Tutoring helps

Federally funded tutoring improved reading and math scores for students in some large cities, according to an independent study for the Department of Education.

Under No Child Left Behind, students in schools that miss progress goals for three years in a row are eligible for tutoring.

The tutoring provisions in the law have been criticized by teachers’ unions, which complain that tutors don’t have to meet the same licensing requirements as regular teachers. In addition, some school district officials object to the law’s requirement that they use up to 20 percent of their federal aid funds for poor students to pay for tutoring, or for transporting the children out of failing schools.

Tutoring costs from $800 to $2,000 per student.

About Joanne


  1. Deirdre Mundy says:

    Why should a tutor have to meet the same licensing requirements as a regular teacher? You use completely different techniques with a class of 30 kids and with one student.

    As long as the tutors know the material and can explain it, who cares about their college majors?

    And why aren’t the teachers HAPPY that the kids can get extra tutoring — in a middle to upper class environment, parents are expected to provide help or pay for someone else to provide it. Why can’t inner city kids have some of the same advantages?

  2. Walter E. Wallis says:

    That makes so much sense I may even try to pronounce her first name.

  3. Deirdre Mundy says:

    Heh. Thanks…. Deirdre – Deer (like the animal) -Druh

    (Though I answer to anything close because there are so many alternate spellings/ pronunciations out there.) =)

  4. Why should a tutor have to meet the same licensing requirements as a regular teacher?

    The complaint came from a teacher’s union whose interests are served by holding down entry to the field to put upward pressure on wages.

  5. Ragnarok says:

    Er, TMAO, what do you think? Do you support tutoring? Seems to help kids who need it.

  6. Sure. Kids who lack academic skills need additional time to acquire those skills and improve performance.

    That said, my school’s experience using tutors has not be terribly stellar. After an entire school year of work, Sylvan self-reported a 2-month increase in math skills, and negative growth in reading skills. The next year the teachers took over the tutoring, at less cost to the tax-payer; API scores increased 87 points and we exited PI status.

    If teachers are competent and compensated, I believe they should own this work. In places where teachers are neither, it makes sense for qualified tutors to fill the gap. Tutors should not need to be licensed in the same way teachers are, but some demonstration of content knowledge is appropriate.

  7. interested in the collective wisdom about a cost effective for low-income tutoring program: Growing Stars.

    teacher trained in the class being tutoring, one-on-one ongoing relationship, same textbooks … and the Internet for about $20 / hour

    Article from May

  8. Ragnarok says:

    TMAO said:

    “If teachers are competent and compensated, I believe they should own this work. “

    If tutors can do the same work for less, why not ask them to do it? Why should teachers “own” it?

  9. “If” tutors can do so, fine. Your “if” in this case is far from clear, either in terms of quality or cost. While quality is more difficult to ascertain, I assume you noted the cost of this tutoring. How do you think this cost compares to average teacher over-time rates and/or stipends? Do you think the additional stipend KIPP teachers are paid costs out to as much as $2000 per student?

  10. Ragnarok says:

    So you agree that if tutors can do the same work for less, they should be asked to do it. Finally, agreement.

    Thank you!

    The rest of your reply is just union noise

  11. I noted your mention of Growing Stars. What about the other companies in the online tutoring business (e.g. tutor.com, homeworkhelp.com, tutor vista.com, http://www.schooltrainer.com, etc.)? Any feedback on these companies?