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NCLB Outrages

Fed OK Sought for Boston to Tutor Students

The Feds decree that Sylvan, Kaplan, church groups, etc. should come in and hand out worksheets.

Free tutoring for 1,300 poor city children will be saved if the state can convince the feds to loosen up their rules and let Boston give its own lessons.

``You're looking at such a large population that needs tutoring it would be a real problem if Boston itself couldn't offer services, but there's no clear answer right now,'' said state Department of Education spokeswoman Heidi Perlman.

U.S. education officials want to bar districts like Boston that have been ``identified for improvement'' from offering their own kids tutoring mandated by the federal government. The extra cost of paying more expensive private tutors would cut 1,300 children from the program. The district must offer tutoring to at least some kids in schools that have been identified for improvement for not making the federal grade.

The state initially told Boston officials they could not serve as tutors, but Perlman said the DOE is now willing to go to bat for Boston because attendance, not academic performance, was a large factor in the district's failure to meet the federal benchmark.

Boston officials are still waiting to hear more from the state, a district spokesman said.

— Kevin Rothstein
Boston Herald


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