November 29, 2013

Kaplan tutor union battle heats up

Originally published on October 17, 2013 in the Hartford Business Journal

The 90 Kaplan English language instructors who voted to unionize last year thought it would lead to higher pay and benefits. But 17 months later, the union and Kaplan have yet to agree on a contract, and nothing for them has changed. All their hopes are pinned on their next negotiations on Oct. 25.

Emily Lessem, 29, who has taught English to foreign students for nearly two years, was one of the instructors who joined the union in June 2012. Like the other instructors, she only works 30 hours a week and is considered part time. This means she doesn’t get benefits, a strategy that the union said Kaplan employs on purpose.

But Lessem still gets paid $17 an hour for her in-class teaching time. For the rest of the job, which involves grading and lesson planning, she is paid New York’s minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. She doesn’t get paid for sick days, vacation days or holidays. And there’s no healthcare insurance.

Her take-home pay for the year is about $23,000, not enough to pay the bills, she says. “I really enjoy teaching ESL but I’ve been very frustrated with the working conditions,” she said. “I’ve been really cheated out of a lot of money and benefits.”

To read more click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Business Practices,Commercial

June 27, 2013

NTA Welcomes Speaker Proposals for 2014 Conference

The National Tutoring Association has announced it’s 21st annual national conference, to be held April 5-10, 2014 in Tampa, Florida.  Organizers welcome proposals for speakers who wish to expand the discipline in all areas in tutoring regarding: recruiting, training, and retaining tutors; current trends in practice and research; use of technology; understanding the law; tutoring special populations; online tutoring; grant writing; learning preferences; improving tutorial leadership for directors and coordinators; conflict management; building and marketing private or community programs; basic nuts and bolts of tutoring; and motivating students.

Tutoring professionals and practitioners who are interested in joining colleagues in an exchange of ideas and expertise in tutoring are welcome to submit proposals.  Click here for the  official submission form.

For a list of the special events, guests speakers, tutor training and certification workshops and general conference sessions, visit

Filed under: Admin/Management,Associations,College,Commercial,Research,Training/Education,Tutoring Practices

July 13, 2012

Comptroller finds improprieties with another tutoring provider

by Philissa Cramer,, originally published on 5/16/12

Holes in the Department of Education’s oversight of tutoring companies that work in city schools allowed one of the companies to collect payments without proving it had delivered services, according to an audit by Comptroller John Liu. Liu found that Champion Learning Center collected about $860,000 in the 2009-2010 school year for tutoring students who had not signed into tutoring sessions or for tutoring sessions that officials had not certified had taken place.

The audit highlights the murky world of “supplemental educational services” providers, companies that offer tutoring mandated under the No Child Left Behind law. They are private entities but are subject to a host of city and state regulations, and the city must both monitor them and give them access to students. The audit comes weeks after the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against another SES provider, Princeton Review, for falsifying attendance records and bilking New York City out of millions of dollars. In that case, investigators found that the company had submitted false signatures showing that tutoring sessions had taken place.

Liu does not conclude that outright fraud took place at Champion Learning, which New York Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez revealed three years ago took home as much as $320 an hour for serving city students when overhead costs were included. Rather, Liu found that the group violated some regulations by delivering tutoring during school hours and played fast and loose with others — and that the city’s monitoring systems allowed for the possibility of fraud

To read more click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Commercial

January 31, 2011

Tutor Training Workbooks and Trainer Development Now Available – Free iPads through 6/1/11

by Bob Lasiewicz, Managing Director, Crossroads of Learning

usethisimagewithcurrentlayoutSouthern California-based tutor training provider Crossroads of Learning has expanded its program of professional tutor training with the “Tutoring Foundations” Workbook Series and corresponding “Train-the-Trainer” online professional development.  “Train-the-Trainer” equips instructors to deliver the “Tutoring Foundations” Basic, Intermediate and Advanced curriculum in the classroom. To celebrate this ground-breaking release free iPads are being awarded based on purchases through 6/1/11. Click here for details.

The workbook curriculum content aligns with the online version in use by over 300 schools and commercial providers since 2007 and is extensively revised to facilitate classroom interactions. The “Tutoring Foundations” curriculum articulates with National Tutoring Association (NTA) trainer certification standards, suggested CRLA training topics, and qualifies for CEUs granted from Fielding Graduate University, a WASC credentialed institution. It was developed with and approved by Fielding Graduate University and the NTA. The self-paced 70-hour “Train-the-Trainer” intensive is integrated with regular assignment review and mentoring by an NTA certified trainer.

Developed in Response to Learning Center Requests

“In 2009 after two years of widespread use of the fully online “Tutoring Foundations” program we began to receive requests from school and commercial tutoring providers wanting to deliver the same proven curriculum with their own staff,” said Bob Lasiewicz, Managing Director, Crossroads of Learning. “Given our unique status as the only university affiliated and nationally certified curriculum, we invested heavily in adapting it to a classroom workbook format. In order to insure the academic integrity, we also developed a top-notch “Train-the-Trainer” professional development program.”

Click here to read more.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Associations,College,Commercial,Community,Crossroads of Learning,High School,Training/Education

June 23, 2010

Princeton Review ends free tutoring program

by Associated Press, originally published in on 5/19/10

FRAMINGHAM — Test prep and online learning company Princeton Review Inc. said yesterday it will no longer offer its free after-school tutoring program once the current school year ends.

The company said it will close certain program offices and offer severance to full-time employees. The company didn’t state how many jobs will be affected.

Calls to the company were not immediately returned.

Princeton Review said it will incur about $2.6 million in expenses for the quarters ended June 30 and Sept. 30 relating to lease termination and layoffs.

The company said “recent philosophical changes at the state and federal levels have significantly altered the landscape’’ for such programs and hurt growth opportunities.

The program, called Supplemental Educational Services, worked with about 100 school districts across the country to create free tutoring services for students. The decision does not affect Princeton Review’s test preparation business.

Click here to read more.

Filed under: Admin/Management,Commercial

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