NCLB Tutoring -- Myths & Realities

Today's just-completed House hearing on SES won't be the big hearing of the
week, but it will likely be pretty interesting given Senator Clinton's
recent comments about the ineffectiveness of the program and its
controversial use of private tutoring companies.

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Amidst
all the posturing and finger-pointing, however, some of the things that
may get lost include the many similarities (same companies, same
materials and pedagogy, etc.) between SES tutoring and its
noncontroversial private pay counterparts, the near-impossibility of
determining SES impacts on annual state test scores from 30-50 hours of
tutoring per year, and the reality that smaller, regional providers
often win out over large national companies (Sylvan sold its SES
division after failing to have much success with the SES market).

Tutoring generally works. SES tutoring isn't that different from
regular tutoring. Expecting big effects from small amounts of tutoring
doesn't make sense. "Big education" isn't dominating the SES field.

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