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Published: Thursday, 1/9/2003

Tutors help pupils face proficiency tests in TPS

BY SANDRA SVOBODA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The significance of the Northwest Ordinance, map-reading, identifying major economic systems, and applying the concepts of justice such as due process are in the lesson plans of Toledo Public Schools tutors this winter.

The subjects remind East Toledo mother Rebecca Miller of her favorite social studies classes when she was in high school.

“It's not just the right thing to do, it's a lot of fun,” she said.

Ms. Miller, who has a kindergartener attending Navarre Elementary School, was one of dozens of volunteer Toledoans who turned out yesterday to start TPS' second annual proficiency test tutoring campaign for the ninth-grade citizenship test.

“We're trying to get an entire community to support this effort,” said Superintendent Eugene Sanders.

The tutors will undergo an hour of training, receive study materials, and meet at least once a week with high school students during February to help them prepare for the March 6 citizenship test.

Of the five subjects tested at three grade levels, ninth-grade citizenship was one of the indicators the district was closest to meeting last year. It could be the final one needed to lift the district out of academic emergency and into academic watch, assuming achievement on the other sections of the test remain the same or improve.

“Everybody in the district will be making a concerted effort for this test. We're so close,” Dr. Sanders said. “We've got to do it. We've got the right help, the right support, and the right enthusiasm.”

Last year, the district achieved the Ohio Department of Education standards in sixth-grade writing, ninth-grade reading and writing, and 10th-grade citizenship, reading, and writing.

Dr. Sanders said the district also would work to boost attendance during the testing week, especially for high school students. “We're letting them know well in advance: We're going to be looking for you. You've got to be in your seat,” he said. “When we get them there and they sit down and take the test, they do well.”

Ms. Miller expects the tutoring efforts to help. “The tutoring will do nothing but give them the extra boost everyone needs,” she said.



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