New tutoring program showcased at Las Cruces elementary school
New Mexico State Secretary of Public Education Dr. Arsenio Romero visited Doña Ana Elementary School to view new programs for students designed to improve their education. This is not his first time stepping onto this campus as he used to work at the school earlier in his career.
“It’s wonderful to come back and see some amazing and innovative practices happening,” Romero said.
One program heavily emphasized during the tour was called Tutoring by Teachers or TbT. This program allows students to get virtual and more personalized teaching for 30 minutes 5 times a week. Doña Ana Elementary school principal Cherie Love says that she has seen all students benefit.
“We saw our students at 5 or 10 percent proficient, especially last year coming in, at the end of the year we ended at 41 percent proficient. It’s still not where we want to be but that significant growth in a short period of time,” Love said.
Principal Love says that TbT does not just cover math. The program can cover a wide range of subjects and the school will be adding English tutoring next year. This has helped students progress faster in their education as the tutoring groups only have a maximum of 3 students at a time.
“This is one program but it still takes the teachers teaching core content, our math program as well as this differentiating throughout the day so that all students benefit. The reason why we continued is because we saw what difference it made and the students are engaging those tutors,” Love said.
New Mexico has historically ranked very low in comparison to other states in terms of education. Dr. Romero is confident that programs like this are key to turning that around.
“We all know what happens if you google New Mexico. You've heard of other states that have been able to make dramatic jumps in outcomes for students, Mississippi being one of them. They call it ‘The Mississippi Miracle’. It wasn't a miracle. They were very strategic in what they did. What we are doing here in New Mexico is much of the same initiatives but we are doing them faster,” Romero said.
The Tutoring by Teachers program has shown some early signs of success at Doña Ana Elementary school. With the program being optional for schools in the Las Cruces Public Schools district, more schools from kindergarten to 12th grade may opt-in in the future.