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June 7, 2005 Extra Credit
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June 7, 2005

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NCLB’s Choice and Tutoring Provisions Benefiting Students in Collier County, FL

No Child Left Behind provides children in schools not meeting state math and reading standards for at least two consecutive years the opportunity to attend a better performing public school in their district. When a school does not meet standards for three years, low–income children are given the opportunity to take advantage of free tutoring. The following are excerpts from an article in yesterday’s Naples Daily News (FL) highlighting how students in Collier County, Florida are benefiting from these provisions:

"Jamie and Marc Newberry could ride their bikes to school. Instead, they took a 30-minute bus ride across town to a better school, Pelican Marsh Elementary. ‘I feel my kids are getting a much better education,’ said their mother, Michele Newberry. Her children were among the 400 this school year who transferred to a better–performing school, thanks to the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

"Collier County officials expect another 200 kids, for a total of 600, to zigzag across the district in the coming year. The choice program, along with the smaller tutoring program, is expected to cost about $1.5 million. ‘As far as we can tell so far, we have seen quite a bit of success,’ said Dale Johnson, the district’s coordinator for Title 1 school choice and SES (supplemental educational services)."

"For a third year, Pinecrest Elementary and Immokalee High were dubbed as needing improvement under the federal law. So parents could either transfer their children to a better–performing school or, for the first time this year, 220 students chose to receive private tutoring."

"In Immokalee, the federal No Child Left Behind law has helped many. Last month, Immokalee High students received tutoring from Enterprise Company officials, with headquarters in Minneapolis, who oversaw a new computer home-tutoring program. Each teen received a computer with tutorial programs and access to ‘virtual classrooms,’ where students could ask questions in ‘real time’ with a teacher via chat rooms. … For Pinecrest Elementary, there were nine tutors helping youngsters inside their homes. The tutors worked through Parents To Kids, an affiliate of Early Years Education, a local nonprofit group. … The group hired tutors who travel to a child's home for an hour of one–on–one tutoring each week.

"Under federal guidelines, the district must allocate so much federal money toward the new tutoring programs. In Collier, the school choice and tutoring programs account for 20 percent of the Title 1 money, or some $1.5 million next school year. … ‘I think NCLB is a wonderful thing because it forces everybody to look at those subgroups and it was easy for them to get lost before,’ Johnson said."

"For the Newberry family, the law allows more educational freedom. They were both very good students but now they’re more challenged and above grade level,’ Newberry said about her first–grader and second–grader."

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: 11/28/2006