Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Educational hucksters - Sacramento

Public schooling for students in California is underfunded and for many students it is  failing.  The role of privatized pre-school, charters, and for profit higher education is under examined.  Underfunding the public schools forces them into decline, assuring that working families and their children will face increasing obstacles to improving their lives.  
Melody Gutierrez, writer for the Sacramento Bee, offers a compelling description of the fraud and abuse in tutoring programs mandated by NCLB in the Sunday, July  28, edition.  The program stressed free market competition with little accountability.  What they got was fraud and exploitation.
If you want to improve the schools, you need prepared and credentialed teachers- usually not Teach for America interns.  The best teacher in a tutoring program is the child’s own teacher, not an unprepared person who has little knowledge of reading and/or learning strategies.   The best teacher is one that knows well what the student needs to succeed in his/her classes.
Why then is tutoring needed?  In day to day instruction the teacher faces a class size of 30 – 35 students.  In tutoring, he/she can face a class size of 3-5 students. 
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