The Illinois state board of education has notified the company Newton Learning that it may no longer provide tutoring in five Chicago schools under the No Child Left Behind Act.
In an Oct. 21 letter, Jonathan Furr, the state board’s general counsel, notified Joel Rose, Newton Learning’s general manager of supplemental educational services, that its status as a state-approved provider in those schools was being revoked for this school year. The company is the largest provider of the NCLB tutoring in Chicago, serving 8,900 students at 83 schools this year.
Mr. Furr said the state board found that Newton had violated the state code of ethics for tutoring providers by hiring district employees or members of the local councils that help govern Chicago schools to be site directors or recruitment specialists. As company employees, they then helped maximize the number of families who chose Newton as their tutoring provider, he said.
In one case, a site director admitted changing parents’ enrollment forms to reflect Newton as the chosen provider and calling parents to instruct them to choose Newton.
Newton is entitled to appeal the state board’s decision. Laura Eshbaugh, an executive vice president of the New York City-based Edison Schools Inc., of which Newton is a division, said the company “takes the charges very seriously” and has begun its own investigation into the matter.
A version of this article appeared in the November 02, 2005 edition of Education Week