More Inland students using free tutoring from No Child Left Behind
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10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, September 18, 2007
More students are taking advantage of free tutoring provided under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, but they still make up only a fraction of those eligible for the help, according to a report on the state's 20 largest school districts.
The number of students switching out of low-performing schools to go to higher-performing schools has gone up too, according to the report provided to the state Board of Education for its meeting Tuesday.
The state Department of Education compiled the report in July in response to the U.S. Education Department, which said the state wasn't doing enough to implement the choice and tutoring provisions of No Child Left Behind. The state continues to monitor the 20 districts and to update federal officials, said Jerry Cummings, a program consultant for the state Department of Education.
All four of the Inland school districts reviewed -- Corona-Norco, Fontana, Riverside and San Bernardino -- had an increase last year in the number of students receiving tutoring or switching schools under No Child Left Behind.
Under the federal law, schools that receive federal aid and don't meet performance targets for two consecutive years are put in "program improvement." These schools must give students the option of attending another school in the district. If they remain in the program for more than one year, they must offer free tutoring to low-income students.
Fontana Unified had the largest increase in students enrolled in tutoring of any district in the report. Fontana officials stepped up publicity about the tutoring by including articles in newsletters and making repeated phone calls to families, Deputy Superintendent Cali Olsen-Binks said.
The district also hosts sessions where parents can meet representatives of the 22 companies that provide free tutoring, she said. Riverside Unified and San Bernardino City Unified school districts also host sessions for parents to find out about tutoring.
Despite the increase in Fontana Unified, the 1,276 students receiving tutoring represent only 17 percent of those eligible, according to the district. Nationwide, only 10 percent to 15 percent of eligible children receive the free tutoring, while around 1 percent of children eligible to switch schools take advantage of that option, Cummings said.
For many low-income families, getting children to tutoring sites is difficult. After-school tutoring also competes with other activities, particularly for high school students, according to the report.
Families that might consider switching schools can face even more hurdles. Districts must pay for transportation, but going to another school can mean a long bus ride.
That is the case for the daughter of Rhonda Early, of San Bernardino, who spends an hour each way on city buses to get to Cajon High School rather than attend her assigned school, which is in program improvement.
"It becomes a tradeoff between what's convenient and what we have to do just to expose children to quality academic programs," said Early, a member of the Personnel Commission for the San Bernardino City Unified School District.
Many parents have said they don't want to send their children long distances on buses, said Maria Garcia, a spokeswoman for the district.
In Fontana, some parents simply are more comfortable with their neighborhood school, even if it is in program improvement, Olsen-Binks said.
"They would rather have their child close to home," she said.
Reach Shirin Parsavand at 951-368-9645 or sparsavand@PE.com
BS Ranch Perspective:
I don't know what is better the cost of all the tutoring that the student gets or the switching of their schools. The example that was given in the story was that there was a student that switched schools and rides a bus over an hour two and from school each way, I don't know if that is a great benefit trade off when they are not getting enough rest in order to accomplish the studies needed to make the grades that they are required to even have an average score in the class. Then you have to wonder is that the Child's Fault or is that the Teachers fault for the way that they deliver the Class Curriculum, because if the teacher is one that delivers the Curriculum without any entertainment to keep the child or anyone interested in what they are teaching then they will end up with a classroom full of people that are ready for bed!! If the people that they are attempting to teach are all in a state of mind to take a nap or go back to bed after arriving at school from waking up after a night of weeknight partying anyway, then the student will fail, and worst of all I believe that this is the type of Teacher that is there whom is just there to collect a pension, and they are really not there so much for the children anymore. OH, They say that they are there for the Children, but no one is really there for the children.
Teachers claim that their pay isn't all that much, for the job that they have! But, I have to say that they make better then middle class on a single check or single earner for a family! Two Teachers can make about $80,000 a year up to $150,000 a year. I know that in some districts don't pay very much, in fact some only pay a little over $30,000 a year, and some are even less depending on the smaller districts in the small very rural area's, But my point on this is this, that Teachers all get the same Retirement paid into the PERS when the work for a California Based School, that is. Look I don't want to get into an argument with people on how poor teachers are paid, Because in Kentucky in the Blue Ridge mountains there are some really low paid Teachers, Maybe Lower then what I have stated here. I am referring only to that of a California Teacher! That is all just a California Teacher!!
Other then that I can say this, that the Teacher Business and the "No Kid Left Behind Act" should be thought through, to a more Republican way of spening on the plan. I don't care about the Free Tutoring, But what I am tired of hearing about is the Students that are bussed over an hour out of their School District's to Another School district to do the same thing that they would be doiing in their old school, so that doesn't make sence, to me. I guess they are shopping for the more Entertaining Teacher so that they will learn better, in that sense it is well worth it, and it is too bad that there are not more teachers that are not working to put more entertainment into their lessen plan to keep the children Attention and keep them wanting to learn the lessen plan.