Tutoring Tab - Any Thoughts?
The high cost of public school education has been under scrutiny for some time, but one can bet that Bret Schundler, Gov.-elect Chris Christie's nominee for commissioner of education, is going to bring laser-like focus to the issue. Looking into the tutoring program, it seems that a school's failure to make Adequate Yearly Progress triggers the ability of its poorest students to receive free Supplemental Education Services (SES) at public expense, adding yet another layer of spending to what goes into the classroom. This is part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
The storefront center on East Fifth Street, I found out, is one of 26 2009-2010 providers in a variety of settings ranging from home, schools, the public library and online. See the 2009 list here. There is an hourly cost associated with the tutoring, but students who receive free and reduced lunch at schools failing to meet AYP are eligible to take part at no cost to the parents. In the 2008-09 school year, the Plainfield school district received $534,000 in SES funds for 330 students at $1,620 each.
For a glimpse into Open Gates to Fly, click here. And here is information about an SES offering by former Plainfield student Nashad Warfield.
SES is a nationwide program and certainly a commendable attempt to ensure academic success. The question that comes to mind, however, is why more is not being done in the schools. The state Department of Education just released its 2009 list of schools that did and did not make AYP. About two-thirds of 2,222 schools where tests took place made AYP, meaning a third did not. Click here to see a full explanation of the process and links to results.
In Plainfield, Stillman, Clinton, Cook, Washington and Woodland schools and the Academy for Academic & Civic Development made AYP for 2009, meaning eligible students in other schools may receive tutoring.
I don't really recommend standing at a bus stop in winter as a way to engender thoughts and questions. Wherever you do your best thinking, what comes to mind on the issues described above?