The Education Innovator #27
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The Education Innovator
 September 2, 2003 • Number 27
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Feature: Sylvan Education Solutions Provides Supplemental Services
What's New
Innovations in the News

Supplemental Services
Sylvan Education Solutions Provides Supplemental Services for K-12 Students
No Child Left Behind requires schools identified for improvement to provide low-income students with the opportunity to obtain free, mainly tutoring and academic enrichment, supplemental educational services. To help states implement this provision of the law, Educate, Inc., created Sylvan Education Solutions. Sylvan is now an approved supplemental services provider in over 25 states including California, Maryland, Colorado, Georgia, Arizona, and New York.

The Sylvan program, which focuses on reading and math, features personalized instruction, diagnostic-prescriptive learning, a student motivation system, and the involvement of parents. This instructional approach helps to ensure the effectiveness of each student's progress by:

  • Identifying learning and skill gaps at the start of the program;
  • Creating a curriculum plan, emphasizing direct instruction, for each student;
  • Aligning curriculum with state and district education standards;
  • Providing ongoing evaluation and daily monitoring to track achievement;
  • Motivating students by rewarding effort and achievement;
  • Involving parents and classroom teachers in the student's program.
Sylvan services are conducted in the community at schools, public housing sites, or faith-based facilities, for example. Tutors are teachers who meet or exceed all state licensing requirements to be in a classroom. All Sylvan tutors receive extensive training and mentoring, including more than twenty-six hours of training in assessments and best practices in reading and math.

Sylvan students work in small groups of six to eight students and receive about forty hours of instruction over a four- to six-month period, through two, one-hour sessions each week. In school year 2002/2003, Sylvan Education Solutions provided supplemental educational services to over 70,000 children in more than 900 urban schools across 150 districts.

In addition to providing supplemental educational services, Sylvan Education Solutions has offered technical assistance to states and districts on the implementation of No Child Left Behind.

Funding for supplemental services through such providers as Sylvan Education Solutions comes from Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as reauthorized by No Child Left Behind.

To learn more about Sylvan Education Solutions, go to: For more information on Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as reauthorized by No Child Left Behind, go to

Note: The featured innovation is a description of one approved supplemental services provider and is given as an example to help school districts and schools implement the supplemental educational services provisions of No Child Left Behind. The U.S. Department of Education has not evaluated the specific services of Sylvan Education Solutions, and the information provided should not be regarded as an endorsement.


What's New
Nina Rees to answer questions about DC school choice on the Washington Post's "Live Online" on September 3.
Deputy Under Secretary Nina Rees is scheduled to answer questions about the DC school choice bill and opportunity scholarships on "Live Online," from 10 - 11 A.M. Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, September 3rd. The email discussion will occur during that hour and then will be posted on the Web. To subscribe to the "Live Online" email newsletter and to submit questions either before the discussion or during it, go to the Washingto Post. (Sept.3)

The Department of Education "Supplemental Educational Services Non-Regulatory Guidance" has been posted.
The U.S. Department of Education has issued the "Supplemental Educational Services Non-Regulatory Guidance" that addresses questions the Department has received about additional academic instruction designed to increase the academic achievement of students in low-performing schools. The guidance can be read at (Aug. 22)

Charter School grant awards announced.
The Department has announced charter school grant awards to Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. The funds help create more successful examples of these independent, innovative public schools and support the sharing of information on how they work. For more information, go to: (August 28)

Secretary Paige unveils a new partnership with ABC Radio.
Secretary of Education Rod Paige announced a new partnership with ABC Radio Networks to help inform the African American community about the historic No Child Left Behind Act through a new national radio campaign entitled, "Closing the Educational Achievement Gap." For more information, go to: (August 26)


Innovations in the News
Alternative Teacher Certification
The Passport to Teaching program aims to streamline the teacher certification process to get more qualified candidates into public school classrooms. [More-USA Today] (Aug 21)

Alternative certification is helping school districts in Florida acquire nontraditional teachers in a variety of fields. [More-The St. Petersburg Times] (Aug 21)

School Choice
At a time when Florida's voucher programs are under increased scrutiny, a new study finds that the mere threat of vouchers is making public schools better. [More-St. Petersburg Times] (Aug 20)

School Improvement
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., School District has 13 retired administrators back on the payroll. Besides mentoring new school leaders, the veteran administrators are filling in for colleagues when vacancies arise due to staff turnover or medical leave. [More-The Charlotte Observer] (Aug.18)

Charter Schools
The New Hampshire Board of Education voted to approve two charter school applications at the monthly meeting, marking the first step in the state's new charter school pilot program. [More-The Concord Monitor] (Aug 21)

The D.C. Public Charter School Board approved applications for three new charter schools and granted first-stage clearance to three more. If all six schools are approved and opened in 2004/05, there will be 29 charter schools under the board's control with a total of 3,000 slots in charter schools for D.C. children. [More-The Washington Times] (Aug 20)

A new type of charter school is becoming a fast-growing trend in U.S. education: virtual schools. These cyber-schools are organized as public charter schools, which means taxpayers pick up the bill for computers, software, printers, textbooks, Internet connections and teaching help. [More-The Salt Lake Tribune] (Aug 17)


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Last Modified: 04/26/2011