Dec 07, 2017
California is in hot water with parents and students after failing to respond to low student literacy rates state-wide. Spoiler alert: tutors will end up picking up the slack.
According to recent assessments, fewer than half of California students meet state grade-level literacy standards. This prompted students and teachers of La Salle Elementary school to sue the State of California over what they see is a failure to fix an ongoing problem.
La Salle Elementary performed particularly poorly in the recent assessment, with only 10 out of 179 students meeting state English standards this year. As a whole, California lags behind the nation in student literacy, and this is not a new phenomenon. A report was commissioned five years ago to suggest changes, but few have since been implemented.
In particular, the plaintiffs note that the state doesn't have a plan to assess the efficacy of literacy instruction in public schools, a major impediment to implementing "proven methods" of literacy instruction, which they allege California does not have in place.
If you're a tutor in California, this probably sounds familiar: there's a major gap in the public school system, and tutors are asked to help fill the gap. Without assessments within the school, however, a tutor's job is significantly more complicated. Beyond simply addressing the literacy need, it falls on tutors to assess the degree to which a student needs help and over what timeframe.
Tutors can prepare for this situation by arming themselves with recommendations for parents and preparing for the likely negotiation over tutoring frequency (remember: parents want their kids to succeed, but time equals money). In particular, we suggest a first meeting that focuses on consultation, followed by using session packages to frame the engagement.
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California isn't doing enough to teach kids how to read, lawsuit says: http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-edu-california-literacy-lawsuit-20171129-story.html