I Love the Anonymous Letter Thing. It Makes Me Feel So Nancy Drew. And Who Wouldn’t Love to Be Nancy Drew? Really?

Recently I received the anonymous letter above with this very Nancy Drew-ish return address: From a Neighbor! (story idea). Well, I love a good mystery so I tore it open.

Why are tutors allowed to come to school (MIS) for band students but tutors are not allowed to meet at school for students who may need additional help in a subject? Is this fair or right?

OK, so I really wanted it to be something more CSI or at least Scooby Doo but this will have to work for now. Let’s get started.

19 thoughts on “I Love the Anonymous Letter Thing. It Makes Me Feel So Nancy Drew. And Who Wouldn’t Love to Be Nancy Drew? Really?

  • January 11, 2011 at 10:09 am
    Permalink

    The band tutors are selected by the school, usually one per instrument. They are hired as contractors by the school to help with special programs like summer band and marching practice, therefore they are fully vetted with a background check for both crimes and thier educational experience. They are also allowed to do private lessons with the kids – which is voluntary – It was like $12-15 per 1/2 hour when my son was utilizing it. The high school kids could use their “fund”, monies earned from selling magazines, BBQ with the band tickets and raffle tickets, to pay for their private lessons – so no money out of their (parents) pockets. Before Mr. Gunter’s rein and the extreme downsizing of the band, they had around 140 band members, so very little one on one with the full time band personnel. Private lessons are a vital part of the program.

    Private academic tutors charge between $175 and $250 an hour and are not in any way associated with HPISD, so no background checks, academic checks and no testing of their skills or knowledge teaching. It would cost HPISD $$$ to do all of these things before allowing them to come onto the campus to work with kids, there would have to be some space available for the lessons (the band halls have lil private rehearsal spaces already). They would not be on the payroll of HPISD, so they are of no benefit to the school, just a hinderance and a financial drain. And what percentage of kids can afford the sky high cost? As a friend told me, “When I get the tutor bill I feel like I’ve hired my son a LAWYER.”

    There ya go, Nancy.

    Reply
  • January 11, 2011 at 12:09 pm
    Permalink

    Band and orchestra students need to learn their individual instruments. A teacher can’t necessarily play or teach each instrument. Class time doesn’t allow for a teacher to work with each group playing an instrument either. Teachers require the students to learn individually as well as with the group. Having the tutors come to school facilitates this. Tutors teach how to play an instrument and teachers teach how to play as part of a group.

    On the other hand, each student in a math or English class is learning and doing the same assignments at the same time. Missing a lesson to work with a tutor would probably put a student further behind.

    Cynical reason: Allowing tutors to work with multiple students at schools would call attention to just how many HPISD students require individual tutoring to get by and raise questions as to whether teachers do their jobs.

    Reply
  • January 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm
    Permalink

    $175 to $250 per hour for a tutor? Did you hire a nuclear physicist?

    I think it is insightful to know just how many of HPISD’s students actually hire tutors. It is an overwhelming number. DemBones is right, if 80% of the kids need tutors, just what are the teachers teaching?

    Reply
  • January 11, 2011 at 12:46 pm
    Permalink

    WTH: $175-250/hour? I’m in the wrong business.

    Reply
  • January 11, 2011 at 12:55 pm
    Permalink

    $175-$250/hr. for a tutor?

    ‘A fool and his/her money are soon parted’

    Reply
  • January 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm
    Permalink

    I’d like to interview some of these tutors and check out their financial portfolios. Send me contact info. Who is referring to these tutors? Teachers? Or are teachers the tutors charging this fee?

    Reply
  • January 11, 2011 at 3:41 pm
    Permalink

    I would say $50-$60/hour is about the average. HP Tutors charge $35.

    Reply
  • January 11, 2011 at 3:41 pm
    Permalink

    Our very own Dayton Macatee’s great venture:
    The Tutoring Place:
    One-on-One: 1 Hour: $65
    2 Students: 1 Hour: $40 each
    Add about $10-$15 to those prices if the tutor is coming to you and that should be about the most you should pay. The kids that had tutors when I was in school had them for two reasons. One, they legitimately did not get the subject matter. Two, they had a regularly scheduled tutor regardless of whether they understood the material so they spent that time bs’ing and flirting with friends. Certainly not the case in every instance, IJS.

    Reply
  • January 11, 2011 at 3:52 pm
    Permalink

    I am a tutor in this area. The going rate is $60 to $90 per hour (for one individual student) for high school math. It may be more if two or three students are sharing a session, but those families split the cost as well. Not sure who is paying $175 or $250, but they are getting ripped-off!

    Reply
  • January 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm
    Permalink

    Curious … we pay our tutor $60 an hour and I always feel guilty because our sports privates run $75 to $90 an hour depending on who the instructor is. I feel like the teachers should charge more an hour than sports instructors. Also, if you have 22 plus kids in a class … I would think it is hard for a teacher to move at everyone’s speed. I was impressed that almost all our middle school teachers were willing to stay after or come before school for tutorials.

    Reply
  • January 11, 2011 at 9:15 pm
    Permalink

    @E22,

    Everywhere else, you would be right to feel guilty. Except that you’re in the Park Cities, where sports are more important than academics. Paying a person $90/hour to teach your kid sports, besides being futile, is ridiculous.

    Reply
  • January 12, 2011 at 8:21 am
    Permalink

    It’s the 21st century. The web offers a plethora of tutoring options including some incredible sites where the content is free, comprehensive and excellent.

    Reply
  • January 12, 2011 at 9:36 am
    Permalink

    Kmom, name the tutors who charge between $175 and $250/hour. I dare you.

    And what’s the basis of the claim that 80% of HPHS students use tutors? That figure is absurd. As stated above by Avid Reader there are several reasons why students may use tutors. One not mentioned is that some students actually understand the material, well enough to get by in an AP class, but not well enough to excel in that class or pass the AP exam for college credit. Any assumed relationship between the use tutors and the supposed lack of quality of HPHS teachers is ridiculous.

    Reply
  • January 12, 2011 at 10:39 am
    Permalink

    Merritt-You better have these tutors followed and get them on your TYcubed plan. I bet that they are not leaving their jobs in their Lexuses to go down to the soup kitchen either, just like the teachers who get way too much appreciation.

    Reply
  • January 12, 2011 at 10:43 am
    Permalink

    And Rico is absolutely correct! But, I do think that there could be a correlation to class size here. Have you checked the class sizes recently?

    Reply
  • January 12, 2011 at 10:43 am
    Permalink

    I have to agree with Rico that throwing out the “then what are we paying teachers for!?!?” slam is going too far.

    Trust me, we aren’t paying our teachers ENOUGH for the quality of work they do, the amount of time they commit, and the shenanigans they have to put up with from both students AND parents.

    Anyone who thinks teachers have it easy don’t live in the real world. Every single legislator and parent needs to spend a day in a teacher’s shoes and they will understand what a tough job it is.

    Reply
  • January 12, 2011 at 3:21 pm
    Permalink

    One of the nicest things I’ve heard lately is that a group of TI engineers hang out a few nights every week at libraries and rec centers in East Plano and Richardson waiting to tutor math for free to whatever student shows up with homework problems or questions.

    Reply
  • January 12, 2011 at 9:13 pm
    Permalink

    Most teachers, like poorteacher, are worth more than we pay them. Unfortunately some are worth less than we pay them. Yes, even in HPISD.

    I don’t know what percent of our students have tutors, but I’ve been amazed since being the parent of a first grader at the number of bright kids I’ve known whose parents hire tutors to help them get passing grades. By high school it seems overwhelmingly common. Wish the PTAs would do some surveys to confirm or disprove my impression.

    I doubt HPISD teachers are allowed to charge their own students for tutoring. Maybe not any students at their school. But I knew of elementary teachers who tutored former students when they hit 5th grade. I suspect, however, most local tutors aren’t HPISD teachers.

    Reply
  • January 14, 2011 at 6:00 pm
    Permalink

    All of our tutors have been Highland Park teachers … in elementary, middle school and now high school. Usually not from our grade … but they teach in HP.

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Eloise Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *