Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

SES Aims to Help Pupils, Not Turn Around Schools

November 15, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Regarding Steven Ross’ post about supplemental education services, or SES, in the Sputnik blog (“Supplemental Educational Services: Noble Ideas + Unreasonable Expectations = Disappointing Results,” edweek.org, Oct. 19, 2011): While Mr. Ross is a talented researcher, he should stick to analyzing data, not policy.

He demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the No Child Left Behind Act when he states that SES was designed to move schools out of improvement status. The primary goal of SES from its very inception was to give low-income students in struggling schools the extra academic assistance they need, while the school does the hard work of systemic improvement.

SES is embedded in a much larger school improvement framework and is not intended to be the sole remedy for struggling schools. Moreover, SES is the one direct service in NCLB that is of immediate benefit to students. As Mr. Ross rightly points out, the research clearly shows that tutoring and small group instruction are powerful tools to help students improve. However, the guest blogger misapplies his data to form an incredibly misguided policy conclusion.

If Mr. Ross were to extrapolate the gains he found in short-term SES programs across an entire school year, the impact on student progress would be tremendously significant. By this logic, the federal government’s $800 million investment in SES is truly one of its most productive programs. Applying the blog’s flawed approach to other federal programs would lead to the conclusion that many federal programs are worthless.

Where is the concern for the billions in federal education spending that hasn’t been measured or produced results? Too many children in this country have no access to the supplemental educational help they need. Let’s not allow flawed analysis to lead to more low-income and minority children being denied the extra academic assistance their more affluent and less diverse peers can afford on their own.

Doug Mesecar

Vice President for Contract Services

Sylvan Learning

Baltimore, Md.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the November 16, 2011 edition of Education Week as SES Aims to Help Pupils, Not Turn Around Schools

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning
Budget & Finance Webinar Staffing Schools After ESSER: What School and District Leaders Need to Know
Join our newsroom for insights on investing in critical student support positions as pandemic funds expire.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How can districts build sustainable tutoring models before the money runs out?
District leaders, low on funds, must decide: broad support for all or deep interventions for few? Let's discuss maximizing tutoring resources.
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: April 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 20, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 13, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: February 21, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read