After school tutoring is highly effective

October 13, 2011

In a recent editorial ("Is tutoring effective?" Oct. 11), The Sun asserted that there was little oversight of organizations providing tutoring to low-income students trapped in failing schools. In the same way we need to hold schools to high standards, we must also hold providers to high standards.

But we should not confuse too little oversight with proof that the program isn't effective. Far from it. A recent report by the U.S. Department of Education found that tutoring led to significant gains in math and reading achievement compared to eligible non-participants. Studies by large school districts like the Chicago Public Schools and reputable research organizations like the Rand Corporation have come to the same conclusion.

In after school tutoring, we finally have an effective program serving low-income, largely minority youth trapped in failing schools. This program empowers parents to play an active role in their child's education and gives students academic help while adults try, yet again, to fix education in our country.

We should not, as the editorial suggests, either end the program or have Baltimore City provide the tutoring itself. In doing so, we would simply perpetuate the same system that has failed these low-income children time and time again.

Stephanie Monroe,Washington, D.C.

The writer is general counsel for the Tutor Our Children Coalition.

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