Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bye-Bye Tutoring

Swift & Change Able has a recent (Mar. 9) post on the effort by the public-school Establishment to crush after-school tutoring programs for children. Each year more and more children participate in these tutoring programs. (Participation in 2004 was five times what it was in 2003, for example.)
School administrators never liked SES and choice. They see these programs as taking money out of their pockets (never mind that the funds are sent out to serve students). So they in most cases have done everything possible to prevent parents and students from availing themselves of them. Then they say demand is anemic - see? they were right all along - and that the programs should be terminated.

Swift & Change Able points out that the largest study so far of the tutoring program, done by RAND (2007), said that:

"In five of the seven applicable districts, students scored better in both reading and math in the first year of participating in the services and even better in the second and subsequent years.

Students participating for multiple years enjoyed gains twice as large as those of students participating for just one year.

African-Americans, Latinos, and students with disabilities all recorded positive achievement results.

All these gains were statistically significant."

The way that the Establishment seeks to crush tutoring is through the arcane process of
"waivers of Title I set-asides." Such waivers by the Obama-administration U.S. Department of Education will allow districts to avoid putting money into tutoring.

Swift
& Change Able sums up the situation aptly when he entitles his piece "AASA to After-School Tutors: 'You're Fired.'"*

*AASA=American Association of School Administrators

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