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Published in Chicago Tribune
08/24/2005

To the editor


Potomac, Md. -- Unfortunately the Chicago Tribune's editorial page staff seems to be looking for failure rather than focusing on what is truly promising ("Has tutoring worked?" Editorial, Aug. 12). The federally funded tutoring program mandated by the No Child Left Behind law is just 3 years old. Last year more than 60,000 educationally and economically disadvantaged students in Chicago took advantage of the measure. And the recent report by Chicago Public Schools showed that the tutoring was indeed helpful, particularly for those students who were the furthest behind in reading and math.



The Tribune's own headline in the Aug. 11 Metro section indicated success: "Tutoring study shows promise in key group," and CPS chief Arne Duncan was quoted as saying, "Tutoring is really making a difference . . . for those kids who have historically struggled."



Can the tutors, many of whom are represented by the Education Industry Association, take all the credit? Absolutely not. We recognize that the students our members help in Chicago spend far more time in their regular classrooms than they do in tutoring sessions. CPS teachers, principals, administrators and parents share in this success.



Is there room for improvement? Of course. The CPS evaluation underscores the need for schools, educators and tutoring providers to continue to work in a spirit of partnership to raise the academic achievement of our students.



As for EIA and our members, we will closely analyze the conclusions of the CPS report, and use the information to improve our programs and services not just in Chicago but across the nation as well. What is important is that parents will now have more information to guide their selection of a tutor this fall.

Steven Pines, Executive director, Education Industry Association


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