that if the two previous criterion are followed than we are protected from civil or criminal actions for reporting a suspected case to the proper authorities.
Consider the following case:
John is a 6 year old boy in the middle of his second school year as a kindergarten student. At the beginning of last school year his mother left him and sister behind in care of their aunt who obtained legal guardianship. The aunt chose to have John repeat kindergarten due to poor academic progress. John’s teacher this year, Mrs. Smith, recommended John for the art therapy program in October to due his elaborate drawings and dictations of those drawings of various violent scenarios (shootings, bombs, fire etc), his continual thumb-sucking habit, and knowing his home life was not of optimal care. Over the course of the school year the art therapist, teacher, and school nurse communicate and document concerns of the child’s health and mental well-being such as coming to school un-bathed, dirty clothing, infections in his gums from lack of proper dental care, John complaining of “bugs” in his bed, and reports of not eating. Throughout the year the aunt has been notified of these situations as they came up, however, little if anything has been done on her part to help John. While academically he has progressed throughout the year, he is still just below grade level in areas such as reading and writing.

What procedures should be followed if during your first year as a school psychologist in an urban school district the above case was presented to you? What are the primary concerns? Are the teachers and other staff members fulfilling all of the duties they are obligated to and should to ensure proper care of the child?
As a future school psychologist do you feel ready to handle the various ethical and legal issues that may arise in various counseling situations?

This blog was created by Jamie Cowan.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Breaking away from Traditional Assessments...

As school psychologists, one of our primary roles will be assessing children to determine eligibility for special education services. The question of what constitutes an appropriate evaluation is a controversial topic that school psychologists often disagree on. Traditional assessment focused on standardized test scores of intellectual ability to determine eligibility of services. Standardized norm-referenced measures are a necessary and important part of assessment, but do scores alone give you enough information to define a problem behavior, implement an intervention, and see if there is a positive outcome? Alternative assessment methods such as FBA’s have become more popular in creating successful interventions. As future school psychologists’ shouldn’t our goal be to develop recommendations that will have positive outcomes for the child? How do we break away from traditional practices and incorporate new methods of assessment that will guide us in the evaluation process?

This blog was created by Melissa Picariello

Understanding Section 504

Section 504 of the rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects students with handicaps from discrimination, requires schools to take reasonable action to prevent harassment and requires schools to make accommodations to ensure that students with handicaps have equal opportunity to programs and activities. Section 504’s definition of handicapped is any mental, physical or emotional impairment that limits one or more life activity, such as learning. This article provides more information on ADHD and Section 504:


Children with ADHD who do not need special education are eligible for special accommodations under 504. Schools must provide students with handicaps equal opportunity in the most integrated setting appropriate and those students must remain in the regular educational environment.

How do you feel this might affect other children in the class? Also, some parents might object to this because they feel that the children who need special accommodations might be receiving more attention than their children. How can the teacher balance everything while still giving each student what he or she needs?

This blog was created by Susan Bartolozzi and Laura Martino

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why has Testing and Assessment Gotten Such a Bad Rep?

The common job description of a school psychologist looks something like this: "Administer diagnostic assessments and evaluate student performance. Develop, implement and monitor goals and objectives of the school and program. Work with parents in the development of each student."

As most of us know, not only will we be testing, assessing and working with parents and teachers to help school children, but at times we will be called on for crisis interventions, therapeutic counseling, etc. There is no question that working as a school psychologist can be both rewarding and challenging. But our jobs shouldn't just stop there.

When discussing the primary role and function of a school psychologist, all agree that testing and assessment has A LOT to do with it. And if done correctly, assessment can help the client benefit from the many special services he/she may need. So if the tests are designed to get the child the help they need, why does the help only occur if assessment is done correctly? Why are so many kids, failed by misdiagnosis? In my opinion, assessment is a collaborative process and can only be done correctly if there is parent, teacher, and of course student cooperation. We can't assess on testing alone. In addition to using tests in the decision making process, we need to examine:

Day-to-Day Observation



Performance tasks

Exhibitions and Demonstrations



Teacher-created tests


Self- and peer-evaluations

By using all of this in addition to having the involvement of parents and teachers, we as school psychologists can truly make an accurate assessment. One question remains however, is this too much to ask from the teacher and parent? And is going "beyond the test" asking too much of the school psychologist?

This blog was created by Tahina Reyes.

IDEA: Falling Short of New Ideas

Within the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, it is required that students with special needs be placed within least restrictive environments (mainstreaming) to ensure that both disabled and non-disabled children receive an appropriate and non-biased education. This principle applies only when children of special needs are capable of functioning and benefiting from these environments.

Let's suppose Billy is a very low functioning SLD student whose IEP states that he should be receiving in-class support within an inclusion based setting. Do you feel that this setting would be beneficial for Billy? Or would a resource setting be more appropriate? Being a low-functioning SLD student, what would be some of the issues or problems he would face within these settings? As the school psychologist, what would you do if Billy's parents refused to comply with the IEP? How would you as the psychologist ensure the necessity for special education?

This Blog was created by Tamara Filangieri and Angelica Cunha

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Extended School Year Anyone????

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), some students in special education are eligible for extended school services (ESY). The ESY must be provided only if the child’s IEP team determines, on an individual basis, that the services are necessary for the child.

If Johnny’s IEP team determines that he qualifies for ESY services does he automatically have to go? Do his parent’s opinions count? What if his mother does not agree with her child receiving ESY services? Can the school district compel Johnny to participate in ESY services?

Do you think that special education students benefit from ESY services? If the child receives ESY services one summer but does not seem to be benefiting from it, should he/she be granted services the next summer?

This blog was created by Tjasa Korda and Roxane Nassirpour.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Addressing the Professional Minority Gap

There are disproportionately few minority and bilingual school psychologists available to serve both regular and special education students.

Ethnicity of School Psychologists

Source: 2004-05 NASP membership survey (69% response rate)

Ethnicity - Percent %
White/Caucasian 92.55%
Hispanic/Latino 2.99%
Black/African American 1.94%
Asian-American/Pacific Islander 0.94%
American Indian/Alaskan Native 0.82%

The United States is hastily becoming more and more culturally diverse. As is seen in the above chart there is an overwhelming amount of Caucasian school psychologists. In urban districts, such as Jersey City, there is a very diverse population in schools. What challenges do we as future psychologists face in dealing with children from other cultures? How can we become more culturally sensitive to their needs and the way that we assess them? How can the field of school psychology make a proactive effort to recruit different ethnicities into this field?

"The greatest distance between people is not space.

The greatest distance between people is culture."

Jamake Highwater (Native American choreographer, author and lecturer, 1932-2001)
This Blog was created by Desiree Antas and Melissa Picariello.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Who Can Afford it Anymore?

Joining a professional organization can help us as school psychology students by helping us stay informed with all of the most current news and research in the field we will someday be working in. The NASP offers student membership, which grants us access to online journals, newspapers and reference materials. Also, it can help us stay connected with what is going on in the world of school psychology by providing information about conventions and conferences where we can increase our knowledge by listening to experts in the field. You can even sign up for e-mail notifications regarding changes in legislation that will impact school psychology. The organization provides students with multiple resources that can both aid and supplement our learning as well as provide us with tools to one-day find jobs.

Go to http://www.nasponline.org/students/index.aspx to check out everything our professional organization has to offer. If you do decide to join you will encounter that there is an $80 annual fee. Even with all of the perks this organization has to offer can graduate students in a failing economy afford this? Is it still worth it?

This blog was created by Jessica Sosnowski.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Who's right is it anyway?

In New Jersey v. T.L.O., the Supreme Court held that students have a 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search in the schools.

This mainly applies to searching the student's personal property, such as a book bag. Well, what about random drug testing? Should schools be permitted to conduct random drug testing? If so, who is subject to it? The entire student body? Members of clubs and sports teams? Does this violate a student's privacy, or do we as school personnel and/or parents have a duty to protect children from the harm drugs can do?

Who will protect my privacy anymore?!?!
This blog was created by Jessica Tubertini.

Having Technical Difficulties?!?!?!

Confidentiality means that any information that is revealed within a professional relationship cannot be disclosed, unless it falls under the limitations of possibly hurting oneself or others. As future school psychologists, we will have an ethical and professional obligation to the confidentiality rights of our future clients and to ensure that their privacy rights are met. However, with the increasing technological advances confidentiality is said to be threatened. With new ideas in regards to computerized record keeping and electronic systems and transmissions to record and monitor varying student behaviors and progress, how can we completely ensure that confidentiality rights are being protected?

Yes – I do believe that as psychologists of new generations we have an obligation to be up to date with the technological advances that occur, including the understanding of technological languages and online slang, the uses of blogs, networking sites, and the online communicating options.
However, with the need for confidentiality and the technological advances, is it safe to say that confidentiality is not being compromised with the rise in technological competencies?
This blog was created by Angelica Cunha.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


The No Child Left Behind Act allocates special monies to high poverty areas, like Jersey City. In 2007, the average money being spent per student in Jersey City was $16,000. In Glen Ridge, a very affluent, mostly white community, and the #5 ranked district according to New Jersey Magazine, the average spending per pupil was $12,000.

Money seems to always be the problem and MORE money tens to fix everything...

Why isn't money the answer this time?

This blog was created by Jessica Szybowski

No Child Left Behind...Left US all Behind

When President Bush signed the No Child Left Behind act it was deemed to have a positive affect on narrowing the educational achievement gap between students. Is the NCLB act truly having a positive affect on closing this gap?
I personally, along with many others including President Obama, see the NCLB as ineffective. NCLB forces schools to teach children material in order to raise standardized test scores, rather than teaching basic fundamental principles of education. Then, if test scores are poor, schools as well as students are labeled as “failures.” Another issue with NCLB is inadequate funding of schools which does not allow NCLB to work effectively.
Who and what is NCLB helping? By all means, help me see it differently because I've yet to see who hasn't been left behind...
This post was created by Tamara D. Filangieri