School Speech Pathology Blog 2015

Summer day, Canal St. Martin, Paris

Summer day, Canal St. Martin, Paris

Thank you to all those who have given us comments and encouragement. We have taken a public policy viewpoint as well as methodological. Methods clearly derive from the cultures of institutions. To unravel the history of past decisions is no easy task but worth it.

Dr. John M. Panagos

John Panagos

John Panagos

“”In art there is only one thing that counts; the thing you can’t explain.”
Georges Braque

“For the mind does not require filling like a bottle, but rather, like wood, it only requires kindling to create in it an impulse to think independently and an ardent desire for the truth.” ~Plutarch

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.” Helen Keller.

”Until we can comprehend the beguiling beauty of a single flower, we are woefully unable to grasp the meaning and potential of life itself.” Virginia Woolf

“A walk about PARIS will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.”
-Thomas Jefferson

“L’absurde, c’est la raison lucide qui constate ses limites.”  (“The absurd is lucid reason that sees its limits.”) –Albert Camus, Le Mythe de Sisyphe, Le suicide philosophique

“Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose” (The more things change the more they stay the same.) Alphonse Karr, Les Guepes, 1849

The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives. – Albert Einstein

ASHA Board of Governors Abandons School Office

Clearly, the Board of Directors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has neglected if not abandoned the office of School Services.


In 1925 a small group of speech professors aggressively captured the profession of school “speech correction” to gain stature and control on their campuses. They took everything and gave back little.
In the civil rights era of the 1960s the U. S. Department of Education pumped money into universities to increase the supply of school speech-language pathologists. ASHA in a public relations move organized a “school office” to show interest in education.

Window looking out.

Window looking out.

In 1975 IDEA caught ASHA administrators flat-footed. The bright spot was the intelligent leadership of Dr. Kathleen Whitmire, Director of School Services. She left ASHA and the Office of School Services declined.

When I returned to the schools in the 1990s, school practice was out-of date, and SLPs were beset with IDEA challenges. I wondered why school issues stood for years without effective solutions.

My review indicated the ASHA Board of Directors was failing to serve majority school members with vision, analysis, tenacity and long-term solutions.  I could not establish that the school office had any status and influence whatsoever. Nor did the school office play a role in the accreditation of graduate programs for SLPs. The BOD was preoccupied by ASHA administrative minutiae.


The BOD should eliminate the School Services office. It is a white elephant of another era. It’s doubtful BOD can fix it. The office should be a major force in up-dating school practice but it is not.

John M. Panagos


Repost: ASHA Governance and School Speech Pathology Practice

After a full career in higher education, my subsequent work in Arizona schools convinced me school practice was behind the times and ASHA was failing to effectively address school practice issues. Why I asked? I read, observed, interviewed and wrote on issues to come up with answers. In 2012 I published the opinion below on how breakdowns were occurring. Since then, my focus has been on decision-makers. Who is responsible at ASHA’s under-performance?

I studied ASHA administrative documents and came up with two essential views:

1. The ASHA Board of Directors (BOD) is solely responsible for all programs and personnel according to the bylaws.

2. The BOD abdicates its responsibilities, serving as a ceremonial body deferring widely to the ASHA professional staff, in some cases leaving critical ASHA components of unexamined. Poor supervision of accreditation is a striking example, and accreditation is the arena in which curriculum must improve.

2012 Post


Tracing through the history of  The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association gives one ideas and impressions about governance and organization shaping school practices in American schools.

Governance is the act of governing. It relates to decisions that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance. It consists of either a separate process or part of management or leadership processes…In the case of a business or of a non-profit organisation, governance relates to consistent management, cohesive policies, guidance, processes and decision-rights for a given area of responsibility… ” (Wiki)

“The duty of decision-making is a cornerstone of professional associations, entrusted to the those elected to the organization’s governing body — in ASHA’s case, the Board of Directors” (Chabon & Pietranton, ASHA Leader, 2012, March 13).

Mr. Chang, swan-goose and friend, Lakeside, Arizona

Over more than 100 years of organizational activity, capture of  school speech pathology by a small group of academic speech therapists in 1925 established organizational bias against those who did not want to work in hospitals and clinics, and who wanted to work with school children. School practice was flourishing up to 1925, whereas speech therapy practice was almost non-existent. Medical-model thinking was imposed on school speech pathology by the careful selection of executive directors, central organization in Washington, D. C., and non-profit status. Medical model leaders used the rapid growth of school speech pathology as a revenue base for continued funding of narrow and often arcane speech therapy research, teaching and practice.  It took until 1970 for ASHA governors to take even a modest step toward supporting school functions by way of a small office for school issues and programs, an office which remains virtually the same today even though more than half of ASHA members work are in education.

The production of doctoral graduates preparing for leadership in schools  was  nil. Doctoral education was heavily invested in medical-model research and coursework.  The rapidly growing school section of ASHA went without leadership in school speech-language pathology.

In the meantime ASHA was flat-footed when it came to addressing the effects of the civil rights movement and federal legislation on school practice, beginning especially in 1975.  The small office struggled to address issues but was overwhelmed and under staffed.  ASHA governance continued to be biased toward medical model thinking, leaving preservice training in status quo.  A whole generation of graduates completed their careers with insufficient background with respect to the massively changing school environment.  The  deep bias favoring medical-model thinking blinded governors as to trends in school practice..  It is difficult to govern something one does not understand, if one has not practiced in schools.

Executive Director Position:    Speech correctionists were excluded a priori from the position of Executive Director of ASHA. A direct chain  from the male founders to the present day promulgated medical model thinking: Wendell Johnson (1931-1941, Iowa, de facto);  D. W. Morris (1941-1948, Ohio State):  George A. Kopp (1948-1957, Wayne State University); Kenneth O. Johnson  (1958-1980, Stanford Medical);  Frederick T. Spahr (1980-2003, Pennsylvania State). The last in the chain is a woman but no language specialist has ever  been selected, nor a doctoral-level professional with extensive school background.”  (Women Lost)

A clown on mainstreet.

Adopting the non-profit  structure imposed greater inflexibility on ASHA.  Whereas universities up to 1970 provided the fire power for organizational growth of the young profession, executive directors put their energies into the non-profit mission.  University programs lost their influence while sustaining “speech therapy” training.  ASHA became less nimble because it was investing both in gaining control of credentialing and establishing the non-profit base in Washington.  Becoming a strong national cartel for speech therapy services was the larger agenda.  From the beginning, the school  segment of the profession was the profit center to fund organizational growth.

With status quo operating unquestioned, and academic control diminished, ASHA governance took professional leadership in the direction of service to the non-profit medical model credential-control mission, a mission heavily influenced by director Kenneth O. Johnson, 1958-1980. The role of president of the association continued to be eroded giving executive directors greater de facto power and influence.  Presidents rotated through on one year appointments, insufficient time to produce lasting results, while allowing the one-size-fits-all training plan to carry on with little or no innovation to support school clinicians.  To bring the cognitive-linguistic model into training in the 1970s, no small amount of resistance operated.  Even now the literacy domain as an extension of language pathology has fallen years behind in development though it is central to emerging school practice demands.  Attention to literacy training in the university programs languishes. Upon his retirement Frederick T. Spahr, 1980-2003, admitted language had been a vital step forward for the profession although the movement had not received wide support.

For school speech-language pathology to receive full support for its changing mission,  it needs to be a separate ASHA division with separate graduate school major to rectify the historical mistakes by ASHA governors and to break away from cartel strategies.  We have developed here the rationale for  “educational speech pathology” parallel to educational audiology, pointing out repeatedly that school pathologists are half the ASHA membership.

Yet school speech-language pathology continues to be submerged in current institutional thinking: “ASHA exists to enhance the professional lives of audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language and hearing scientists, and through us, the lives of individuals with communication disorders”   (Chabon & Pietranton, ASHA Leader, 2012, March 13).  Science and  audiology get separate billing following old-line preferences dating back to D. W. Morris, 1941-1948 and George A. Kopp, 1948-1957.  These narrow technical areas receive support from the school SLPs who provide the force behind the profession. Under the present structures, there is not way to give full billing to school SLPs. School practice is just another practice area, “school-based” versus “prison-based” for example.

The Board of Directors should seek to overhaul speech-language pathology to include a separate ASHA division, properly supported in concept, advertising and funding. Policy should reflect changes in curriculum knowledge unique to educational settings.  Students going into school work should all have the background described in the course description developed at the Brooklyn College (New York):

Educ 7672T Teaching in Least Restrictive Environments

30 hours plus conference; 3 credits

Strategies to integrate and support students with special needs in least restrictive environments. System and organizational change theories and strategies for developing models of inclusive education. Focus on curriculum and collaborative processes with other professionals including co-teaching, consultative, and itinerant models. Engagement of family members in collaborative efforts. Students will implement a consultative/collaborative project. Field experiences in a variety of school and community settings.

Such preparation should be incorporated into clinical clock hour experiences in university speech and language training centers.  IDEA -2004 procedures should become a part of the work with those school children who have educational plans (IEPs). Proper diagnostic experience should  reinforce educational principles, and CCC training hours should be granted for such training.  One way or another, the Board of Director must make sure preservice training is appropriate for school clinicians.  One cannot count on colleges of education to provide linkages to IDEA requirements.

Window looking out.

The ASHA Board of Directors is soliciting input. President  Chabon has approved input to the Board, using an InTouch form for this purpose.

We advocate an overhaul of school speech-language pathology to remove historical bias favoring medical speech pathology.  The bias started in 1925 with the capture of school speech correction, and the “FOUNDER’S SYNDROME’ has operated ever since:

Founder’s syndrome is an issue organizations face as they grow. Dynamic founders with a strong vision of how to operate the project try to retain control of the organization, even as new employees or volunteers want to expand the project’s scope or change policy.”  (Wiki)

The cognitive-linguistic model was eventually accepted in the 1970s but never allowed to blossom fundamentally in support of language, culture and learning in schools.

Prior  comment:  “Consider the size of the National Association of School Nurses.  In 1968 NASN started with NEA as a department. In 1979 it became a separate non-profit organization.  Today it lobbies in Washington, has a national network of state organizations, advertising plans, board members, annual conference, two publications, radio service, bookstore, national president, and a full-service web site.  All of this is accomplished with 14,500 members.””

John M. Panagos

ASHA Paywall Policies and Issues

In the 1990s newspapers began to lose advertising to internet websites. Readers began to read news on the internet. With mixed results, newspapers put their content online and searched for ways of getting readers to pay for the content. Many online organizations have paywalls including the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. How do ASHA paywall policies affect access to information?


Thanks to Webopedia for this definition: “Paywalls are systems designed to monetize online and other digital information by preventing visitors from accessing web sites and similar content providers without having a paid subscription. Online news and sports web sites are the most frequent users of paywalls, with some sites implementing hard paywalls while others deploy soft paywalls.

Girl Scouts Marching on Main Street.

Girl Scouts Marching on Main Street.

A hard paywall’s content restrictions are much more stringent than a soft paywall, allowing either no access or minimal access to free content. A soft paywall, on the other hand, provides significant access to free content as a means of encouraging users to subscribe for access to premium content.”

We support open public access to all relevant materials.

ASHA Board of Directors Admits School Practice Oversight Inadequate

In its August, 2014 meeting, the Board of Directors voted to revise the 2013 decision for a committee to provide input on school issues and needs, and established a standing committee for the same purpose. The rationale was stated as follows:

“Because members have expressed concern regarding the constant flux of school-based practice—and with new issues and demands facing school-based practitioners as they operate, grow, and transform their professional practices, it was felt that such a board could be more responsive to the changing needs of school-based members. After thoughtful discussion, the Board voted to approve this resolution.”


But we add the problem is not liberal input. It is the Board’s incapacity to follow through and make changes. WE HAVE HAD THE DATA FOR YEARS!

Board members come and go, leaving the ASHA staff to implement passed resolutions. The ASHA staff has neither the capacity nor continuing authority to implement change.

And so long as the Board allows the CAA to stand alone by its own declarations, curriculum will be forever consigned to a continuing flurry of public relations moves carried out through sparkling education programs.

The Problems are Well Known

Here is an honest perspective from FB:

“Bari Ann – With the increasing paperwork, billing for reimbursement, non-speech job related responsibilities, and lack of professional regard from others, the contracting position is looking better and better.

Thank you!

ASHA Board of Directors Ignores School Practice

In prior posts we have said the ASHA Board of Directors neglects school speech-language pathology as to long-term programs (e.g., collaboration) and curriculum (phonology). To investigate further, 2013 BOD records were examined to identify directional patterns of administrative activity. ( When BOD members meet, do they deliberate on school issues, or do they dwell on other topics? How important is school practice to board members? Does the BOD make sure graduate students are educated for school service?

Board Meetings

In 2013, BOD members (16) met for five meetings (January, March, June, July and October). Agenda items were organized by the President and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The board approved their responsibilities for addressing ASHA business:

“The Board’s responsibilities are broken into four areas: planning, operations, audit, and communications. After considering some suggestions for adding clarifying language to the procedures, the Board agreed that the document effectively captures the Board’s operating methods and procedures for working with the National Office staff.”

Board Actions

A total of 82 actions (resolutions, motions) were studied. The Board voted positively 81 times. Ninety percent of the votes were unanimous. A motion on behalf of the American Academy of Audiology was voted down 0-15. Twice two negative votes were cast.

The analysis indicated seven types of administrative activity consistent with Board responsibilities. They are presented in rank order of occurrence.
Committees (council, board) (20)– E.g. health care economics
Appointments (14)– E.g. pioneer network
ASHA Policy (13)–E.g. operational guidelines
Awards (12)–E.g. association honors
Funding (9)–E.g. travel expenses
Affiliations (8)–E.g. craniofacial association
Practice (6)–E.g. study evidence-based practice

Approved were funding proposals, professional affiliations, awards, appointments, practices and policy initiatives. Board members approved several committee, board and council actions (n=20). Practice items were the fewest in number (n=6).

Speech-language pathology was mentioned 34 times and Audiology 10. There was one incidental mention of “school based” speech-language pathology. There were no mentions of service delivery models, caseload problems, school SLP satisfaction, reading, RTI, encroachment, preschool, paperwork, scope of practice demands.

The CAA is responsible for curriculum standards. There was one action appointing two people to the council.

Practice Decisions

Seven percent of the business items related to general SLP professional practice. Decisions made were at the operational level. The word “curriculum” was never used. There were incidental mentions of traditional clinical categories:
Swallowing (1)
Stuttering (1)
Voice (1)
Aphasia (1)
Cleft Palate (1)
Autism (0)
Language (0)
articulation (0)
Augmentative Communication (0)
Response to Intervention (0)

Two Board projects were approved.

First, a vote was cast to support the Practice Resource Project Portal. However, the Portal is non-binding and not for school SLP practice per se.

Second,BOD members voted unanimously for a special committee to provide planning input to ASHA on school matters:

“RESOLVED, That the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) establish, for a 2-year period, the Speech-Language Pathology School Issues ad hoc committee, charged to provide leadership, guidance, and strategic planning in developing, recommending, implementing, and reviewing ASHA policies, procedures, programs, and resources relative to speech-language pathology practice in k-12 schools…”


We asked whether the ASHA Directors at their yearly meetings address school issues and curriculum needs. The answer is no. The Board restricts its work to ASHA operational concerns. It does not address issues of academic and accreditation systems where curriculum is a central component. It’s scope is narrow and voting perfunctory.

Puzzling is why the Board restricts its deliberations to operational business. By so doing, it effectively abdicates its responsibility to the membership. The BYLAWS clearly demand far-ranging oversight of all ASHA affairs.

ASHA Board of Directors Supports Practice Portal

Old house in small town

Old house in small town

The Portal: September, 2014

The American Speech Language Hearing Association represents a modern field providing clinical communication services to adults and children in all settings of service delivery. Accordingly, it has initiated a project to describe the many help services speech language pathologists provide to their clients. The Portal project is a long-term program approved by ASHA Board of Director:

“BOD 32-2013…. RESOLVED, That the Board of Directors (BOD) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) continue to support the development of ASHA’s Practice Portal, and further;

RESOLVED, That the BOD approve use of the Special Opportunities Fund to provide such support in an amount not to exceed $550,000 per year for the years 2015, 2016, and 2017.”

Internet Connectivity

The TerpSys company has designed the Portal program for easy online use:

“TerpSys worked with ASHA to create a responsive site that makes navigating through large amounts of scientific information easy on any device:

Responsive – ASHA can create and maintain one set of content, but know that it looks custom-tailored on all of their users’ devices

Brand Extending – The Practice Portal fits the overall ASHA brand, but with a fresh, forward-looking feel
User-centered – Content expands and contracts to give users quick access to just the information they need in the moment

Consistent – Ektron, a .NET-based content management system (CMS), allows new content to be created in a consistent way as the Practice Portal grows”

According to a current public information release, the Portal is being well received and is pushing forward on new topics:

“Currently, the Portal site features detailed content on 20 clinical and professional issues for audiologists and speech language pathologists, including pages on autism, dementia, bilingual service delivery, classroom acoustics, and newborn hearing screening. New pages are added on a regular basis and announced on ASHA’s Facebook, twitter, and community sites.”

“The goal of ASHA’s Practice Portal is to assist audiologists and speech-language pathologists in their day-to-day practices by making it easier to find the best available evidence and expertise in patient care, identify resources that have been vetted for relevance and credibility, and increase practice efficiency. Our goal is not to provide a practice ‘recipe’ but to make available to you the information and resources you need to guide your decision-making…”

“School Based” SLPs Can’t Count on ASHA Board

We who work in American schools are at risk for neglect by the Board of Directors on whom we depend for policies favorable to our professional success. We are under-represented in ASHA governance following a pattern dating back to 1930 when the “founders” captured and dismantled our programs. The founders made sure we could not easily participate in leadership roles by setting standards to favor themselves and doctoral level professionals. That pattern persists today.

Here I examine the authority structure of ASHA –both formal and informal — to show you how it works against school members and favors the elite non-school members. The facts are hidden in plain sight.


ASHA controls every stage of BOD elections and this filters out school SLPs. There is no write-in ballot for us. We are allowed to nominate Board nominees but nominees are screened. Nominees cannot campaign for school reform: E.g., “Production and use of campaign paraphernalia including, but not limited to: buttons, fliers, balloons, display booths, stickers, ribbons, or other give-aways.”

Just as in the 1940s, elite non-school doctoral members dominate the nomination process. Of the current list of 17 Board Members for 2014, 15 have doctoral degrees. Most certified working school SLPs with graduate degrees and outstanding academic records do not get elected to the Board of Directors. They trust those they elect to represent them.


According to ASHA Bylaws, the Board has full legal authority to govern on behalf of school SLPs:

“4.1.2. The Board of Directors is the single governing body of the Association and shall actively promote the objectives of the Association, operating in accordance with and administering and implementing the programs and policies established by these Bylaws and by the Board of Directors. Members of the Board of Directors are elected to serve by and are accountable to the members of the Association.”

But this proclamation is only appearance. In our study of 2013 Board actions (ASHA Board of Directors Ignores School Practice) we learned the BOD deferred to the “national office staff” and voluntarily restricted its operating authority to matters of operational housekeeping:

“The Board’s responsibilities are broken into four areas: planning, operations, audit, and communications. After considering some suggestions for adding clarifying language to the procedures, the Board agreed that the document effectively captures the Board’s operating methods and procedures for working with the National Office staff.”

The phrase “…working with the National Office staff…” signals an attitude of co-equal authority. In fact, BOD is likely a pleasant supportive group but it does not “work with” the National Office Staff; it supervises same. Such statements blur authority lines.

BOD Activities

BOD members spend relatively little time in meetings conducting essential ASHA business, meeting only five times in 2013. BOD members typically have regular jobs back home to maintain. BOD members need time to know how to function as board members and membership constantly turns over.

When members arrive for meetings, the National Office Staff has already set the agenda for meetings (although the president is said to assist the Staff). Agenda items emphasize housekeeping matters and operations.

BOD members rubber stamp the resolutions recommended by the ASHA National Office Staff. Of the 82 motions examined, BOD voted affirmatively 81 times. All but a few votes recorded were unanimous. Real debate is not evident in the records. The BOD behavior is that of a ceremonial body deferring to the National Office Staff.


The authority relationship between the ASHA President and CEO is established by what we call the “Appearance-of-Co-Equal-Authority Rule.” The bylaws are written subtlety in way to make it impossible to know who exactly is in charge of Association policy and actions. Of course, when one cannot tell who is in charge, there is no accountability.

Look at what the bylaws say about presidential authority:

“President, who shall serve as Chair of the Board of Directors and coordinate the functions of the Board of Directors, and who shall automatically become Immediate Past President at the end of his or her term as President.”

Elsewhere the president’s job is described this way:

“…The President works in partnership with the Chief Executive Officer to achieve the mission of the Association and to optimize the relationship between the Board and staff.”

In another statement, co-authority swings toward the CEO:

“ASHA is governed by a Board of Directors and led by Chief Executive Officer Arlene A. Pietranton, PhD, CAE. To date, ASHA has approximately 250 employees at its national office.”

The President is not the leader of ASHA?

Considering the legal authority of the Board of Directors over ASHA affairs, the President nonetheless is portrayed as a chairperson, collaborator and coordinator, a misleading representation. School members need to count on the president to represent them with authority.

Old stone dwelling near stream

Old stone dwelling near stream

Chief Executive Officer

The bylaws state the Chief Executive Officer legally plays a service role:

“7.2.1. The Chief Executive Officer shall be appointed by the Board of Directors and shall serve at the pleasure of the Board….and “serves as the chief administrative officer of the Association….”

This too is misleading. Informally the CEO has enormous procedural authority to control ASHA affairs. The CEO monitors everything:

“7.2.2. The Chief Executive Officer (or designee) shall serve as an ex officio nonvoting member, unless otherwise stipulated, of all committees, boards, and councils established by the Board of Directors.”

The CEO is a year-round full-time employee, where as the Board of Directors meets only a few times a year and turns over at regular intervals. “ASHA is governed by a Board of Directors and led by Chief Executive Officer Arlene A. Pietranton, PhD, CAE. To date, ASHA has approximately 250 employees at its national office.”


My purpose has been to examine the ASHA authority structure with respect to support of school-based SLPs. There is a historical pattern of neglected issues of school practice, especially improvements in the graduate curriculum (the portal not withstanding). The findings indicate the Board of Directors abdicates oversight responsibilities. It largely ignores the scope and content of authority as stated in the bylaws. The president voluntarily accepts a diminished role of facilitator of ASHA business. BOD agrees to limit its authority in conducting yearly ASHA business. It defers informally to CEO and the ASHA staff which administers innumerable areas of operation without BOD involvement. As we have pointed out in other posts, it ignores accreditation functions (CAA) where curriculum is key. The CEO outside of Board meetings functions as the face of ASHA in the operation of ASHA. The Board of Directors is a ceremonial body with the president servicing as the titular head.

The ASHA authority structure should be clear and faithfully respected. The bylaws should show the respective roles of the president and the CEO so that overlap is avoided. An annual report should be filed by the CEO with a “State of the Association” address delivered at the ASHA conference. Business meeting minutes should be published to the membership verbatim. All business records must be archived for public access without pay-wall barriers. Proposed outcomes must be evaluated for success. We need much more public information about inner workings when BOD is not in Washington. ASHA accountability to the membership is lacking. The president should be elected for three years and must take authoritative actions based on member concerns rather than ASHA operational minutia. The bylaws must state who is actually in charge and responsible when issues arise. Without a clear picture of ASHA decision-making, cronyism and preferential thinking will return to the ASHA administration.

“The duty of decision-making is a cornerstone of professional associations, entrusted to the those elected to the organization’s governing body — in ASHA’s case, the Board of Directors” (Chabon & Pietranton, ASHA Leader, 2012, March 13).

ASHA Board of Directors Excludes Evaluation of CAA

By a unanimous decision, the Board of Directors accepted in January of 2014 the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Committee, Board, and Council Structure Review to exclude evaluation of “the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) and CAA Affiliated Subcommittees.”

The recommendation was made… “on the basis of a conference call with Paul Rao, 2012 Past President and Barbara Moore, 2012 Vice President for Planning and a follow-up electronic communication with Arlene Pietranton, Chief Executive Officer…”

Curriculum and program advancements in schools cannot be achieved until the Board of Directors holds the CAA accountable for improving graduate education for school SLPs. The CAA is responsible for standards. and the BOD is responsible for the CAA.

The Bylaws indicate accountability:

“4.9.1. The Board of Directors may establish and dissolve standing committees, boards, councils, ad hoc committees, working groups, and other entities necessary to conduct the Association’s business, and designate and change their charges and determine their size, member qualifications, and terms.”

ASHA BOD Should Evaluate CAA Policies and Procedures

We urge the ASHA Board of Directors to evaluate the administrative policies and procedures of CAA in consideration of school programs and curriculum development necessary for modern school practice.

Something doesn’t compute!

The BOD represents the only legal authority of ASHA. Specifically, the Bylaws say:

“4.1.2. The Board of Directors is the single governing body of the Association and shall actively promote the objectives of the Association, operating in accordance with and administering and implementing the programs and policies established by these Bylaws and by the Board of Directors. Members of the Board of Directors are elected to serve by and are accountable to the members of the Association.”

The ASHA mission statement includes “setting standards” and “fostering excellence in professional practice…”  The CAA is not mentioned.

The Board has full authority to address issues facing CAA:

“4.9.1. The Board of Directors may establish and dissolve standing committees, boards, councils, ad hoc committees, working groups, and other entities necessary to conduct the Association’s business, and designate and change their charges and determine their size, member qualifications, and terms.”

In 2013 the Board voted to approve two CAA members appropriately. It also voted to waive evaluation of CAA, exercising its authority to do so. If it can waive evaluation, it can initiate evaluation.

The ASHA Board of Directors must ignore claims by the CAA to stand alone, as an independent authority. It is responsible to the voting and paying membership via the Board, and half the membership works in schools.

The “autonomy” claim simply does not hold water: In the Bylaws 8.2 this claim is not affirmed:

“The Association, by action of the Board of Directors, shall establish and maintain a program of academic accreditation. The Association shall establish the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA), which shall define the standards for the accreditation of graduate education programs and apply those standards in the accreditation of such programs…”



Department of EducationDSC00166

The U. S. Department of Education recognizes ASHA for accrediting speech-language pathology and audiology:
Council on Academic Accreditation: Candidate Status”

CAA is the sub-agency of ASHA. The Department of Education recognizes ASHA as the accrediting agency, and the BOD is responsible for ASHA.

CAA is not self-supporting. ASHA members pay for space, personnel and funds to support CAA operations. Such facts do not support the claim of autonomy.

The U. S. Department of Education is presently accepting ASHA’s application for renewal.

“American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology 


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