September 15, 2003, Extra Credit
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September 15, 2003
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 September 12
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"High Hopes" For No Child Left Behind's Taxpayer-Funded Tutoring

Following are excerpts from an article in the September 8, 2003 edition of the Baton Rouge Advocate:

"Prescott Middle School will have a new roommate this year: Sylvan Education Solutions. The Baltimore-based company will provide taxpayer-funded private tutoring -- also known as supplemental educational services -- in math and reading twice a week after school to as many as 575 students at the low-performing middle school in north Baton Rouge. 'We're hoping that everybody buys into it,' Principal A.C. Turner said. 'Every little bit helps.' Turner said he plans to send home this week a flier advertising the school's Sept. 18 open house and to post the flier at stores and churches. The flier will note that interested families can come to the school at 5 p.m., just before the open house starts, and listen to a representative from Sylvan explain the service being offered."

"Donna Nola-Ganey, assistant superintendent for the Office of School and Community Support, a division of the state Department of Education, said Prescott officials have been refreshingly open to letting private tutors use their school's facilities. 'They're taking this head-on and making it into something really positive for the kids,' she said."

"Victoria Eakels has high hopes. Her son Varnell is starting seventh grade, but this summer she learned his reading ability is no better than a second-grader's. 'My eyes just flew open,' Eakels said. 'I didn't know how he could be passed through school reading like that.' Varnell, she said, has been a well-behaved child who is at school most every day, but last year, he began to fight other students. Eakels suspects Varnell is getting teased for being so far behind and she hopes Sylvan can change that. 'I would like to see him back on his level and change his behavior -- just a regular kid,' Eakels said."

"Felecia Williams' son Ellis is starting sixth grade and keeps up with his fellow students. But the mother still seeks out extra help for her son. Last year, she sent him to tutoring offered by the Young Leaders Academy. Williams said she thought hard about transferring Ellis to another school last month, as part of the school-choice program, but decided against it, in large part because of the tutoring he's now eligible for. She hopes he can get on a track for college and beyond. 'I'm looking forward to it. I think it can help, even maybe help me,' she said. 'You know, you're never too old to learn.'"


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Last Modified: 08/13/2013