To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

New Observercast

Millions Wasted

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POSTED BY FROSTY TROY

In the 2006-07 school year, the Bush Administration blew $595 million for the fast-growing industry of for-profit and nonprofit tutoring providers.

It remains unclear whether or how much those extra lessons are boosting student performance.

Researchers from the Virginia Department of Education released a report in April that compared the performance last year of students with identical or very similar math scores in 2006 and found that those who were tutored did no better than their peers.

Studies in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Michigan and Kentucky also showed that the mandated tutoring, known as “supplemental educational services,” didn’t bump up test scores.

“This isn’t helping poor kids,” said Jack Jennings, president and CEO of the Center on Education Policy, which monitors implementation of the federal law.

“All it’s doing is taking money out of classrooms and putting it into the hands of private companies.”

Turning to private tutors when public schools fall short is a key provision of the 2002 No Child Left Behind law.

Under the law, schools that don’t meet test performance goals for two consecutive years must allow students to transfer to higher performing schools, and if they fail for three years, must offer private tutoring to children from low-income families.

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.