Advocacy: Relationships that Create Change

By: Christina Koch, NASP Manager of Professional Relations

On Wednesday, September 14th NASP hosted a Twitter Chat facilitated by Peter Faustino (@Dr_Faustino) and Kari Oyen (@karioyen) entitled "Advocacy: Relationships that Create Change". The chat had great participation with many sharing how they are currently advocating in their own communities. There was a total reach of 20,463 people over the course of the chat!

One theme that seemed to be popping up during the course of the chat was the challenge of broadcasting that school psychologists know what is good for kids to the right people. With ESSA taking full effect during the 2017-2018 school year and implementation efforts currently rolling out in states across the country, now is the time as school psychologists to make your voices heard and reach decision-makers. The last question of the night posed by the facilitators was "ESSA- a unique opportunity to improve policy and practice. How will you advocate in your school and community?" Many participants then shared how they are making positive changes in their schools and districts through advocacy, which sparked engagement from those follwing along on the chat who needed ideas of where to start. 

Some of the great ideas that were shared included: using NASP resources to teach administration about the potential positive changes in ESSA; talking to administration about the funding opportunities under Title IV and to maintain the comprehensive role of school psychologists; following school board meetings and reaching out to board members; reaching out to state Department of Education to offer resources and guide the role of school psychologists; and using social media to get on the radar of policymakers. All of these are excellent ideas and great places to start. It is important now with ESSA taking effect to be loud and persistent so that decision-makers can't overlook the importance of school psychologists!

NASP has developed ESSA factsheets for school psychologists and decision-makers to help inform about school psychologist's role and importance under ESSA. Sharing these with teachers, administration, and your principal is a great place to start advocating. As you can see, many school psychologists are already having great success in doing so.  Be sure to also check out the #NASPadvocates hashtag to see more great ideas shared during this chat!