The Education Innovator #13
Volume II
Archived Information

The Education Innovator
 April 5, 2004 • Number 13
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Editor's Note:
The Education Innovator will take a spring break over the next week. Look for the next issue on April 19th.

What's inside...
Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services
What's New
Deputy Under Secretary Rees testifies on financial literacy; Secretary Paige and the President believe Advanced Placement can help close the educational divide; Secretary Paige announces new policies regarding test participation requirements; Secretary Paige encourages the nation to remember that jazz is American history; AEI scholar releases Common Sense School Reform; Edison Schools issues Sixth Annual Report on School Performance; the next Education Writers Association annual conference will focus on education in the next 50 years; and CompassLearning launches the "Odyssey Writer," web-based writing tool.
Innovations in the News
A new KIPP charter school will be started in Fresno (CA); plus information on charter schools, teaching American history, Advanced Placement, and writing.

Club Z! Tutoring Keeps Homework at Home
How do you help a child who is struggling at school to master a particular subject or concept? For many parents, the answer is tutoring or other enrichment activities to help their child overcome academic difficulties and be successful. But for busy parents, especially those who are low-income, finding the money to pay for a tutor, and finding the time and resources to take a child to and from tutoring sessions, can make tutoring prohibitive.

For these parents, a solution might be free tutoring for their child, in the privacy and safety of their own home. That solution is what Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services offers to parents who qualify for supplemental educational services under No Child Left Behind.

A parent in Los Padillas, New Mexico, for example, was pleased to use Club Z! for her daughter: "Being a single mother and having the tutor come to the house saves me time and allows me to take part in the tutoring sessions. The No Child Left Behind program has allowed us to take advantage of the Club Z! program and has allowed Carmelita to excel in all of her classes."

Club Z! provides students with one-on-one tutoring in a student's home, under the supervision of a tutor who is matched to meet the student's academic needs. Students are assigned to the same tutor throughout the course of their tutoring sessions, and all tutors are certified teachers or degreed professionals with previous tutoring experience. Club Z! offers students pre- and post-tests of their academic skills using the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement (KTEA), and closely monitors student performance throughout the tutoring program.

After each session with a student, Club Z! tutors consult with parents about the session and the progress their child is making. Club Z! provides tutoring in the core subjects of math, reading, science, and history, as well as in other skill areas such as learning how to study and use computers.

Club Z! has provided tutoring since 1995 but decided to expand its services to meet the needs of students under No Child Left Behind. Through the supplemental educational services provisions of NCLB, Club Z! has become an approved provider in 25 states and 275 school districts, serving over 7,000 students. Low-income parents whose child attends a school in year two of school improvement or later may select Club Z! if the company is approved to serve their school district, and if they think Club Z! is the best fit for their child.

Club Z! believes that its model works because it offers three key things that are important to some parents: (1) quality, personalized academic assistance for their child; (2) convenience of tutors who will come to their home in the mornings, afternoons, evenings or weekends; and (3) affordable tutoring.

Club Z! is a state-approved supplemental educational services provider under the provisions of No Child Left Behind. The Office of Innovation and Improvement, with the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, is responsible for overseeing the implementation of supplemental educational services.

For additional information, please visit

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


What's New
Statement of Nina S. Rees, Deputy Under Secretary for Innovation and Improvement
Deputy Under Secretary Nina Rees testified on financial literacy before the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Financial Management, the Budget, and International Security. OII monitors grants on financial literacy, including the new Excellence in Economic Education grant program. (March 30)

Remarks by Secretary Paige at the Advanced Placement (AP) Conference
In addressing OII's Advanced Placement project directors' conference, Secretary of Education Rod Paige said that he and the President believe that the Advanced Placement program can help close the educational divide. The Advanced Placement grant program that provides funding for low-income students to prepare for and pay fees for the tests is administered by OII. (March 30)

Secretary Paige Issues New Policy for Calculating Participation Rates Under No Child Left Behind
Secretary Paige has announced new policies regarding the test participation requirements of No Child Left Behind. For example, states and districts may average participation rates over the most recent two or three years. (March 29)

Statement of U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige on Jazz Appreciation Month
To commemorate Jazz Appreciation Month in April, Secretary Paige encourages the nation to remember that jazz is American history and has had an impact on the nation's poetry, culture, and society. (April 1)

Common Sense School Reform Publication
AEI scholar Frederick M. Hess has released Common Sense School Reform. In this book, Hess gives his ideas of what is necessary for education reform: increased flexibility in faculty hiring and firing, the use of technology to change educational practices, and competition to promote diverse forms of school operation and focus. (April 5)

Edison Schools' Sixth Annual Report on School Performance
Edison Schools has issued its Sixth Annual Report on School Performance. An Academic Report Webcast will be aired on April 12th. The webcast will review the impact of Edison's academic programs. If you visit the Edison website several days before the event, you can register for the webcast. (April 1)

Education Writers Association 2004 National Seminar
The 2004 annual meeting of the Education Writers Association, April 15-17, will focus on education in the next 50 years. Speakers will cover such topics as "All Teachers Highly Qualified by 2006," and "Post Brown: Visions to Fix the System." (March 29)

CompassLearning Newsletter
CompassLearning has launched "Odyssey Writer," a web-based tool that breaks the writing process into accessible steps. It also includes an assessment component, which allows students immediate feedback, and a digital portfolio, which can be accessed by teachers, students, and parents. (March 17)


Innovations in the News

Charter Schools
A graduate of a Fresno high school, who went on to Yale, has come home to start a KIPP charter school. Chi Tschang wants the school to be a place where teachers are accessible 24 hours a day, students are expected to go to college, and there is no bullying. [More-Fresno Bee] (March 29)

Charter school student, Jeffrey Gill, who attends Summit Academy in New Boston, Michigan, won first place in the Second Annual Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge. His prize is a $25,000 college scholarship. [More-Biz Yahoo] (March 31)

Seven charter schools in Minneapolis have started their own sports league: the Metro Lakes Athletic Conference. [More-Star Tribune] (March 28)

Another 15 charter schools may open in Oregon next year. Charter schools in Oregon are falling into three categories: those based on specific instructional methods, those targeting at-risk students, or those in rural areas that are in danger of losing schools due to declining enrollment or financial difficulties. [More-Democrat-Herald] (March 24)

To read more news on charter schools, please see US Charter Schools.

Teaching American History
Middle and high school teachers can learn more about American history while earning graduate school credit at the annual Teaching American History summer program at Nicholls State University (LA). The program will focus on themes in 20th century history and is funded by an OII grant. [More-Times-Picayune] (March 28)

A panel discussion on "The Challenge of Citizenship and What We Teach Our Children," was held at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art as part of the local Teaching American History program and was funded by an OII grant. [More-Anchorage Daily News] (March 11)

Advanced Placement
Cumberland County Schools (NC) wants students to take the Advanced Placement tests. School officials have increased the rigor of high school classes, and teachers have been trained to teach AP classes, but students haven't always taken the tests. State and federal funds, from an OII grant program can help pay test fees for low-income students. [More-Fayetteville Observer] (March 29)

More than 800 students from about 60 rural schools went to the Arkansas State Capitol to rally for education reform as part of the Advanced Placement government class at Valley Springs High School. Students met with their Congressman and published a newspaper to record the experience. [More-Rural Policy Matters] (Feb. 2004)

The College Board plans to open pilot schools in New York City and possibly other regions. One possible site is Pittsburgh. The College Board received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create six new schools to prepare high school students to pass Advanced Placement classes. [More-Post Gazette] (March 3)

The Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, a local affiliate of the OII-funded National Writing Project, offered a writing workshop for parents and their children. The workshop merged children's imaginations with parents' technical language skills to help improve student writing. [More-Tribune Review] (March 25)


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Last Modified: 06/28/2011