To the Editor:
As students often say, “I don’t get it.” You report “a sense that school choice is not where the action is under the No Child Left Behind law” (“NCLB Transfer Policy Seen as Flawed,” April 20, 2005.) Do educrats really believe that students are eager to transfer to other schools? Why does that option come before tutoring is provided? Moving kids to new schools is traumatic—it’s not easy being the new kid in the class.
As a veteran math teacher and tutor, I don’t see how a teacher at a computer in India can properly tutor a math student in America, as occurs under the subcontracting of federally financed online tutoring. I really don’t get it.
Tutoring requires personal interaction. It should include careful diagnosis of the learning problem, individualized instruction, and plenty of follow-up with students and feedback from parents.
The Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland, in a recent front-page story critical of online tutoring from abroad, reported that the No Child Left Behind law is “a boon to for-profit education companies … [with] … $2 billion in public money earmarked for tutoring nationwide.” Yet currently fewer than 20 percent of eligible U.S. students, the paper reported, are taking advantage of free tutoring, offered only after the option to transfer. That’s bad math and methodology.
Betty Raskoff Kazmin