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Tutoring Services Bribe Students

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Private companies are offering televisions, electric scooters and video game consoles to students who complete tax-paid after-school tutoring programs at Presscott Middle School. "If you think kids are going to sign on for this because it's a great program offered by the federal government, get real," said John Hewitt of Louisiana Learning Circle. "You have to sell them on it." Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, taxes pay for private tutoring in reading and math at schools that continually fail to meet minimum state academic standards. Prescott Middle School is the only school in Baton Rouge which must offer such "supplemental educational services" this year, but others may have to unless they improve. About 575 Prescott students are eligible for the program, and at least half have signed up. Three private tutoring companies are courting holdouts. Sylvan Educational Solutions, the first vendor approved for Prescott, held a parents meeting in September soon after the school year started, and signed up about 200 families. On Dec. 11, two more companies, Newton Learning, a division of Edison Schools, the country's largest for-profit public school management company, and the home-grown Louisiana Learning Circle, held their own promotional gatherings. Newton signed up 119 students. Louisiana Learning Circle, a relative newcomer to tutoring, signed up about 15. Both are still recruiting students and teachers. Newton's strong marketing push included advance meetings with all the students in the school earlier in the week. Newton also offered incentives from an Xbox to cell phones for students who finish the program. Hewitt and Sylvan's main offering is an electric scooter.

— Associated Press
Times-Picayune
Tutoring services court students with gifts

2003-12-26

http://www.nola.com/newsflash/louisiana/index.ssf?/newsflash/get_story.ssf?/cgi-free/getstory_ssf.cgi?n1459_BC_LA--LEAP-TutoringServ&&news&newsflash-l

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