kitchen table math, the sequel: Scarsdale tutors

Monday, June 15, 2009

Scarsdale tutors

I was just talking to a guy who is related to a Scarsdale grade school teacher.

Scarsdale teachers start tutoring Scarsdale students for pay as early as second grade.

Scarsdale tutors, part 1


Anonymous said...

As a relative of Scarsdale preschoolers, I'd like to know why so many kids there are tutored - even second graders. Is it because Scarsdale elementary schools aren't teaching phonics? spelling? other subjects? I read - I think on this site - that they will switch to Singapore math in the fall. Can some readers help me out on the reasons for tutoring?

Unknown said...

"For pay"...isn't that, like, a conflict of interest? I mean tutoring children you're supposed to be teaching? Shouldn't the school provide free tutoring?

There may not be anything wrong with it at all, and I live nowhere near that area, but it just looks bad.

Anonymous said...

That's why you pay *cash* and sneak around places like the public library.

Catherine Johnson said...

It is a conflict of interest, and that's just for starters.

Catherine Johnson said...

The person I talked to is going to find out why Scarsdale has tutoring starting so young.

I'm guessing - this is purely a guess - that they may be giving very young children work that is over their heads.

That's the approach in my district now. Kindergarten children are assigned "research," and by 3rd grade children are supposed to write -- and rewrite, I believe -- whole papers.

Someone is going to have to walk the 8-year old child through the process of researching and writing an entire paper: parent or tutor.

However, I don't know whether that's the issue in Scarsdale.

lgm said...

Could you also ask what the elementary reteach philosophy is? Here (upstate), the norm is that homework or classwork is checked by the teacher, but if it shows lack of concept/mastery understanding, there is no reteach unless student qualifies for specialist help. If the parent doesn't and the child is unclassified, the child will be dropped in to a lower section at the end of the unit (gr. 4-5) or the year (K-3). When he falls behind far enough he'll qualify for specialist help via RtI. The in-the-know parents just hire the tutor or do it themselves rather than let the student fall that far behind.

Also, is Scarsdale teaching for excellence or 'for the pass'? I notice here that the info needed in math to perform at the '4' level on the grade level state exams is not taught in class. One has to afterschool with a quality curriculum.

Here, 3rd graders do write a 'research paper' in class. The topic is 3rd grade friendly and most can do it. It reminds me more of a five paragraph essay than a paper.

Catherine Johnson said...

I'm going to see if I can get answers to these questions.

I'm also going to see if I can get my own district to spell out, in writing, what the policy & practices are.

I talked to a teacher a few years ago who said she'd spent an entire year asking her building principal (& perhaps some of the higher-ups, too) whether she was teaching for coverage or teaching for mastery.

When she first said this to me, I didn't even know what she meant!

She never got an answer.