Tag Archives: Larry

State to Crack Down on Private Tutors 2013

27 Feb

Education Commissioner Tony Bennett is to be applauded for his quick response to allegations of widespread fraud by private, for-profit providers of supplemental educational services in Florida. These services, which can also be provided by nonprofits, school districts, faith-based organizations and others, are intended to provide low-income students in poorly-performing schools with additional educational support to help meet minimum academic performance standards.

Ensuring every child has access to quality educational opportunities is essential to Florida’s economic stability and future growth; however, I believe the tens of millions of dollars in education funding being steered to private tutoring firms could be better spent. While the Commissioner has outlined a series of steps his department will take to rein in fraud and ensure that private tutoring companies hire qualified instructors and provide tutoring services at a reasonable cost, whether these services will improve student outcomes remains to be seen.

While tutoring can be a powerful tool for many children, quality afterschool programs provide opportunities that not only support children’s cognitive development, but their physical, social and emotional development as well. Directing families and resources to providers of proven, high-quality services, including the Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA’s, Communities In Schools and accredited quality afterschool providers, is a solution worthy of consideration.

Children attending quality afterschool programs attend school more regularly, perform better on tests, have fewer behavioral problems and are less likely to use tobacco, alcohol or drugs. Quality afterschool programs also provide a safe, nurturing environment that decreases the likelihood that children will become victims or perpetrators of criminal activity.

Here is just some of the research:

  • The Legislative Office of Program Policy Analysis and Governmental Accountability found that elementary and middle school participants in the Boys and Girls Clubs performed better on the FCAT in reading (elementary school only) and math at grade level versus a comparison group of students who were not in quality afterschool programs
  • A Florida TaxWatch study of Boys and Girls Clubs found gains on reading and math standardized test scores.
  • The Ounce Prevention Fund of Florida’s evaluation of YMCA Reads found reading improvement across the board regardless of grade level, gender, or race.
  • The National Institute on Out of School Time’s (NIOST) evaluation of Jacksonville TEAM UP found gains on standardized tests of reading and math.

Supplemental education services provided as part of a high-quality afterschool program help bridge the gap for disadvantaged children, which is crucial to Florida’s ultimate economic success. Let’s be smarter about how we spend our limited dollars by investing in providers that have demonstrated success in improving student outcomes.

Larry Pintacuda, CEO

The Florida Afterschool Network

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FAN’s CEO Interviewed for 2012 “American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen”

31 Aug

On August 29, Florida Afterschool Chief Executive Officer Larry Pintacuda  participated in “American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen”, a national public  initiative and television program. His topic was the positive impact on quality  afterschool programming as it relates to improved academic performance of
kids.

Armed with strong facts documenting the importance of afterschool  programs, Larry represented all the FAN Champions and Board Members in  expressing why these programs are crucial to the development of our children.  The program is scheduled to be aired during the week of September 22nd, and
Larry’s portion was 4-5 minutes.

FAN would like to thank Kim Kelling Engstrom, Director of Educational Services for WFSU TV and a FAN Champion, for  her efforts in getting represented in this wonderful program.  This is not the  first time Kim and WFSU TV has addressed and promoted the importance of  quality afterschool. It was her efforts that brought national television show  “Electric Company” to Florida to provide training for afterschool  practitioners.

The exact date and time the program will be aired will be  posted as soon as it is released.