Tu­tors make a dif­fer­ence

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Doris Cowl, Tow­son The writer is di­rec­tor of Amer­ica Counts at Tow­son Univer­sity and an ad­junct pro­fes­sor.

I read with great in­ter­est the com­men­tary by Kal­man Het­tle­man (“Tu­tor­ing key to school re­form,” Oct. 30) re­gard­ing the value of one-to-one tu­tor­ing. It is be­cause of our com­mit­ment to this phi­los­o­phy that the Depart­ment of Math­e­mat­ics at Tow­son Univer­sity has for 14 years con­tin­ued the Amer­ica Counts tu­tor­ing pro­gram started in the Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion by pro­vid­ing tu­tor­ing to Bal­ti­more City mid­dle schools and an al­ter­na­tive to in­car­cer­a­tion pro­gram of the Depart­ment of Ju­ve­nile Ser­vices. This se­mes­ter, 55 tu­tors from Tow­son are pro­vid­ing ser­vices free of charge to four city mid­dle schools and the DJS site — 252 hours of tu­tor­ing per week. That trans­lates to 252 dif­fer­ent mid­dle school­ers who are strug­gling with ba­sic math re­ceiv­ing one-to-one help. The Tow­son tu­tors are evenly di­vided be­tween vol­un­teers and stu­dents paid through fi­nan­cial aid.

Al­though the sites do not col­lect hard data on the out­comes of the 10 weeks per se­mes­ter of tu­tor­ing, the prin­ci­pals re­port that the grades on class­room per­for­mance and stan­dard­ized tests have gone up for the tu­tored stu­dents, dis­ci­pline prob­lems have been re­duced and self-es­teem for these stu­dents has in­creased.

One ben­e­fit of the tu­tor­ing which Mr. Het­tle­man did not men­tion is the ben­e­fit to the tu­tor. Our Tow­son Univer­sity stu­dents ex­pe­ri­ence the grat­i­fi­ca­tion of see­ing the im­pact they have on the mid­dle school­ers learn­ing math, the bond­ing with the kids and learn­ing about is­sues and en­vi­ron­ments they never knew about. Amer­ica Counts is a “win-win” for both the tu­tors and the stu­dents!

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