The Los Angeles Unified School District recently approved contracts totaling almost $5 million to two private companies to provide supplemental education services for students in the nation’s second largest school district, which has 682,000 students, 30,000 teachers, and 790 schools.
On April 14, Kaplan Educational Centers was awarded a $3.3 million contract to conduct after-school, extended-day programs in supplementary reading, math, language arts, and science education for approximately 6,000 students at 25 public schools and six Catholic schools beginning in May 1998. The program, funded by federal Title I grants, also includes conducting seminars at all 31 schools to introduce teachers to strategies designed to improve student performance in the classroom, with particular emphasis on comprehension, critical thinking, problem solving, and study skills.
On April 23, Sylvan Learning Systems Inc., announced that it had been chosen by 32 public schools in the LAUSD to implement a similar after-school, extended-day supplementary instructional program in reading, with a concentration on phonics, comprehension skills, and vocabulary development. Like Kaplan, Sylvan will provide training and professional development for teachers at the schools.
Kaplan Educational Centers had conducted a pilot program at three elementary schools in Los Angeles last summer, and has delivered professional development seminars to more than 3,000 teachers in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, and other cities this year.
The contract services division of Sylvan serves nearly 40,000 students in private and parochial schools, plus more than 16,600 students in public schools, in many U.S. cities, including Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, St. Louis, St. Paul, and Washington, DC.