Free laptops for kids, big money for tutors

  • Article by: JEFFREY MEITRODT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 5, 2012 - 2:45 PM
  • 16
  • Comments

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whosaysJun. 4, 1210:37 PM

Who says the schools don't have any money. You would think that each district or the caring members of the Minnesota Educators would have yelled and screamed about this issue before to show that they care about each precious dollar that goes to education. Supposedly. Oh, just another question that came to mind that the reporter didn't mention. If I am getting a free computer, what good is it without internet access to connect with the tutors. Oh, I wonder who paid for the high speed access to the internet. One guess, and you didn't read it in this article.

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jcinmnJun. 4, 1210:59 PM

"Then it decided to try the government market. Initially, it proposed charging just $23 an hour, which would have made TutorCo one of the most affordable options in the state. Then company officials found out most eligible families don't have computers, so they raised their rates to $66.25 an hour to include the cost of a laptop." This folks, is why "free enterprise" needs to be regulated, at least in education. What does a classroom teacher make? Divide that by the number of students in the classroom. If I were a teacher I'd want out of the classroom and would start up a tutoring service online.

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amanjoJun. 5, 1212:21 AM

Why in the world would a kindergartener need a tutor? When I was in kindergarten, I learned ABCs, simple math, colors, singing, sharing, and other very basic skills. Any decent parent could help their five-year-old with those things, but it seems like some parents would rather ignore their kids and get a free computer in the process. More parental involvement would mean less tutors and maybe even less pregnant ninth graders. Parents, step up and be responsible for your kids!

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krugerscottJun. 5, 12 1:50 AM

Our whole system is in the toilet.Its just too damn hard to teach kids I suppose.They dont learn the times tables, they dont learn to spell,they dont even learn to type now they just talk into the computer and it write it for them.This is all great till the power goes out.With the computers you dont really have to think that much.But hey its one quick way to get those pesky test scores up.In life you have to think,I was at a store the other day and the cashier made a mistake entering the amount for 4 items.I told her that the amount should be 28.74 instead of 32.10.She looked at me sort of strange and re-entered the amounts and sure enough it was 28.74.She looked stunned and asked me how I knew that I just told her simple math, what a concept to be able to add in your head with out a computer.

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jimilakeJun. 5, 12 4:37 AM

My daughter needed tutoring at her "private school", the Principal did it in the mornings before school. She went from a year behind in Math when entering the school from public school to scoring in the 98th percentile in Math in 8th grade. Oh yeah, the cost to educate a child at her school unsubsidized by the church or anyone else is $6K, about half of a public school. There are a lot of good people in public schools, but there is also a lot of corruption, and it seems as if our kids education is the last priority after the administrators, vendors and unions get their cut.

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wa0tdaJun. 5, 12 6:36 AM

Although online learning has its place, kids need the social experience of the classroom. There is no substitute for a professional working directly with children in groups that are a manageable size. It is in this environment that attitudes are formed about learning itself. Furthermore, parents are their child's first teachers. They should be part of the process, no matter what the method. Education is rife with fads that come and go, each promising some magic process that works wonders, but the things that really work don't necessarily need to cost buckets of money - they are simple things like reading to your child, supporting the school's work by being a partner with the teachers in your child's education, and having high expectations for your child. When these things are not present in a child's life, the child will not thrive in school - no matter how much technology you buy.

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whosaysJun. 5, 12 6:50 AM

Two more things-if the parents had to write a check for half of the cost of tutoring each week we would have more parent involvement, less of a cost for tutoring and more accountability. Second thing-so we just bought all of those folks computers to keep? Whose brilliant idea was that to let a fact like that slip through the cracks. Also, what is the success rate for these expenses? Give me the numbers.

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Thumper5316Jun. 5, 12 8:14 AM

Why is the partnership of parent and teacher failing our children SO MISERABLY that so many children need tutoring? Time to let our current model fail and start all over again.

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Mister_EJun. 5, 12 8:58 AM

The GOP "free market" at work.

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bluebird227Jun. 5, 12 9:35 AM

whosays--so you're going to blame "the caring members of the Minnesota Educators" for this? Are you also going to blame the union and the teachers for not turning off the TV in this child's home? This tutoring was a federal mandate; it had nothing to do with local control or teachers. You have no idea how many federal mandates drain money from the classroom.

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