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School Counselors Have Enormous Impact on Students, Study Finds

School Counselors Have Enormous Impacts on Schools, Study Finds

When reflecting on a student's performance in school, whether one is evaluating discipline or test scores, the tendency is to look for a teacher's or principal's influence on a child. It's often forgotten, however, that school counselors play a huge role in students' lives. 

"School counselors do a lot more than help kids figure out what classes to take," said an article on "Their primary role, in fact, is to help students work through behavioral problems, mental health concerns, and other issues that might hamper kids’ success in school and in life. But despite considerable recent attention to factors that might improve education in underperforming schools, researchers have largely ignored how much of an impact counselors have on academic performance."

In response to this issue, researchers and economists have looked at how much of an impact school counselors make at schools, the article said. According to the article, hiring just one school counselor, "could have about a third of the effect of recruiting all the school’s teachers from a pool of candidates in the top 15 percent of their profession, according to a new analysis."

The analysis, "Are school counselors an effective education input," looks at the impact of school counselors and suggests that counselors, "significantly improve boys' academic achievement."

Economists Scott Carrell and Mark Hoekstra studied third, fourth, and fifth graders at 22 elementary schools in Florida. 

"Surprisingly, just one extra counselor can do quite a lot," the article said. "After controlling for factors including school size, the proportion of students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch, and median family income in the neighborhood—all shown to be correlated with academic achievement—Carrell and Hoekstra estimated that each additional counselor intern in a school reduced the number of reports of disruptive behavior by 20 percent for boys and 29 percent for girls."

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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