Ineffective tutors, why does California pay them to continue?
June 28, 10:03 PM
Under No Child Left Behind, outside literacy tutoring is supposed to be offered to schools with low academic scores. State Department of Education agencies are supposed to screen and select tutoring centers that are deemed to be effective...
SES focuses on supplemental instruction or tutoring in English-language arts and/or mathematics for eligible students in Title I Program Improvement (PI) schools. Schools in Year two and beyond of PI are required to offer SES. The SES program augments the PI schools’ programs of instruction to help eligible students meet California’s state content standards."
...However one has to wonder what criteria they are using to select their tutors and how they monitor their effectiveness. I have found out Lindamood Bell, which offers scientifically researched successful programs with well documented statistical evidence or reading gain was NOT approved to be an SES tutor.
According to Tom Mendoza at Lindamood Bell learning process's, the Ca DOE was evasive about their criteria and did not offer any plausible explanation for the refusal.
In contrast, San Francisco based * ARC Associates, was approved by the CDE. ARC associates is the tutoring company.who has worked at Cesar Chavez Elementary School for the past five years and last year made $237,266.71 from the San Francisco Unified School District. This year, the district will pay ARC a projected $559,523 in SES tutoring contracts, according to the San Francisco Unified School District’s Office of State and Federally Funded Programs.
Yet nowhere has the weakness in the tutoring program been more stark than at Cesar Chavez, where tutoring has failed to increase scores on the standardized math and reading tests for most of the last five years. In 2007, test scores actually plunged 139 points, and last year’s scores rose only 10 points despite a growing number of students taking advantage of the subsidized tutoring.
This year at Cesar Chavez, 93 of the 183 eligible first through fifth grade students have been spending two or three hours a week since January getting assistance, but few expect better results on tests. At a school in Program Improvement, all students are eligible to receive tutoring, although some students get priority including those who are failing state tests and first graders who fail a reading test.
Arlene Graham, program liaison for ARC Associates, blamed the low test scores on the difficulty in teaching students whose first language is not English. Chavez’s student body is comprised of 71.6 percent Latino English learners compared to 17.5 percent district-wide. “The reality of working with bilingual children is that they have to go through development academically in their own language, then transition academically into English,” said Graham. “How do we get the English content and meaning to them? There is a lag.”
In contrast, Lindamood Bell made substantial gains with ESL students in 2009 working in collaboration with Vista Unified School District at Olive, their lowest performing school which consisted of many ESL students. See http://www.examiner.com/x-4959-Special-Education-Examiner~y2009m6d8-Vista-unified-school-district-and-Lindamood-Bell-proves-all-students-can-achieve
Reading instructor Amber Lamprecht was able to make 1.4 years of reading gain in 36 hours over 6 months to ESL students. http://www.examiner.com/x-4959-Special-Education-Examiner~y2009m4d22-36-hours-to-change-a-child-life
...Secretary of education, Arne Duncan recently stated that California has "lost it's way" when it comes to education. When one looks at this tutoring situation, he is absolutely right. Why should he give California more funds for education when our current decision makers at the CDE make such poor choices?
*As first reported in Mission Local web site:
SES Providers for Ca: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ti/ap/providers.aspx