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An Interesting Article About Charter Schools and the Impact of Tutors in Schools

September 13, 2011


By Kaitlin Tyrrill, Corps Member Proudly Serving at Reed Elementary School (A ReNEW Charter Management Organization School)

The city of Houston, some 350 miles from the Crescent City, has launched an “experiment” in which they will model some of their regular, or traditional, public schools after charter schools. Houston officials are calling this experiment Apollo 20. Launched last year, Apollo 20 used the charter school approach in nine secondary schools throughout the city and is expanding that number to 11 elementary schools this year.

Some of the techniques they are using are very familiar to those of us who have been inside charter schools this year: college prep environments with no shortage of college school pennants, prizes for good attendance, and longer days and school years. Another familiar component is the influx of tutors. As part of this transitional experiment as many as 200 new tutors have been hired at salaries of $20,000 a year. The Houston school board sees that extra support in schools in the form of tutors and mentors can make a difference.   City Year is fulfilling a similar role in three New Orleans public schools.

Houston is not alone.  Cities across the country are taking on tutors, mentors, and interventionists as full time employees with benefits. If the RSD decides to adopt a program like this, City Year graduates we will be ideal candidates.

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