"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Test Prep for the Test Prep

Disagreement abounds on the reasons that children and parents aren't signing up for more of the same mindless junk school that they have to contend with all day every day in the chain gang schools of urban America. The only beneficiaries of this big supplemental services giveaway (over $1 billion a year) are the private tutoring companies such as Kaplan whose lobbyists made sure they got a big chunk of the action in the current scam of NCLB to end public education and to put the poor children of America in intellectual straightjackets. Here is a clip from the Times piece on this phase of the crook and crony show that is masked as compassionate conservativism:
City and state education officials and tutoring company executives disagree on the reasons for the low participation and cast blame on each other. But they agree that the numbers show that states and school districts have not smoothed out the difficulties that have plagued the tutoring — known as the supplemental educational services program — from its start as a novel experiment in educational entrepreneurship: largely private tutoring paid for with federal money.

Officials give multiple reasons for the problems: that the program is allotted too little federal money, is poorly advertised to parents, has too much complicated paperwork for signing up, and that it has not fully penetrated the most difficult neighborhoods, where there are high concentrations of poor, failing students.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with virtually every word you write, actually. I'm not crazy about all this wasteful testing.

    Nonetheless, my 9-year-old has to deal with it. I took her to Score, run by Kaplan, and it's been a great help. It's a specific program for a specific purpose and it's served her well.

    Tutoring, on the other hand, is a huge boondoggle full of unqualified people making a fraction of what the government is doling out. It's flat out wasteful. Those who avail themselves of these "services" are bound to be disappointed.

    It's ironic that teachers need to be "highly qualified" but recipients of the government's largesse can hire whoever the hell they want to supposedly help needy kids.