FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 29, 2005
ISBE AND NEWTON LEARNING REACH AGREEMENT ON SES SERVICES
The Illinois State Board of Education today announced
that it has approved a plan submitted by Newton Learning
to bring Newtons provision of SES after-school tutoring
services into full compliance with the States rules
SES (supplemental educational services) programs are
provided under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. When
a school does not make sufficient academic progress for
three consecutive years, a students parents can
enroll their child in a State-approved SES tutoring program.
Businesses, non-profit groups, and school districts offer
such programs. The State is responsible for approving
program providers, setting standards, and monitoring performance.
ISBE advised Newton last month that during the course
of its monitoring, it had identified administrative issues
in Newtons programs in Chicago Public Schools. In
June 2005, ISBE established a comprehensive plan to increase
the agency's oversight of tutoring as required under the
No Child Left Behind Act. Illinois' regulation of tutoring
providers is now among the most rigorous in the country.
Jonathan Furr, ISBE general counsel said, We take
the responsibility of monitoring SES services seriously.
We commend Newton for its willingness to take prompt corrective
action in response to our concerns. Newton has acknowledged
that it did not fully comply with the States SES
Under terms of the plan, over the next 60 days Newton
will replace CPS employees working in non-instructional
roles in its SES programs. Newton will also provide training
and professional development to its staff on the terms
of the plan and the States SES regulations. Additionally,
as a result of the negotiation process, Newton agreed
to provide an additional five hours of tutoring this school
year in each of the CPS schools in which it is providing
SES services. The five hours will be in addition to Newton's
80-hour program (already a high number in comparison to
most other programs).
The simple fact is we made mistakes in the administration
of our program in Chicago this year, said Joel Rose,
General Manager - SES of Newton Learning. This agreement
will benefit the students we serve in Chicago, while resolving
those issues the State identified as problematic. We appreciate
ISBEs concern that this important program must be
administered in full compliance with all State regulations.
Newton Learning is committed to providing the best possible
tutoring to our students.
We will monitor Newtons progress in making
these corrective changes, and were satisfied with
Newtons cooperation so far, Furr said. We
are also pleased that Newton will be offering additional
hours of tutoring as part of this agreement, which will
benefit students, parents, and our Chicago schools.