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Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Top Five Qualities a Parent Should Look For in a Tutor

Hiring a tutor can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you have never done it before. The following five qualities are the most important ones that our company looks for when matching a tutor with a child. If youchoose to hire a tutor on your own without the help of a service, keep these guidelines in mind.

1. Their ability to “connect” with your child and you.
2. Their teaching style – does it match your child’s learning style?
3. Their ability to be patient and empathic when your child is truly struggling.
4. Their reliability and dependability.
5. Their tutoring experience backed up by current references.

It is imperative that the tutor immediately makes a strong connection with your child. The tutor should usepart of the first session getting to know your child by asking questions about their likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. Setting the rapport is important so future sessions run smoothly and productively. The tutor should also be able to easily communicate with you after the session and give you adequate feedback regarding what he or she accomplished during the session.

If your child is a visual learner, the tutor should bring appropriate materials (a small white board, for example) so the learning process compliments your child’s learning style. Conversely, an auditory learner would benefit from reading out loud with the tutor or talking through math problems. A kinetic learner will need the sessions to be very handson
and interactive. There is nothing worse than a tutor giving up and getting angry with a child when the going gets tough. Patience is definitely a virtue and every tutor needs to posses this quality to put your child at ease. An inpatient person will have the opposite effect. Chances are good that your child will not want to be cooperative in the future with anyone who can’t relate to their problems. The reason you hired a tutor was to find someone who can repeat themselves numerous times if necessary or present information in a different way until it “clicks” with your
A tutor who is constantly late or just doesn’t show up without calling should immediately be terminated. Checking a tutor’s references is imperative. Written references should not be older than a year old and you should call the author of the letter anyway, just to confirm they wrote it. The best references are from individuals who have observed the tutor teaching or tutoring. Other parents who have used the tutor are the best references, but don’t dismiss your gut feeling about someone you are interviewing. When we contract with tutors we do an extensive interview to be sure we are selecting only topnotch teachers and tutors. We also conduct a thorough background and criminal check and call all of the references provided to
Most importantly, we visit every home and meet the family before we attempt to place a tutor. This complimentary visit proves invaluable when making a “match” with you child.

By Laurie Hurley

For more information on Consult With ME, LLC , please visit

Policy Allows for Admission of Clayton County High School Students Should System Lose Accreditation

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) shares the concern of students and parents regarding the Clayton County School System's impending loss of SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) accreditation. While the fate of the Clayton County School System will not be known until early September, the University System of Georgia recognizes the challenges this situation creates for students and parents as they attempt to determine what impact this may have on admission to college and what steps they should take to ensure that their college plans are not jeopardized.

The University System of Georgia is dedicated to providing access to college to the students of Georgia and offers its support to the students of the Clayton County School System during this difficult time.

Admission to any University System of Georgia college or university will not be negatively impacted should SACS determine that the accreditation of the Clayton County School System must be revoked.

Current University System of Georgia policy allows for the consideration
of students graduating from a high school regulated by a school system and state department of education. The Clayton County School System continues to meet this requirement. Students graduating from a Clayton County high school, meeting all other Board of Regents and institutional admission requirements (including the 16 units required of the College Preparatory Curriculum (for those graduating prior to 2012) or the 17 units required for the Required High School Curriculum (for those graduating 2012 or later)), will continue to be considered for admission
in the same manner as students from SACS accredited schools in the state.

The Undergraduate Admissions section of the Board of Regents Academic Affairs Policy Manual may be viewed online at http://www.usg.edu/academics/handbook/section3/301-310/301-310.phtml#n3.

Additional admission information for each of the USG colleges and universities may be found on the GAcollege411 website at GAcollege411.org or by contacting the admission office at the college or
university of interest.
Amanda D. Seals
Executive Director for Government Relations Office of External Affairs Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia 270 Washington Street, S.W., Suite 7035 Atlanta, Georgia 30334-1450 Amanda.Seals@usg.edu
404.657.7075 phone
404.651.9301 fax

Good Grades Pay off Literally!

Teachers have long said that success is its own reward. But these days, some students are finding that good grades can bring them cash and luxury gifts.
In at least a dozen states this school year, students who bring home top marks can expect more than just gratitude. Examples:
•Baltimore schools chief Andres Alonso last week promised to spend more than $935,000 to give high school students as much as $110 each to improve their scores on state graduation exams.
•In New York City, about 9,000 fourth- and seventh-graders in 60 schools are eligible to win as much as $500 for improving their scores on the city's English and math tests, given throughout the school year.
•In suburban Atlanta, a pair of schools last week kicked off a program that will pay 8th- and 11th-grade students $8 an hour for a 15-week "Learn & Earn" after-school study program (the federal minimum wage is currently $5.85).
corporate or philanthropic donors.
The most ambitious experiment began in September, when seven states — Arkansas, Alabama, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington — won spots in an Exxon/Mobil-funded program that, in most cases, pays students $100 for each passing grade on advanced placement (AP) college-prep exams.
It's an effort to get low-income and minority students interested in the courses, says Tommie Sue Anthony, president of the Arkansas Advanced Initiative for Math and Science. "We still have students who are not sure of the value, who are not willing to take the courses," she says. "Probably the incentives will make a difference with those students."
Gregg Fleisher of the National Math and Science Initiative, which runs the seven-state program, says the effort is modeled on a program adopted by Dallas in the 1995-96 school year that saw AP course-taking jump substantially. That program is now statewide.
While many educators would blanch at offering kids cash for good grades, Fleisher and others say the idea is simple: "It's an incentive to get them to basically make the right decision and choose a more rigorous class," he says. "This teaches them that if they work at something very hard and have a lot of support, they can do something they didn't think they could do."
An analysis of the Texas program last month by Cornell economist C. Kirabo Jackson found that it linked to a 30% rise in the number of students with high SAT and ACT scores and an 8% rise in college-going students.
But a few critics say the payouts amount to little more than bribes, undermining kids' motivation to do high-quality work when they're not being paid.
"It's a strategy that helps only around the edges," says Thomas Toch of the Education Sector, a Washington think tank. Most students in AP classes "are already internally motivated, and the opportunity to earn college credits for passing AP tests is a bigger motivator than small cash awards."
Bob Schaeffer of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, a watchdog group, is more blunt: "Bribing kids for higher test scores — or paying teachers bounties for their students' work — is similar to giving them steroids," he says. "Short-term performance might improve but the long-term effects can be very damaging."
At Northeast Health Science Magnet High School in Macon, Ga., principal Sam Scavella says he's trying lots of different incentives for doing the right thing. If students attend Saturday study sessions, they qualify for an iPod, movie tickets or a dinner for two, among other prizes.
Jessie Humphrey, a sophomore at Northeast, is one of 25 students who made the school's All-A Honor Roll. That entitled her to a slot in a special drawing Thursday. When it was over, she walked away with a 26-inch, flat-screen television set, which now sits in her room.
An honor roll student most years, Jessie, 15, says she usually pulls As and Bs, but this semester, "I got lucky and got all As."
Scavella says the incentives seem to be making a difference — only 10 students made the All-A Honor Roll this time last year.
"We have to reward the behavior we expect," he says. "I don't see it as a way of paying students to do well — it's a reward. If you do well in school, then life will pay you well. If you do well in school , you can afford a lifestyle that will pay you well."
The two-year New York City experiment, begun last September, essentially pays students monthly to do their best on skills tests. If it seems like an economist's dream, that's because it's the brainchild of wunderkind Harvard economist Roland Fryer, who also serves as the schools' chief equality officer. He came up with the idea while trying to figure out how to make school "tangible" for disadvantaged kids with few successful role models. "I just thought that giving them some short-term incentives to do what's in their long-term best interests would be a good way to go."
While teachers talk about success, he says, it's not enough to tell a kid that, in the long term, hard work will pay off. "We're asking them to look down a path that they have probably never seen anyone go down … and then to have the wisdom and the fortitude to wait for their reward."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Michelle Elliott -DeShields Launches Tutoring Business

Certified Georgia educator and guidance counselor, Michelle Elliott-DeShields has launched a successful educational consulting business, Consult With ME, LLC. Consult WIth ME primarily provides tutorial and educational consulting services for students in grades PK- 12 and their families. Consulting services also includes consulting for new and veteran teachers, parent/student advocacy, and a new and exciting way for children to spend their summer break. For parents looking for a way to keep their children engaged in learning throughout the summer in a creative and fun way a Character Education Summer Camp is held during summer break for students in all grade levels.

For more information visit www.consultingwithme.com