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Mark Richardson is a multimedia journalist, editor and writer who has worked in digital, print and broadcast media for three decades. He is a nationally recognized editor and reporter who has covered government, politics and the environment. A journalism graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, he was recently awarded a Foundation for Investigative Journalism grant and has three Associated Press Managing Editors awards for excellence in reporting.
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New group aims to raise funds for tutors at Eastside High
A group of education officials and others want to insure the academic success of students at the new
Former Austin Mayor Bruce Todd – along with a coalition of business groups, the
TIP will help students with college and/or job-readiness, and will include tutoring programs in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Tutoring will be offered on the Eastside campus after school, in the evenings and on Saturdays.
The program is a partnership among the Austin Community College District, Austin ISD,
Personal interviews and criminal background checks will be administered before hiring tutors. Kaplan Tutorial Services also will be used as needed. The number of students served will be based on available funding.
“We have already made some substantial changes on this campus, including adding new academic programs and hiring new teachers with strong experience,” said AISD Superintendent Pat Forgione. “We believe the TIP will provide a solid foundation for the high school, and will ensure every single student is given the opportunity to succeed academically.”
Forgione said one of the reasons for providing money to the students is that many of the students come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and would often spend the time set aside for tutoring at a job.
“We wanted to provide an incentive to keep them in the tutoring program,” he said. “We will determine a set of standards that the student must meet, which will include attending the tutoring session, showing a positive attitude, turning in homework and making academic programs. Evaluations will be performed by the tutors, teachers and administrators.”
The overall effectiveness of TIP will be determined by reviewing data such as students’ TAKS scores, six-week grades, high school exam and course grades, and results of diagnostic pre- and post-testing.
On June 4, 2008, Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott ordered the former
The district has “repurposed” the high school. On June 9,
Todd is working to raise the $300,000 needed to pay the tutors and program coordination through private donors, as well as the $75,000 for student achievement incentives.
“My son graduated from
He said that tutors will be paid the market rate for such services, about $12 per hour, and the students could be compensated about $6 or so, depending on available funds. He was not certain yet if students would be paid periodically or would have to complete successfully complete a course to receive their pay.
He said other school districts – including one in the
The Austin Community College Center is handling fundraising for Public Policy and Political Studies. CPPPS is a non-profit organization at ACC committed to education, civic engagement, informed decision-making and understanding across cultures. Todd is chair of the CPPPS board of directors.
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