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January 28, 2005 Extra Credit
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January 28, 2005

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NCLB’s Free Tutoring Helps Students Get Excited About High School And College

Under No Child Left Behind, if a school does not meet its state-defined academic achievement targets for three consecutive years, low-income students are eligible to receive free tutoring. The following are excerpts from an article in yesterday’s The Shreveport Times (LA) highlighting the free tutoring programs offered at a local middle school in Shreveport, LA:

“More than 60 percent of Bethune Middle School students are participating in tutoring required by the No Child Left Behind Act. Eighth-graders Alexis Johnson and Tierra Kennedy joined the tutoring program when it kicked off in November at the Shreveport school. Tuesday, they giggled as they traded information like their favorite songs and colors in a lesson about comparing and contrasting. Tierra’s goal is well-defined. ‘I want to pass the LEAP test and go to high school and go to college.’

“The students receive tutoring through Education Station, one of three for-profit companies providing help. … Alexis’ and Tierra’s group is typical, with teacher Nekeyla Oliver guiding 10 or fewer students through structured lessons on reading comprehension and analysis techniques, vocabulary and other English/language arts topics.

“Down the hall, students talk via the Internet to tutors with the computer-based Socratic Learning. In the school library, three Bethune Middle teachers hired by Failure Free Reading, another provider, give students a mix of one-on-one attention, computer-based exercises and self-paced written work.”

“Laureen Stephens, an eighth-grade math teacher by day, works one on one with students during the hour long reading session. She helped seventh-grader Virginia Bennett focus on vocabulary words during a session Tuesday while keeping an eye on a clowning student waiting his turn. ‘I’m going to talk to you later,’ Stephens promised the other student as Virginia whizzed through an exercise. Virginia thinks the tutoring has helped her because ‘when I see a word in class, I know the meaning of it already.’

“Bethune Middle’s after-school tutoring participation rate is greater than the national average for chronically low-achieving schools that must provide extra help for students. The school system will spend up to $1,331 per participating student for tutoring this year.”

The complete text of this article is available online.

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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 08/15/2007