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Letter: Ask San Joaquin County superintendent candidates to support tutoring

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Posted: Friday, August 8, 2014 11:27 pm

Over the past few years, a startling new trend has spread among the teenage students of Lodi Unified School District. An increasing number of students have joined the practice after — even during — school hours. There is no cause for alarm, however, as these youngsters are supplementing their education in study groups.

Three years ago, a small group of teachers and administrators at Lodi High formed a tutorial program to connect successful students with those in need of assistance. The program was popular among tutors and pupils alike, and grades started rising. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of the program is the number of students who started in the program as pupils and are now tutors.

This year, my friends and I started a tutorial club in conjunction with the existing program to offer tutorials during lunch and after school. The idea has also spread to Bear Creek and Tokay High, where similar programs are starting this year.

The beauty of these programs is their administrative simplicity. All that is

required to run a tutorial program is a room, a supervisor and a group of motivated students. Despite the low operating cost and the established success of these programs, most are run on the donated time of teachers.

With the rare opportunity to vote for the San Joaquin County superintendent in the coming election, voters can influence education policy for the better. Tutorial programs still need to reach the other 13 districts in San Joaquin County, and the superintendent can facilitate this process.

If you support these programs, I strongly urge you to contact the candidates, Jeff Tilton and James Mousalimas. Tutorial programs are neither Democratic nor Republican. They are neither for nor against Common Core. They are simply a good idea to help our students.

Ross Mattheis


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