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What Are You Doing On Mardi Gras?

In late January we asked a variety of community members what they were going to be doing for Fat Tuesday. Below are some of the interesting answers we received.

“On Mardi Gras day, my friends and I have an early breakfast at my house and then we walk downtown. We’ve done this for the last two decades. We go rain or shine!” ––Michael Cunningham, PhD, Tulane Professor in Psychology, African & African Diaspora Studies, and Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Research, Office of Academic Affairs.

“… I won’t be doing anything for Mardi Gras day itself. I ride in the Krewe of Iris, which is the oldest women’s Krewe in New Orleans. Iris parades the Saturday before Mardi Gras. So, once Iris is over, I take it easy the rest of the time, probably reading my cozy mysteries at home! I also go to parades all day this coming Sunday [Jan. 31]. One of the parades this Sunday is the Krewe of Carrollton, of which I was the Queen in 1973. So, I always like to go to the Carrollton parade. My family had kind of a dynasty in Carrollton. My sister was queen before me and I have a number of cousins who have been queens after me. My father was also the King of Carrollton the year before I was Queen. So between going to Carrollton and Iris, that’s enough Mardi Gras for me. […} … my plans for Mardi Gras day are not very interesting! ––Kim E. VanGeffen, PhD, Past President of Louisiana Psychological Association, 2015 Distinguished Psychologist, New Orleans.

“Nothing for me, except maybe participate in the ‘Mardi Gras Bead Recycling Drive.’ [See following note] I have tons of beads left over from previous Mardi Gras parades that I need to get rid of.” ––Addison Sandell, PhD, Psychologist, Natchitoches.

[NATCHITOCHES – Keep Natchitoches Beautiful is getting into the spirit and asking residents to ‘Throw us something mister!’ On Tuesday, February 9th, Keep Natchitoches Beautiful will hold a Mardi Gras Bead Recycling Drive from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Natchitoches Main Street Office located at 781 Front Street.”]

“I’d be happy to give you my Mardi Gras plans as soon as I figure them out!” ––Gerald LaHoste, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychology, University of New Orleans.

“I’m in Israel visiting my mother now and won’t be back ’till later.” ––Denise Sharon, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor at Tulane University School of Medicine, and Clinical Director at Advanced Sleep Center, past President of the Southern Sleep Society.

“I’m seeing clients on Fat Tuesday. Several people have that day off and therefore it makes it easy for them to schedule a session in their otherwise busy routine.” ––Cindy Nardini, MS, LPC, Life Solutions of Alexandria, President’s Award, Louisiana Counseling Association.

“… I may bore your readers to death! My Fat Tuesday likely will consist of catching up on some TV/Netflix, reading a good book, and walking on the treadmill.” ––Donna Thomas, PhD, Department Chair, George and Jean Baldwin Endowed Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston.

“Being born and raised in New Orleans and even now living in Baton Rouge, I’ve been attending Mardi Gras yearly since birth. I have not missed one. My children and I stay at a bed-and-breakfast in uptown New Orleans for the Mardi Gras weekend through Fat Tuesday. Family and friends, many from out of town, meet together for days of food, drink, fun and shenanigans. Each year our crowd seems to get larger. Yes, I am one of those people that are out there by 6 AM. It’s one of the most enjoyable times of the year for me. I am usually dressed in a costume …” [See photo] ––Bryan Gros, PhD, Licensed Psychologist, Past President LPA, Baton Rouge.

“I am afraid that I have no plans for Mardi Gras. It will just be a long weekend at home, probably.” –Rick Stevens, Ph.D., Professor in Psychology, University of Louisiana, Monroe.

“… we are going out of town for Mardi Gras. My wife Catherine just turned 50 this last weekend and we are taking our children to Hawaii for the Mardi Gras break. She is calling this our Hawaii 50 🙂 we usually begin the Mardi Gras break with our children’s Mardi Gras parade at South Downs. Many of the schools are out that week which makes work and childcare a real pain.” –– James Van Hook, III, PhD, ABPP, Licensed Psychologist, Baton Rouge.

“Mark and I are doing what we always do… work. 🙂 So that is rather boring for your readers. We may get a king cake to celebrate with the girls and my mom.” ––Mkay Bonner, PhD, Licensed Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, Bonner Solutions & Services, Monroe.

“I’ll be working. Veterans with PTSD don’t typically participate in Mardi Gras due to large crowds, excessive noise etc. Their hypervigilance is on overload. We will have a Mardi Gras pot luck luncheon for those working in Mental Health that day.” ––Leslie Drew, Clinical Psychologist and PTSD Program Coordinator at Alexandria Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Alexandria.

“My husband (Dr. Michael Apter) and I will be enjoying the festivities from our home in the Fauborg Marigny. On Mardi Gras day, we walk in the Society of Saint Anne parade. Our tribe’s theme is a carefully guarded secret, but here’s a hint: pink leopard print gloves, fake mink, and re-purposed beanie babies. Sounds crazy, but somehow it works!” ––Mitzi Desselles, PhD, Associate Professor, Chester Ellis Endowed Professor, Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston.

“I used to march in Krewe of Cosmic Debris every year, but now I costume up early, catch Zulu and Rex, then head into the Frenchman Street frenzy with the artistic locals for the rest of the crazy evening!”
–– Gail Gillespie, Ph.D., Child and Adolescent Psychologist, Director LPA, CE Chair LPA, New Orleans.

“I’m spending the day with sisters, Lynn and Barbara, who live in Slidell. We are celebrating Lynn’s birthday (Feb 3), and being together as Feb 6th would have been my Dad’s birthday. He passed away last year. We’re going to ‘visit’ Dad at the beautiful Veterans Cemetery in Hammond, then we’re going out to lunch and generally having a ‘sister’ day.” –– Katherine Robison, Ph.D., Child Psychologist, Pelts-Kirkhart & Associates, New Orleans.

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Reflections on Sandy Hook

An Analysis of the Findings from CCFRP
by Dr. Yael Banai

[Editor’s Note: This article concerns the findings in reports by the Office of the Child Advocate regarding the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. The reports were by the State of Connecticut. Dr. Yael Banai is a member of the Louisiana Coalition for Violence Prevention, and a contributing reporter to the Times. Her PhD is in Educational Psychology and she is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. She is past president of the Louisiana School Psychological Association.]

On the morning of December 14, 2012, armed with two powerful handguns and three rifles, one of which was a Bushmaster AR 15 (a military assault rifle), after having pumped four rounds into his mother’s face as she slept, 20 year old Adam Lanza shot open the locked entrance doors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. Responding to the commotion, the school psychologist and the principal ran towards the sound and were shot dead on the spot by the gunman. Lanza proceeded to the first grade classrooms. Before he put one of the pistols in his mouth, he slaughtered 20 defenseless six-year olds and four adults. The entire rampage took 8 minutes.

Directed by the Connecticut Child Fatality Review Panel, the Office of the Child Advocate prepared two reports on the massacre which were published this past November, one of which focuses on a review of the circumstances which led to Lanza’s act of mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary. The authors chronicle Lanza’s educational and medical histories and observe that all along the way there were “red flags” signaling disaster. However, they are quick to point out that they did not conclude that those factors, either singly or together, added up “to an inevitable arc leading to mass murder… In the end, only he and he alone, bears the responsibility for this monstrous act.”

Among the several “red flags” in Lanza’s history are significant failures of the educational and mental health systems to coordinate their efforts to compose and enact a thoroughgoing, comprehensive set of interventions, both educational and therapeutic, to address Lanza’s significant needs, particularly in terms of social interaction and unmet behavioral and emotional concerns.

Reviewing Lanza’s special education classification and IEP [Individual Education Plan] history, which included services that begun in the “Birth to Three” category in New Hampshire, it appears to this aging school psychologist that the evaluation teams consistently missed correctly classifying this young man. Despite a reported history of early seizure activity, behavioral dyscontrol (repeated temper tantrums including head-banging), a suspected “sensory integration disorder” and significant speech-language deficits which required that his mother act as interpreter for the examiners during his preschool evaluation, Lanza’s earliest classification which continued through to middle school was Speech Language Impairments, for which minimal services of speech and articulation therapies were offered once or sometimes twice a week.

Although Lanza’s difficulties were significant enough for his mother, Nancy, to quit her job to be at home with him full time, it did not seem that she pushed for additional assessment, except when the Connecticut evaluators deemed that his speech difficulties did not interfere with his educational progress and withdrew services. An independent evaluation was sought and speech services were resumed.

However, it should be noted that during this period, Lanza was diagnosed (according to his mother’s report) with a “sensory integration disorder.” He was observed to resist participating in group activities, to speak and interact with peers on a very limited basis, and to engage in “repetitive behaviors.” Somehow the evaluation team apparently did not consider inviting a school psychology consult. No consideration or evaluation of the possible presence of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (which surely would have been signaled at a minimum by the “sensory integration disorder”) was apparent.

What consistently struck me throughout this review was a persistent minimizing of the magnitude of this young man’s difficulties both through mis-classification and restricting his IEP recommendations to speech language and occupational therapy concerns. (Clearly the commission authors thought so too.) Although Lanza appeared to attend elementary school with noted supports in speech and OT (occupation therapy), and participated in the usual age appropriate activities such as soccer, his condition markedly deteriorated in his early adolescent/middle school years to the extent that Mr. Lanza (who was separated and eventually divorced from Mrs. Lanza) requested an evaluation through the Yale Child Study Center.

By far the most comprehensive evaluation to this point, identifying both an Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with possible attendant Depression, the Yale evaluators recommended extensive mental health and special education supports as well as mediations to ease Lanza’s obsessive compulsive symptoms. Presciently, the Yale evaluator noted that should appropriate and extensive therapeutic interventions not be implemented, a deteriorating spiral of functioning was predicted with a poor outcome.

Lamentably, Mrs. Lanza did not accept the Yale conclusions and terminated a brief attempt at medication (Celexa for three days) due to side effects which the consulting psychiatric nurse did not conclude were due to the mild dose of the medication. Mrs. Lanza terminated the relationship with the center and sought consultation with a “community psychiatrist” who ultimately provided her with the necessary documentation for provision of “hospital homebound services” through the school system.

However, as the commission authors noted, these services were woefully inadequate, primarily consisting of speech/language services proffered once per week. Lanza’s classification by that time had morphed into “Other Health Impairments.” Given his diagnoses which may or may not have been shared with the school system (for example, the commissioners noted that the Yale Child Study evaluation was neither referenced in the educational record, nor did it appear in his file) this seems entirely inappropriate on so many accounts. Although it should be pointed out that an IEP is not driven by a classification but rather should be crafted from the child’s listed strengths and needs in the evaluation, a classification does often signal to staff a level of intervention. Clearly, given the information in the commission’s report, Lanza could have been classified both as a student with Autism and Emotional Disturbance. Doing so would have given a clear signal to the school that a significant level of intervention was necessary.

Throughout his life apparently, Mrs. Lanza sought to insulate Adam from the “slings and arrows” of daily life, which had the damaging effect of isolating him from the outside world–and permitted him to indulge in his worst proclivities. As time wagged on, she also tended to treat him as a confidant. As the report notes, it was a dynamic of mutual dependency. Mrs. Lanza’s hypervigilance and micromanaging of his life coupled with the rejection of the psychiatric advice of the Yale Child Study Center had the effect of unwittingly sabotaging opportunities for her son to get better.

Other red flags lay in Lanza’s growing obsession with violence, as exemplified by his writings in middle school. One project, called the Big Book of Granny, chronicled the adventures of a homicidal shotgun toting grandma––who at one point says “lets hurt children”––while at the same time abuses her son and cohort. In the end, the son shoots Granny in the head with a shotgun. In seventh grade, Lanza’s teacher at the private school where he was placed for a year observed that his writings were so graphically violent that “they could not be shared.” Indeed, Lanza returned to public school upon mutual agreement that he withdraw from the private school setting.

Finally, one must wonder what on earth Mrs. Lanza’s thought process was to continue to allow her son access to high powered weaponry. (Apparently, “firearms and target shooting were a pastime for the Lanza family.”) Despite his deteriorating condition and virtual complete withdrawal to his “lair” in the basement with blacked out windows, Lanza had unfettered access to the guns, which included the Bushmaster XM-15, capable of sustained bursts of fire of 45 rounds per minute. After having found a compliant psychiatrist who, contrary to the advice of the Yale Child Study, recommended homebound services, Lanza consumed his days with online gaming (“Call of Duty” seems to have been a favorite as well as “School Shooter”) as well as participating in chatrooms dealing with mass murder.

Completely unaddressed was also Lanza’s Anorexia Nervosa. At the time of his death, at six feet tall, he weighed 112 pounds and was “aneorexic to the point of malnutrition and resultant brain damage.” It seems that even in this Mrs. Lanza was oddly compliant. Pediatric well visits had ceased in late adolescence, shortly after the termination of services with the Yale Center. It would appear that in catering to his disabilities as opposed to obtaining treatment for them, Lanza spent his days indulging his whims, spiraling ever downward into the rage that exploded in the only place (Sandyhook Elementary) he had ever been marginally happy.

For some years now in my practice as a school psychologist, when encountering students with serious behavioral issues, including depression, one question I routinely ask the parents is whether or not they have weapons in the house. In Lanza’s instance I would have immediately thought, given the depression, of the possibility of suicide. As the drama unfolded, not only did he engage in a hideous school shooting, but began his rampage with matricide, also a fairly rare occurrence. And had he at that point, turned the weapon on himself, we would have never heard of him. Lamentably, he only resorted to this eventuality after having decimated 20 first-graders and their teachers. That Nancy Lanza not only allowed but promoted Lanza’s access to military style weapons (or, frankly any weapons) is, in a phrase, an appalling lack of judgment.

The OCA report rightly points out the missed opportunities in this case. To say that there were “red flags” here seemed to me a gross understatement.

Among the documents investigators discovered in the Lanza home, one speaks saliently to this issue. In what possibly was her last act in life, Nancy Lanza had written a check to Adam––a Christmas gift––for the purchase of a handgun. Blind to the last.

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Janet and Lee Matthews Showcased in Monitor for AP Foundation Bequest

Louisiana psychologists Dr. Janet Matthews and Dr. Lee Matthews were featured in an article in the December issue of the American Psychological Association’s national magazine, the Monitor.

The couple made a contribution to the American Psychological Foundation. In an interview the Matthews said that what inspired the donation were several factors. “We started making donations to APF to honor friends’ accomplishment, as well as in memory of colleagues who had died.” The couple said that they have no children or siblings, and so it was a natural progression. “It is a way to both acknowledge those psychologists who mentored us and had such a profound impact on our development and success in the profession and to support the growth and vision of both our former and future psychology students.”

Dr. Janet Matthews has been a key figure in the national and state psychology community and long-time professor of psychology at Loyola University in New Orleans. She is now retired and Professor Emerita. She served on the APA Board of Directors and also served as Chair of APA Board of Educational Affairs and as President of Division 31, State, Provincial & Territorial Affairs.

During her career she has served on the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, and as chair. She has published over 70 journal articles and numerous books and book chapters, including Introduction to Clinical Psychology and Your Practicum in Psychology: A Guide for Maximizing Knowledge and Competence. She has served as Associate Editor of Professional Psychology: Research & Practice. She was named as Distinguished Psychologist by the Louisiana Psychological Association (LPA).

Dr. Lee Matthews was also named as Distinguished Psychologist by LPA, in 2014. He is licensed in clinical and clinical neuropsychology and he holds the Diplomat in Clinical Psychology from both the American Board of Professional Psychology and also from the American Board of Assessment Psychology. He is co-owner of Psychological Resources in Kenner, Adjunct Faculty Associate Professor at the LSU Health Science Center in New Orleans, and consults to Children’s Hospital and South Louisiana Medical Associates at Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center in Houma, Louisiana. He has served on and chaired the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists.

He is a Fellow of the APA, has authored and co-authored with his wife numerous publications and journal articles served in numerous professional roles, including president of the New Orleans Neuropsychological Society, Secretary/Treasure of the Division of General Psychology in APA, Chair of the Historical Committee for Southwestern Psychological Association, president of the Orleans Psychological Society.

“We can’t predict what areas of research might need funding, but we feel strongly about the importance of personal interaction to stimulate creativity,” they said to the Monitor.

“As a dual-psychologist couple, much of our lives has revolved around the discipline. Psychology has been our profession, our personal identity and the source of friendships that would not otherwise have occurred.”

“We believe that giving money to APF is the best way for us to pay it forward.”

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Fifty Chimps Retiring to Chimp Haven in Keithville, Louisiana

Animal Care Director, Kathleen Taylor,
“It’s our opportunity to give back…”

“We have begun the process of bringing the retired NIH-owned chimpanzees to the sanctuary,” said Kathleen Taylor, Director of Animal Care at Chimp Haven. Taylor has a masters in organizational psychology, and a desire to make a better home for chimpanzees who are released from serving the research goals of humans.

The National Chimpanzee Sanctuary, known as Chimp Haven, located in Keithville, Louisiana, will be receiving another 50 chimpanzees from the federal government. These newly “retired” chimpanzees will join the nearly 200 chimps that reside at 13600 Chimpanzee Place, a 200- acre forested reserve just south of Shreveport in the Eddie D. Jones Nature Park.

“This includes not only the 50 who were recently retired,” Taylor said, “but also more than 300 retired in June 2013. We are currently home to more than 190 chimpanzees and over the next few years, with the help of generous donors, look forward to expanding Chimp Haven facilities and infrastructure by adding several new large forested habitats and indoor housing for future retirees.”

Taylor, whose undergraduate is in biological sciences also has a master’s degree in psychology, is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Society of Organizational and Industrial Psychology. On occasion she uses some of what she has learned to help Chimp Haven deal with its growing pains.

Taylor is one of a complex group of professionals that care for the chimps and make sure of the quality of life of the animals. “Our goal here is to make sure we are providing more to the chimpanzees than just the basics,” said Taylor. “They can receive good nutrition and good medical care in other places, but here we look at the chimps to improve their well-being overall. We look at the chimps from a holistic perspective, and try to create opportunities for them to live like a chimp in the wild. This is so important to their well-being.”

The newest group chimpanzees, some of the last held for biomedical research by the National Institute of Health, received their ticket to freedom when the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (W&FS) declared last June that captive chimpanzees deserved the same protection as wild chimpanzees. Chimps living in the wild have been on the endangered species list since 1990.

The W&FS decision was said to be a “hard-fought victory” by animal rights activists. The change began in 2011 when the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council concluded that chimps were not necessary for most biomedical research. In a news briefing in November, the National Institute of Health Director Francis Collins said it was the end of a controversial era of research on chimpanzees.

Chimp Haven was selected in 2002 by NIH to become the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Chimps retired to the Haven are protected from any invasive research or any research that requires them to be socially separated from their group.

Chimp Haven founder, Linda Brent, points to the critical value of a humane place for these chimpanzees to retire, many who are older and some who are ill. “This really is the only place in the country that provides naturally forested habitats that are four or five acres large, where the chimpanzees can display the types of behaviors that wild chimpanzees display,” Brent has said. “That is just amazing and it’s worked very well for the chimpanzees here.”

Dr. Raven Jackson, Chimp Haven Attending Veterinarian said, “We meet within our behavioral management team, we meet within our veterinary team, we meet within our animal care team, and we devise plans for the best options for each and every chimpanzee. It takes a group effort to make sure we provide the best life for the chimpanzees here.”

Chimp Haven has a distinguished board of directors including Katherine Leighty, PhD, from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Frans De Waal, PhD, from Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University.

The new federal guidelines have given hope to an animal rights group who filed a lawsuit in November to free a 50 year-old chimpanzee from her 40 years of solitary life in a Baton Rouge amusement park.

Members of the Animal Legal Defense Fund are declaring that the solitary existence of the chimpanzee, “Candy,” violates the Endangered Species Act. Candy has been alone for 40 years, a condition the animal rights advocates feel is painful and punishing, and treatment has been condemned by world-renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall and comparative psychologist Dr. Roger Fouts.

If the court finds that Candy deserves her freedom, the staff at Chimp Haven has said they are ready to accept her at Chimp Haven.

Katheen Taylor feels that seeing the chimpanzees express their true social nature is one of the great rewards of her job as Animal Care Director.

“I wanted to personally thank all those who have supported Chimp Haven in the past and those who will give in the future,” she said. “If you have ever seen chimpanzees laugh, play, climb trees, or disappear into the forest just because they can make that choice, you have witnessed the sweet results of Chimp Haven’s staff’s hard work and passion. Providing the care and retirement for these chimpanzees who unwillingly gave their lives for our benefit is true humanity and I am eternally grateful for your support.”

“Over the last 20 years, my understanding and appreciation of humanity has been deepened through exposure to primates.”

“These chimps have served humans for so many years, and unwillingly at that. Now it’s our opportunity to give back to them,” Taylor said.

chimp

A chimpanzee living at Chimp Haven, one of many “retired” from service in biomedical research.
(Photo courtesy of Chimp Haven.)

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Dr. Coulter Helps Dispel Misconceptions about Common Core at NASP

In a featured presentation at the National Association of School Psychologists, held in New Orleans last month, Dr. Alan Coulter helped attendees see the misconceptions about the national furor over Common Core, and the role for psychology in helping children who may be left behind in all the various debate.

Coulter is Director for Education Initiatives at the Human Development Center, LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans (LSUHSC), Director of the APA-accredited School Psychology Internship, and the Principal Lead for the TIERS Group. TIERS is Teams Intervening Early to Reach all Students.

“The level of misunderstanding by the public of the issues related to Common Core State Standards,” Dr. Coulter explained to the Times, “surpasses almost any other issues –even the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist.”

“The federal government did not invent the Common Core State Standards,” he said, despite the fact that many believe this. Common Core State Standards, or CCSS, were developed by The National Governors Association and the National Association of Council of Chief State School Officers, he said. “They developed the CCSS in response to a request of the majority of governors, including Governor Bobby Jindal,” Coulter noted.

“The federal government did not mandate the Common Core. States had options and 45 states simply adopted CCSS,” he said.

A third common misunderstanding is the belief that Common Core is a curriculum. “The CCSS is not curriculum,” explained Coulter. No curriculum materials were mandated by the federal government. There is no national curriculum.”

Panel presenters at the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) conference also pointed to a fourth misunderstanding––The federal government did not mandate any specific achievement measure. Rather, the federal government funded two efforts by consortia of states to develop a measure of achievement aligned to CCSS, explained Dr. Coulter.

The invited presentation titled, “Bracing for the Common Core Crash: Preventing More Children Left Behind,” included co-presenters Mark R. Shinn, PhD, from National-Louis University, Kimberly Gibbons, from St. Croix River Education District, Minneapolis, MN, Dr. Michelle Shinn, Principal & Executive Director for Student Services, Lake Forest, IL, and Dr. Robert H. Pasternack, former Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Coulter said, “This event was quite an honor for me and my colleagues.” The national association rarely if ever invites a panel for two years in a row, and this was Coulter’s and his colleagues’ third presentation in as many years. It appears likely that the five will be invited back again.

The panel focused on how Common Core could inadvertently set conditions that could leave more students behind, and pointed out that school psychologists must be aware of risks and ensure advocacy for research-based practices, noted the program authors.

Dr. Coulter is also concerned with assessments. “My issue was one of the need for comparable assessments across states as measures of equitable accountability for results and use of public funds,” Coulter explained. “When 45 states had adopted one of the two newly developed measures, there was a chance of having a broad representation of state performance.”

“However,” he said, “given the growing hysteria about CCSS in states, some had withdrawn to develop their own state specific measures. The result will be a ‘Tower of Babel’ of accountability test scores,” he explained.

“It’s a pity that the politics of hysterical contagion have overridden rational decision-making about responsible accountability,” he said. He explained that Psychology has the expertise and the technology to ensure equitable and meaningful accountability of public school to the public. But, he also feels that Psychology continues to be largely unsuccessful in helping to shape public support for the use of this expertise.

Dr. Coulter said the conference was well attended and reviewed. “The National Association of School Psychologists meeting in New Orleans was one of the organization’s most attended annual meetings. I heard repeated compliments about what a hospitable environment NOLA was for such a meeting. Almost every session I attended, was packed with psychologists interested in expanding their knowledge and skills.”

tucker-and-coulter

Dr. Jim Tucker (L), McKee Chair of Excellence at the School of Education, U. of Tennessee, with Dr. Alan Coulter, Director for Education Initiatives at the Human Development Center, LSU Health Sciences Center, at the recent National Association of School Psychologists last month in New Orleans. (Courtesy photo)

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