Parents Call on Tutors to Fill in the Gaps Once Just for Struggling Students, Tutoring Is Now Popular Even for Those at the Head of the Class

By Jonathan Marshall, Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, September 2, 1997 | Go to article overview

Parents Call on Tutors to Fill in the Gaps Once Just for Struggling Students, Tutoring Is Now Popular Even for Those at the Head of the Class


Jonathan Marshall, Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Fourth-grader Katherine Tontillo quickly solved the division and fraction problems as her mother smiled.

When Katherine was in first grade, her parents became concerned that her math skills were languishing, says her mother, Maria Voe. So she enrolled her at the Kumon Math & Reading Center in Arlington Heights, Ill. Within two months, Katherine could whip through 125 problems in eight minutes.

"The kids in her class now call her 'calculator,' " Ms. Voe says. "We can definitely see the results."

When it comes to the ABCs of learning, more parents are turning to for-profit tutors. And they're not just enrolling weaker students. Frustrated by what they say is inadequate attention to basics - and with an eye to standardized tests - many are turning to tutoring centers to fill the gaps for even academically gifted children. They're also hoping that students will benefit from the extra attention that regular teachers may not have time to give.

"The demand is huge and growing," says Vickie Glazar, spokeswoman for Sylvan Learning Centers based in Baltimore. And, she says, noting that about half the students at Sylvan in the past five years were already doing well in school, "I think the No. 1 motivation is parents' anxiety that their children aren't getting ahead."

Sylvan has grown from 455 centers in 1992 to 640 this year, a 41 percent jump. Kumon North America is expanding 15 percent a year and now has 1,300 centers in the United States and Canada. And Kaplan Educational Centers' latest venture, Score@Kaplan, has spread from one center in 1992 to 30 this year and plans to reach as many as 100 by the end of 1998.

The centers often focus on core subjects - reading, writing, and math. They provide needed competition for public schools, says Herbert Walberg, professor of education and psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "Many Americans are realizing that our kids are way behind those in other countries," Dr. Walberg asserts. "If the schools were good, we wouldn't have to have all this tutoring."

But Score@Kaplan founder Alan Tripp argues that Score centers, which engage children with their heavy reliance on computers, would have been just as popular 30 years ago if the technology had been available. "It doesn't mean schools are falling apart and parents are turning in frustration to Score," Mr. Tripp says.

Many students need a more specialized approach than public schools can offer, says Matthew Lupsha, assistant vice president of Kumon North America.

"Schools are doing an adequate job with what they have, but parents are realizing the schools can't do everything the children need," Mr. Lupsha says. "Parents realize that to get into the good universities and on the right career paths, they need to give their children a foundation even in the elementary years."

Do your research

Beatrice Patt, who counsels high school students in Chicago's western suburbs, advises parents to be careful before investing a lot of money in a private tutoring program, because the results can vary.

"You need to really make sure you know what you're going to get for your money," Ms. Patt says. Using local college students as tutors can often be a cheaper alternative, she says. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Parents Call on Tutors to Fill in the Gaps Once Just for Struggling Students, Tutoring Is Now Popular Even for Those at the Head of the Class
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.