So I wrote them an email. I may even send a copy to the guest speaker who spoke so disdainfully of "guidance counselors." I tried to keep it brief, here's what I said:
I am writing to you about your piece on low income, high achieving students. Your guest spoke of the role of guidance counselors in choosing colleges. To begin, those of us in the profession prefer to be called "School Counselors." Gone are the days when the only thing a school counselor does is "guide" students through school. We implement comprehensive counseling programs designed to support all students. The American School Counselor Association recommends a 250/1 counselor to student ratio. Some states have in excess of 700 students per counselor. In fact, one in five high schools don't have any counselors at all. Unfortunately, many of the districts with a high number of students living in poverty also have the least money with which to hire counselors.
In response to your guest’s statement that counselors may not have gone to selective schools themselves, school counselors are required to have an undergraduate and masters degree. This statement infers that school counseling is not a prestigious career choice when even Harvard has a school counseling program. Instead of blaming the "guidance" counselor, or criticizing their college choice, perhaps we could talk about how to change the system of support to allow school counselors to do their jobs to support all students.