The Education Innovator #33
Volume II
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The Education Innovator
 September 7, 2004 • Number 33
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What's inside...
Kumon Supplemental Educational Services Provider, Hawaii
What's New
President Bush issues new education proposals; Secretary Paige speaks at the Republican National Convention; Manhattan Institute senior fellow Sol Stern reviews the reforms of No Child Left Behind; the National School Boards Association releases a guide on technology for students with disabilities; American Enterprise Institute scholar Frederick Hess outlines the principles of "common sense" reform; and the Minnesota Department of Education publishes "No Questions Left Behind."
Innovations in the News
Over 1,000 students are enrolled in District of Columbia private schools as a result of the DC School Choice Incentive Program; plus information on alternative teacher certification; teaching American history; Troops to Teachers; and virtual schools.

"It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a Kumon Tutor!"
Faye Komagata, an instructor for Kumon Math and Reading Centers, flies on a small turboprop plane once a week to the remote island of Molokai in Hawaii. Molokai boasts about 7,000 residents, 40 percent of whom are native Hawaiian, with many households not speaking English at home. The island is rural and peaceful, with no shopping malls or traffic lights, and without a ritzy tourism industry. The seclusion and quiet that make Molokai so unique and beautiful to its residents, however, can make it a challenging place to provide educational resources to students.

Last school year, five schools in Molokai, like others around the country, had to offer their students from low-income families free tutoring and other extra academic support outside of the school day. This extra assistance, known as "supplemental educational services" under No Child Left Behind, is available to all low-income students who attend a Title I school identified as in need of improvement for two years or more. Already 2,195 state-approved providers are offering supplemental educational services around the country. Prior to becoming approved by Hawaii as a supplemental educational services provider, Kumon was active in the state, operating fee-based tutoring services for families since 1986. Building on its reputation, in early 2003, Kumon staff traveled to Molokai to meet with administrators, educators, and parents and to launch its supplemental services program at one school. The program later expanded to serve all five of Molokai's eligible schools last year. Kumon also served 77 other schools throughout Hawaii during 2003-04, providing instruction to about 1,200 students in the state.

Kumon was the largest supplemental services provider in Hawaii in 2003-04. Most of its instructors live in the communities they serve and are local professionals and parents. Kumon credits these local ties with creating a strong instructional program and solidifying trust with the educational community. Kumon's instructional model is organized into sequential skill levels that range from preschool through college-level work. Students complete daily assignments using Kumon curriculum—twice a week onsite, and five days a week at home. Kumon's model stresses daily steps to build the confidence, concentration, study habits, and academic skills of students for their success in school and throughout life.

Recently, several parents in Kumon's program wrote letters to President Bush in praise of the services they have received. One parent from Molokai wrote, "As a single parent, the No Child Left Behind [supplemental services] program has been so beneficial to my son...In Kumon, my son has made great strides..., which were directly reflected in his assessments at school." Another parent wrote, "My daughter has been in the Kumon program [and] has come a whole lot closer to where she should be at school. Please continue this program so these children that need the extra help can get it. Because not all parents can afford it."

For the 2004-05 school year, Kumon hopes to serve at least 2,000 students in over 100 schools in Hawaii. Kumon attributes its success in Molokai and throughout Hawaii to the presence of motivated instructors who have the resources and commitment, as well as the desire, to help children, no matter what logistical challenges stand in the way.

Resources: Note: The featured innovation is a description of a supplemental 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 Kumon, and the information provided should not be regarded as an endorsement.


What's New
President Bush's New Education Proposals
President Bush has issued new education proposals that build on the principles of achievement and accountability in No Child Left Behind and include early childhood development and workforce preparedness. (Sept. 2)

Secretary Paige's Remarks at the Republican National Convention
U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige outlined the vision of the No Child Left Behind Act in his address to the Republican National Convention, saying that our nation can only sustain its greatness by educating all citizens. (Aug. 31)

President Bush as the "Education President"
Manhattan Institute senior fellow Sol Stern reviews the reforms of the bipartisan No Child Left Behind Act and looks at President Bush as the "education president" in an article in City Journal. (Summer 2004)

NSBA Guide on Technology for Students with Disabilities
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) has published a guide to help administrators understand the benefits of technology in special education that help decrease costs while improving the effectiveness of programs. Technology for Students with Disabilities is available for sale from NSBA. (Aug. 30)

"Policy Perspectives" Report on School Reform
A new "Policy Perspectives" report from WestEd, written by American Enterprise Institute scholar Frederick Hess, outlines the principles of "common sense" reform: Schools should be focused, accountable, and diverse, and school systems should reward educators who excel, have talented and entrepreneurial teachers, remediate or fire ineffective educators, and decentralize using modern technology. (Aug. 2004)

Minnesota Department of Education Guide on Accountability and NCLB
The Minnesota Department of Education has developed a document called "No Questions Left Behind" to help parents understand how Minnesota is complying with the accountability requirements of No Child Left Behind and how this accountability works to close the achievement gap. Toward this end, it explains what it takes for a Minnesota school to meet adequate yearly progress. (May 2004)


Innovations in the News

Alternative Teacher Certification
To get ready for school, new teachers in Monroe Township (NJ) are going through orientation. One of Monroe's new teachers is seeking alternative certification after being a political analyst with the New Jersey Legislature for 10 years. [More-Cranbury Press] (Aug. 27)

Dallas (TX) Independent Schools has partnered with Blackboard Learning System to provide a consistent and easily managed online teacher certification program and to assist in the recruitment and certification of out-of-state teachers. [More-Biz.Yahoo] (Aug. 25)

School Choice
Over 1,000 students are enrolled in District of Columbia private schools as a result of the DC School Choice Incentive Program. Last spring, the families of about 8,500 students inquired about the program, and 1,800 children met program income requirements. [More-CNN] (Sept. 1)

Teaching American History
Jack Bareilles, director of the Teaching American History Program in Humboldt County (CA), has written about the lessons learned from the project's professional development model in the latest issue of the Organization of American Historians newsletter. (Aug. 2004)

Troops to Teachers
Greg Hatch is now a principal, but he was one of 280 people in Indiana and Illinois in the Troops to Teachers Program. The program helps carry out the "highly qualified" teacher goal of No Child Left Behind. [More-Northwest Indiana News] (Aug. 2)

Spouses to Teachers is serving a purpose similar to that of OII's popular Troops to Teachers program by assisting military spouses interested in teaching to navigate certification and job information. The program is being piloted in six states: California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Virginia. [More-Waterline] (Aug. 27)

Virtual Schools
Officials in the Lawrence, KS, school district expected about 30 students to participate in the new Lawrence Virtual School. Instead, as of the end of August, 165 students had enrolled for the program to be conducted through the Virginia-based K-12 program. [More-Lawrence Journal-World] (Aug. 27)

About 3,500 Arizona children are expected to log on to virtual schools this year. Under Arizona law, there is no limit on cyber enrollment. The Arizona program includes 14 cyber schools: seven run by charter schools and seven run by traditional public school districts. [More-Arizona Republic] (Aug. 23)


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Last Modified: 10/31/2007