Monday, July 10, 2006

Learning Supports needed to make NCLB work

In a September 2005 blog I wrote about the High School Summit, held in Chicago. The link is http://tutormentor.blogspot.com/2005_09_01_tutormentor_archive.html

My criticism was that the plan to create a system of excellent schools did not include a strategy or vision for also creating a system of excellent non-school learning supports, such as comprehensive, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs.

I've been looking for leaders and organizations who were also delivering this message, but with greater visibility and a more national impact than the Tutor/Mentor Connection. I have found such an organization.

I have added a link to this site to the http://www.tutormentorconnection.org LINKS library to
a pdf titled Promoting a Systematic Focus on Learning Supports to Address Barriers to Learning and Teaching. This is a Policy Brief, provided the UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools.

For those leading non-school tutor/mentor programs who struggle to get attention in a funding environment that focuses so much attention and resources to curriculum, teachers, class size, principles, etc., this is a really important resource.

After I read the PDF I followed the links to the UCLA web site at http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/ Open the What's New section and follow the links to the Student Support Initiative. You'll find a national network and a wealth of resources that I hope you'll put to work in your own communities, and which I hope will lead to greater support for comprehensive, long-term, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs.

School starts in less than 8 weeks and for most inner-city kids, the supports they need won't be in place because there are too few leaders with a vision and a strategy. However, if you're interested in supporting volunteer-based tutoring/mentoring, in Chicago, or in any other city, we can help you find places where you can be a volunteer, donor and/or leader.

While we may not be able to put the entire infrastructure of learning supports in place by September, we can connect hundreds of additional volunteers with inner city kids, and we can make a dramatic change in the cash flow of individual organizations.

That can make a quantum difference for many kids in cities throughout the country.

1 comment:

Howard Adelman said...

We were pleased to see your remarks about the work we are doing to enhance policy and practice related to the development of comprehensive systems of learning supports. We encourage all interested parties to become part of the network for the “National Initiative: New Directions for Student Support.” And, we invite everyone to take advantage of the wide array of resources that can be accessed at not cost from and through our website -- http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/