VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Promoting Social Justice With Wisdom and Data
Trish Hatch and Rolla E. Lewis
Closing the academic achievement gap has become the central topic in the professional school counseling discourse and has redefined the role of school counselors as advocates for social justice. Students of color, second language learners, and lowincome students do not perform as well as middle and upper socioeconomic and White students academically or on standardized high-stakes tests. The traditional role of the school counselor may have inadvertently contributed to maintaining the status quo of inequities related to sustaining schools where race and class are tied to students’ successful academic performance or school failure. Part of this pernicious problem stems from the school counselors’ traditional service orientation, where they have not been trained to use data systemically in promoting access, equity, and rigorous educational opportunities for underserved, underrepresented, and underperforming students (Cox & Lee, 2007; Erford, 2007; Goh, Wahl, McDonald, Brissett, & Yoon, 2007; House & Martin, 1998; Jackson, Holt, & Nelson, 2005; Stone, 2003). The transformed role for school counselors defines an ethical obligation to use data to measure the effectiveness of their actions, programs, or interventions (Dimmitt, Carey, & Hatch, 2007).