School Counselor and Assessments

School Counselor and Assessments

SchoolCounselor and Assessments

Onethe greatest role of school counselors is to implement and monitorassessments in schools. It is their duty to ensure the testsadministered and relevant and enhance academic and skills acquisitionamongst students. They also score the tests and communicate to thestudents and parents about their performances, areas of weaknesses,and what they should do to improve them. In addition, they areresponsible for preparing students to tests in various ways such asexpelling anxiety. In case of children with special needs, it is theduty of the school counselors to ensure that they are effectivelyaccommodated in the mainstream. It is vivid that school counselorsplay a significant role in the academic achievement of many studentsin schools.

Publication1

AmericanSchool Counselor Association. (2014). Position on the professionalschool counselor and high-stakes testing. Alexandria.

Thisarticle talks about the roles of schools counselors based on the actof No Child Left Behind in 2001 (NCLB), which claims that all schoolswill be held responsible for the academic achievements of allstudents. High stakes testing refers to the use of the usestandardized tests that determine the level of achievement by eachstudent, which helps in making decisions about placement, graduation,promotion, retention, and intervention services. Typically, highstakes assessments affects the academic future of students underassessment, as well as the teachers’ and the school reputation.

Typically,according to this article, the role of school counselor is toadvocate for enhanced measures to assess the performance of students.They campaign for use of several criteria when making educationaldecisions that affect the schools, teachers, and the students. Someof these criteria useful in decision making processes include worksamples, projects, classroom performance, and portfolios. Counselorsalso support educational initiatives that further help students toachieve their goals such as implementation of school counselingprograms. It is evident that school counselors are on the mission toprovide the best methods of assessing students rather than one way oftesting. This enhances the quality of education and gives eachstudent a fair assessment tests.

Publication2

Thispublication reports about assessment and evaluation activities thatcounselors undertake and how often they do the same. Schoolcounselors are responsible for assessments done at schools indifferent levels. Their roles in assessments have changed from timeto time to accommodate new changes in schools. In the 1940’s,counselors were required to be familiar with informal measures fortherapeutic interventions. Later on in the 1950’s, their role wasto ensure that the students could fully achieve, especially insciences. This led to the birth of standardized testing such asaptitude and intelligence measures, which were used as predictors ofacademic achievement. In the current world, the role of counselorshas increased in enhancing academic achievements and acquisition ofnecessary skills. They are expected to more adept in designingassessments to improve the learning environment and ensure thatschools perform better. They are trained to tailor tests and otherinformal or formal measures that meet the needs of clients. Some ofthe things include advocating for counseling programs and services,which helps students to face their problems adequately. Similarly,they must be able to make informed decisions about the applicationsof formal assessments in schools. Many staff in school includingclass teachers tend to turn to counselors for advise on assessmentssince they have a stronger background in the same.

Itis evident that school counselors have a larger role to play inschools. They have a strong background in assessments hence, theyare responsible in foreseeing them to ensure that they are academicfriendly. This means that they should ensure that all the assessmentsmeet the needs of students in all perspectives. Their decision inassessment is of great use in school’s academic achievement.

Publication3

Twostudies were conducted on the perceptions of school counselorsregarding the testing program (high stakes) in North Carolina. Onehundred and forty one counselors who attended the professionalconference participated in the first study. The other one hundred andthirty nine were selected randomly in schools and asked toparticipate via mail. Questions were sent via mail in which eachparticipant was supposed to participate and give their views aboutthe high stakes testing. More than 80% of the participants claimedthat they served as the test coordinators in schools and that theywere under great pressure. It is true that counselors noted somepositive aspects of the high stakes testing, but claimed that itoverwhelmed them and could not render their services effectively.

Thispublication shows that counselors play a great role in assessments.In many cases, they serve as the assessment coordinators, therefore,responsible for the assessments programs within schools. Theyimplement and foresee the success of school assessments at alllevels. They must ensure that all the tests meet the set standardsand that all teachers oblige to the high stake tests. Some of thesetest, either formal or less formal, are taken within the course ofone term. This means that the counselors must be busy throughout theterm to enhance the effectiveness of high stake testing. Despite thatit overwhelms them their role in monitoring assessments cannot beignored.

Publication4

Blacher,J.H., Murray-Ward, M., &amp Uellendahl, G.E. (2005). Schoolcounselors and student assessment. Professional School Counseling,8(4), 337-343.

Asurvey was done on California school counselors to determinecounselor’s perceptions about their training as well as theirassessment practices within schools. The research is based on thefact that counselors are responsible for assessments in most schools.They play a great role in standardization of tests hence, theyshould be well trained. The research asked the counselors manyquestions regarding their roles and whether the training theyreceived in school was adequate. They also get resources andinformation from other informal settings in the course of the duties.

Schoolcounselors are responsible for administering, scoring andadministering standardized tests on their own. Sometimes they areasked to manage the testing programs in schools. They use tools suchas open ended rating scales, observational protocols, interviews,questions among others. Additionally, it is the duty of counselors togather useful information about tests and pass to teachers, parentsand students. It is evident that schools rely heavily on counselorsto avail information and answer questions regarding assessments. Assuch, counselors have to make use of their trainings and extensiveskills because many people rely on them.

Publication5

Sink,C., &amp Stroh, H. (2003). Raising achievement test scores of earlyelementary school students through comprehensive school counselingprograms. Professional School Counseling, 6(5), 350-364.

Therole of school counseling is also applied in elementary schools basedon the need to improve early childhood education for future academicachievements. Counselors should play a great role in helping childrenrealize their potential academic achievements, skills, and careerpaths right at an early stage. In order to achieve the recentrecommendations in schools, counselors have a duty to help childrento align their targets corresponding to the goals of school reforms.They have a duty to use evidence based practices and report the basedon the accountability of their work together of the caregivers. Astudy was done to determine the usefulness of counselors in theprogram of Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) in elementaryschools and the results came out positive. From schools that enrolledCSCP achieved higher scores than children enrolled in schools thatdid not implement this program. It is, therefore, crucial for schoolsto employ methods that promote academic achievements in elementaryschools rather than having only prioritizing in other marketablecompetencies.

Thispublication clearly shows the importance of employing the counselorsin elementary schools. Their role in this case is to providestandardized tests by utilizing their knowledge. It is apparent thattheir roles in elementary schools cannot be underestimated becauseschools that employ the services of counselors perform better. Theyguide children in their career paths as well ensure that acquirenecessary knowledge and skills. This explains why many children fromsuch elementary schools perform better than those that fail to employthe knowledge of the counselors.

Publication6

Ware,W.B., &amp Galassi, J.P. (2006). Using correlational and predictiondata to enhance student achievement in K-12 schools: A practicalapplication for school counselors. Professional School Counseling,9(5), 344-356.

Thispublication provides analysis and correlational data to measure totest the scores in elementary all the way to high school. It showsstep by step how to describe the growth pattern of student fromelementary to high school. It also provides interventions that helpstudents to improve their academic achievement. This research isbased on the findings of one Juanita Smith, who was a counselor forthe sixth grade. She noted that the children in the sixth grade haddifficulties adjusting to multiple teachers as opposed to a singleteacher that they used to have previously. This made them lessinvolved in matter academic and the entire school in general. Suchproblems and others are some of the things that led to thedevelopment of correlational data. This data shows the possiblecauses of the academic failure or achievement and the possibleinterventions that counselors can use to solve the problem at hand.The data explains possible cause of academic deterioration from onegrade to another, and how counselors and teachers can solve it.

Withrespect to the relationship between counselors and assessments, thisarticle shows that it is the role of school counselors to ensure toobserve the academic performance of students through various tests.They should be able to tell when the students are improving ordeteriorating. In case they are deteriorating, it is the duty of thecounselors to intervene and provide solutions to the same. Theyshould discuss with relevant teachers to improve the effectiveness ofthe solutions availed.

Publication7

TheAssociation for Assessment in Counseling and Education. (1998).Competencies in assessment and evaluation for school counselors.Alexandria, VA: Author.

Thisarticle describes the competencies that school counselors should meetin order to effectively deliver their services in the learninginstitutions. There are nine main competencies that all counselorsshould hold. First and foremost, counselors should have skills inchoosing assessment strategies. They should be able to make use ofdifferent types of assessments, both and informal. Second, schoolcounselors should be able to identify, access, and evaluate some ofthe most commonly used forms of assessment tools. The othercompetency that counselors should fulfill is that they should beskilled in methods for administering tests as well as scoring. Inaddition, they should have knowledge in reporting and interpretingassessments results. it is also important for them to beknowledgeable on how to use assessment results for decision making.It is also the duty of counselors to conduct and interpretevaluations of counseling programs. Similarly, they should have theskills to adapt and use surveys, questionnaires and other assessmentsthat meet the local needs. Finally, school counselors must know howto employ professionalism in the evaluation and assessment programs.

Thisarticle clearly shows that school counselors have a greatresponsibility in ensuring that evaluations and assessments arehandled effectively. They should have all the skills necessary in thewhole area of student’s assessments and evaluations. Counselorsplay one of the greatest roles in implementation tests hence, theyshould have an indispensable knowledge in the same. They must choosethe assessments strategies using various techniques necessary inenhancing the quality of school assessments and evaluations.

Publication8

Cawthon,S.W. (2008). Accommodations used for statewide standardizedassessments: Prevalence and recommendations for students who are deafor hard of hearing. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education,13(1), 55-96.

Thisarticle talks about the assessments that schools should implementwith reference to student who are hard of hearing or deaf. A surveywas conducted in which 444 participants who served over 9,000students as administers, teachers and other educational relatedprofessionals volunteered. Questions concerning deaf and how theytests should be conducted were asked. The results of the surveyconcluded that it was necessary to accommodate the deaf. Theyrecommended that the mode of communication, academic level, and otherdisabilities should be considered when accommodating the hard ofhearing or deaf students.

Thisarticle shows that school counselors have a great responsibility inenhancing the academic achievements of deaf students. This means thatthey must have the knowledge and skills to accommodate the deaf ineducational programs. It is their duty to ensure that they availtests and evaluations that accommodate the deaf in the accommodationprocess. As such, they need to have a solid background on the needsof the deaf in order to effectively administer tets.

Publication9

Sireci,S.G. (2005). Unlabeling the disabled: A perspective on flaggingscores from accommodated test administrations. EducationalResearcher, 34(1), 3-12.

Typically,for students with one or various disabilities, there are standardsfor accommodation. In case such students score tests in non standardprograms, they are flagged to in order to caution the interpretersthat these tests were not administered in certain conditions.However, this issue draws much attention because it cautions othersthat a student has a disability hence, promoting biasness. It hasbeen noted that flagging may not bring in the desired results inassessments because when the teachers are marking they already knowthat a particular student has a disability. This makes the processesof accommodating children with disabilities quite difficult in thelong run. It also counteracts the idea of accommodation, whose maingoal is to make all students alike.

Schoolcounselors have a great role to play when implementing assessmenttests and evaluations. They should know the limits of flagging, whenand how to do it to prevent biasness. They should recognize thedisability of each student to identify whether they need more help inthe assessments in order to enhance equity for all.

Interview

Theinterview on the role of school counselors in assessments and testsconfirmed that indeed they play a great role. They implement andadminister tests that are relevant. Likewise, they score and analyzethe performance of students in order to understand whether they areexcelling or deteriorating. Their scores are keyed into the computerand released into the portals of students. These scores are alsocommunicated to the parents of the children in order to discuss theprogress of students and other factors relevant to the results. Thedisabled children are not left behind the counselor ensures thattheir needs are catered for in order to enhance equity and fairnessfor all.

Question1- What is his/her role in the test process?

Thecounselor is involved in every process of the test process. She isinvolved in selecting the test, its administration, scoring andinterpreting results. They go through the resources that containrelevant materials and decide what to test the students on. Inaddition, she is responsible for communicating the test results tothe concerned bodies such as the teachers, students and parents (S.Jane, personal communication, September 20, 2015).

Question2- What is his/her role in the test outcomes of students (i.e., doess/he conduct sessions on preparing to take a test, overcoming testanxiety, or good study habits, etc.)?

Thecounselor is also responsible for preparing students for tests. Sheconducts sessions whereby she advices students on the tips ofhandling tests without fear. She dispels all the fears that studentsmay have regarding tests because of the belief that academicachievements may influence the future of a person. Whenever studentsare about to take a major exam, which leads to graduation, thecounselor organizes some sessions to prepare students for theupcoming test (S. Jane, personal communication, September 20, 2015).

Question3- What standardized tests are administered in his/her school?

Variousstandardized tests are taken in the school at different times of theyear. Standardized tests refer to that require all the students toanswer common questions from a common bank of many questions. Some ofthe standardized tests that are undertaken in the school includeaptitude tests, college admission tests, achievement tests,psychological tests, and international-comparison tests. These testsare common for all students in the same level regardless of specialconsiderations (S. Jane, personal communication, September 20, 2015).

Question4- What is the administrating process and details?

Administrationof tests requires a thorough preparation in order to enhance theeffectiveness of tests. The counselors must choose the most relevantmaterials for the tests and produce a copy of a test exam. Usually,the instructional materials are covered, and a calm environmentprovided for the students to concentrate fully in the tests.Counselors should supervise the students to ensure that they arecomfortable and will not cheat. They create a conducive environmentfor taking tests with the seriousness that it required. Thereafter,they take the scores on students and interpret them accordinglybefore communicating with the parents and teachers about theperformance of tests (S. Jane, personal communication, September 20,2015).

Question-What is the scoring process of standardized tests?

Thescoring process of standardized tests involves use of standard scoredto determine whether a student is improving or not. It identifieswhether students need help or they are excelling in academic byproviding teachers and parents with the necessary information. Theinformation is shared through sophisticated online reports forteachers and schools. They are made in such a way that they are easyto understand (S. Jane, personal communication, September 20, 2015).

Question- What does the summary write-up of the results of standardized testscontain?

Thestandardized tests score comprise of the area of improvements, areasof failure, and the overall grade. Basically, they show subjects thatthe students improved in or the subjects that they failed. Theanalysis also shows the overall grade and areas that needsimprovements. There are some boxes that the counselors use to fillwhether the students are doing better, have stagnated ordeteriorating (S. Jane, personal communication, September 20, 2015).

Question-How are these test results recorded in the student`s permanentrecord?

Thesetests are written and stored in each student’s admission record.They are secured in the school website so that can be assessedanytime. Usually, they are secured using a password so that onlyauthorized people can see. Teachers can easily access these recordswhen need be. Likewise, the students are given a password that theycan use to access their scores anytime (S. Jane, personalcommunication, September 20, 2015).

Question- How are these test results communicated to parents?

Theresults of the tests are communicated to parents during special dayswhere students are required to accompany their parents to discuss theresults. In such days, the parents and the counselor or teachersdiscuss the results of the children and how they can work to improvetheir academic achievements. Similarly, the parents are sent theresults of their children via email so they can have access to themanytime they want to (S. Jane, personal communication, September 20,2015).

Question- What is his/her role in making accommodations in testing forstudents with disabilities?

Theschool counselor must ensure that she recognizes the special needs ofeach and every child. In the case of accommodating children withdisabilities, the school counselor should come up with better ways ofensuring that their needs are taken care of in tests. They make surethat the students are comfortable and are able to attend to theirtests. In cases of where they may be in need of more help, thecounselors avail the same. In some instances, the counselor may flagsome of the tests so that teachers can identify with their situationswhen marking (S. Jane, personal communication, September 20, 2015).

References

AmericanSchool Counselor Association (ASCA) Position on the ProfessionalSchool Counselor and High-Stakes Testing. Availablefromhttps://www.schoolcounselor.org/asca/media/asca/PositionStatements/PS_High-StakesTesting.pd

Blacher,J.H., Murray-Ward, M., &amp Uellendahl, G.E. (2005). Schoolcounselors and student assessment.SC545 Syllabus – Fall 12015 Page 16 of 26Professional School Counseling, 8(4),337-343.

Brown,D., Galassi, J.P., &amp Akos, P. (2004). School counselors’perceptions of the impact of high-stakes testing. Professional SchoolCounseling, 8(1), 31-39.

Cawthon,S.W. (2008). Accommodations used for statewide standardizedassessments: Prevalence and recommendations for students who are deafor hard of hearing. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education,13(1), 55-96.

Ekstrom,R.B., Elmore, P.B., Schafer, W.D., Trotter, T.V., &amp Webster, B.(2004). A survey of assessment and evaluation activities of schoolcounselors. Professional School Counseling, 8(1), 24-30.

Sink,C., &amp Stroh, H. (2003). Raising achievement test scores of earlyelementary school students through comprehensive school counselingprograms. Professional School Counseling, 6(5), 350-364.

Sireci,S.G. (2005). Unlabeling the disabled: A perspective on flaggingscores from accommodated test administrations. EducationalResearcher, 34(1), 3-12.

TheAssociation for Assessment in Counseling and Education. (1998).Competencies in assessment and evaluation for school counselors.Available fromhttp://aac.ncat.edu/documents/atsc_cmptncy.htm

Ware,W.B., &amp Galassi, J.P. (2006). Using correlational and predictiondata to enhance student achievement in K-12 schools: A practicalapplication for school counselors. Professional School Counseling,9(5), 344-356.