Under the rules of No Child Left Behind, if a school is declared to be failing (er… "in need of improvement"), they must provide students with after school tutoring. As with just about everything in this train-wreck-of-a-law, the concept is much simpler than the implementation.

For one thing, the companies providing the tutoring can provide little or no data that the methods being used actually work. In the only major study on the effectiveness of tutoring programs, involving more than 60,000 students in Chicago, results were inconclusive.

But the lack of accountability – wasn’t that supposed to be the whole reason for NCLB? – just starts the problems with these tutorial programs.

The law requires states to hire only "highly qualified teachers" but forbids states from requiring private companies to hire tutors that have been deemed "highly qualified."

A school system is allowed to provide SES [Supplemental Education Services] tutoring for students unless the system is declared "in need of improvement." The system, however, can provide SES tutoring to students with limited English proficiency or in need of special education services if a private tutoring company will not take them.

Although school systems in need of improvement cannot provide SES to most students, private companies can hire — and often do — teachers from schools in those systems.

No Child Left Behind provides no money for school systems or states to implement SES.

As with so many other provisions of NCLB, the simplistic talking points and grandiose political talk of mandating these tutorial programs hides a whole lot of crap which sucks money from the classroom and does nothing to improve them.

nclb, tutoring, lack of accountability