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 www.ntatutor.org.

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

June 22, 2013

Math tutoring on steroids’ aims to help troubled Chicago teens, muscle out crime

By Frank Main, Chicago Sun-Times, originally published 5/12/13

James Millar, math tutor from University of Chicago Crime Lab's program, working with student at Harper High School, Friday, May 10, 2013. | John H. White~Sun-Times

Math kills crime.

That’s the result researchers expect from a program that combines “math tutoring on steroids” with sports-based mentoring for troubled teens in Chicago. About 50 boys at Harper High School in Englewood have taken part in the program since the school year began in fall 2012. The University of Chicago Crime Lab, which is piloting the program, found that school misconduct, absenteeism and course failures plummeted.

Based on a 67 percent reduction in school misconduct in a comparative trial from November through January, the researchers predict declines in violent crime arrests among the students over the next one to two years of 50 to 60 percent — and a drop in drug-related arrests of 40 to 50 percent.

Many of the students were more than four years academically behind their grade level. “There’s nothing that stops a bullet better than a high-school diploma,” said Jens Ludwig, director of the crime lab. “But if you’re in 10th grade and can’t do a third-grade math problem, what hope do you have to get a diploma? If you can’t do 25 percent of 12, you aren’t getting anything out of class,” he said.

The MacArthur Foundation has committed $1 million to expanding the combination of math tutoring and the mentoring program, which is called Becoming a Man — Sports Edition, or BAM, which is run by a Chicago nonprofit agency called Youth Guidance. A private source has pledged another $1 million and additional funding is being sought.

Click here to read more.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,High School

June 15, 2013

Lawmakers end subsidized tutoring program

By Michael Laforgia and Kathleen McGrory, Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau, originally published 5/1/13

A last-ditch effort by South Florida lawmakers to keep millions of dollars flowing to private tutoring companies suffered a resounding defeat on Wednesday, giving Florida school districts control over $100 million in federal education money for the first time in a decade. It happened when a pair of Miami-Dade lawmakers tried to attach funding for subsidized tutoring into a fast-tracked bill that would expand online learning.

Their fellow senators cried foul, citing an investigation by the Tampa Bay Times that showed criminals were profiting from the controversial program. “What’s happening this year is we’re having students that are not being served,” said Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee. “I don’t want to go and read some of the newspaper articles on my desk. Remember, there were rapists. There were child abusers. There were thieves. In my hometown, what we call hoodlums and thugs.”

Last year Montford supported a bill that had continued the tutoring through the end of this school year. The measure, which passed late in the session, continued a private tutoring initiative begun by the George W. Bush administration in 2001 — a program meant to help the poorest kids in the nation’s worst schools. In Florida, supplemental educational services, as it was known, gave rise to a booming for-profit industry that has fought fiercely the past two years to retain its funding.

In a series published in February, the Times revealed that lax state oversight allowed criminals to form companies and earn tax dollars tutoring needy kids. The newspaper also showed that companies repeatedly caught overbilling have continued to operate unchecked by state regulators.

Click here to read more.

Filed under: Government,NCLB

June 5, 2013

Peer tutoring gets high-tech makeover

By Amy B. Wang, The Republic, originally published on 5/1/13

The computer screen blinked, and two voices came online, signaling the start of the virtual tutoring session. It would be geometry again today, freshman Pilar Hernandez told her tutor, senior Sindhu Rajan. Hernandez needed help with a question about angles. “All right, I’ll put on the whiteboard and then you can write it down for me,” Rajan said, clicking a button that would allow the two to write on a virtual board.

Painstakingly, Hernandez used her mouse to draw an isosceles triangle divided in half. The question asked for the value of x, half of the length of the triangle’s hypotenuse. “OK, this is how you would start,” Rajan said. Ten minutes later, after step-by-step guidance, Hernandez arrived at the answer. “Oh, OK, thank you!” she told Rajan. “I think I got it down.”

Rajan and Hernandez, students at North Canyon High School, are regular participants in the FROST peer-tutoring program in the Paradise Valley Unified School District. Through the program, National Honor Society students at the district’s five high schools host free tutoring sessions for other students in the district — entirely online. (FROST stands for Free Resources for Online Student Tutoring.)

Through the online portal, both Rajan and Hernandez can be at their homes while a teacher checks in periodically from a third computer. It’s a modernized approach to an age-old practice, peer tutoring, that experts say can strengthen student performance on several levels.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,High School,Peer-Tutoring,Technology

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