at Work: Extra Help Gives Some a Boost
by Lori Higgins and Peggy Walsh-Sarnecki, Detroit Free
Press, February 21, 2004
For more articles like this
Stanfield never would be able to afford after-school tutoring
for her school-age children, so she's thrilled she can get it
Seven of her nine children -- who attend four different Detroit
public schools -- are getting the extra help at Sylvan Learning
"They're doing the same things they're doing in school -- it's
tied to the school program, and they're anxious to go,"
Stanfield's children are among the 1,529 low-income Detroit kids
taking advantage of free tutoring that's available to them
because their schools failed to meet state academic goals.
Michigan has 50 such tutoring providers and plans to add about a
dozen more soon. But whether the improvement the providers are
seeing translates to higher MEAP scores -- the measure of
success -- remains to be seen.
Schools can spend a maximum of $2,000 per pupil on the program
and work with the providers to determine how much tutoring that
money can buy. The kids get one-on-one assistance or work in
The tutors must have either a two-year college degree or have
completed two years of college; the program's supervisors must
be certified teachers.
"The potential is great. But some providers are going to be
quite successful in improving student achievement, but others
won't," said David Plank, codirector of the Education Policy
Center at Michigan State University.
Outside tutoring is necessary because even though the schools
are being forced to improve, some students need an extra boost,
said Thomas Corwin, associate deputy undersecretary for
innovation and improvement at the U.S. Department of Education.
"The low-income students at those schools should have other
opportunities so they can catch up," Corwin said.
Rosemary Wilson, who tutors children through Club Z! In Home
Tutoring -- a Canton-based arm of a national organization -- has
one student whose grades improved from all F's to all C's and
She credits the one-on-one attention her students get.
"It lets you know that what you're doing is not just going out
there and making a dollar. We're making a difference," Wilson
back to the top ~
back to Breaking News
~ back to