Federally Funded Tutoring Program Has Ties to Scientology

April 9, 2012 under Applied Scholastics

Fox News Detroit, April 9, 2012

Link to original article: http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpps/news/federally-funded-tutoring-program-has-ties-to-scientology-dpgonc-20120409-kh_19064491

(NewsCore) – With Uncle Sam’s help, underprivileged kids across the country are being exposed to the ideas of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Scores of public school districts are using a tutoring program with close ties to Scientology, according to tax documents filed by Applied Scholastics International, a nonprofit that promotes Hubbard’s teaching methods. The group has government approval to provide federally funded after-school tutoring in 12 states, including California, Texas and Florida.

On its most recent IRS records, Applied Scholastics reported that 248 public schools purchased its services in 2010. The group claims to have provided tutoring to more than 1,600 students.

Applied Scholastics gained a toehold in public education a decade ago through the No Child Left Behind law, one provision of which requires failing schools to offer tutoring to low-income students. Federal funds are used to pay tutors who meet criteria set by each state.

Although religious organizations are eligible to provide secular instruction, Applied Scholastics maintains that its tutoring programs are not connected to the Church of Scientology and are based only on the educational theories of church founder L. Ron Hubbard — specifically, on a teaching method he developed called study technology, or “study tech.”

According to study technology, three barriers prevent people from learning: not having the physical object of what is being studied, not having mastered prior skills, and misunderstanding words.

“Study Technology has as its sole purpose teaching people how to learn,” said Christine Gerson, a spokeswoman for Applied Scholastics.

On forms filed with the IRS, no mention is made of Scientology, though “study tech” is a founding principle of the religion.

“I think that the school districts that are buying into this particular program may or may not know that the Church of Scientology is printing this garbage up,” said Christine Anderson, a San Antonio mother who got Scientology-linked teaching materials removed from her son’s middle school seven years ago.

On a tax filing, Applied Scholastics said that in 2010, it took in $1.3 million from its education and literacy programs. Gerson said that a substantial portion of the $1.3 million was from tutoring. The average cost per student was approximately $680, she said.

Critics discount any distinction between Applied Scholastics and Scientology.

“The claim that they’re an independent organization is a fiction,” said David Touretzky, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who has written extensively about Scientology.

Touretzky said Applied Scholastics is staffed by Scientologists; it familiarizes students with Scientology terms and allows them to become comfortable with its ideas. As an academic program, it lacks credibility, he and others said.

“It’s garbage,” Touretzky said. “Kids benefit from adults who pay attention to them and are interested in seeing them learn, and so I can’t say that Applied Scholastics is worse than nothing. It may be better than nothing. But it’s certainly not better than other approaches that could be used.”

Gerson responded: “In my experience, the few individuals who have opined against Study Technology do not know enough about it to render a meaningful comment.”

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Applied Scholastics Tutors Still Approved in 11 States (2010-11)

Applied Scholastics ExposedDuring the 2009-10 school year, Applied Scholastics (AS) was on the approved under Federal NCLB legislation as Supplemental Education Services (SES) list in 14 states. This was slightly higher from our previous report at the end of the 2008-09 school year.

For the 2010-11 school year, Applied Scholastics continue to be approved in 11 states, with reports of considerable questions being raised about the numbers of students actually attending AS classes. Several states who have dropped Applied Scholastics from the approved SES lists have stated that lack of utilization was one of the main reasons.

States that have dropped Applied Scholastics from 2008 through 2010 included California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia and Kansas. The following list is the States where Applied Scholastics was currently approved as of April 2011.

1. District of Columbia [pdf]. Contact info to file complaints here. (more contacts)

2. Illinois [doc]. Contact info to file complaints here. (more contacts)

3. Indiana. Contact info is on the same page. (more contacts)

4. Iowa [pdf]. Contact info to file complaints here. (more contacts)

5. Louisiana [doc]. Contact info to file complaints here. (more contacts)

6. Massachusetts. Contact info to file complaints here. (more contacts)

7. Missouri [pdf]. Contact info to file complaints here. (more contacts)

8. New Mexico [xls]. Contact info to file complaints here. (more contacts)

9. Tennessee [pdf]. Contact info to file complaints here. (more contacts)

10. Texas [xls]. Contact info to file complaints here. (more contacts)

11. Washington State [pdf]. Contact info to file complaints here. (more contacts)

For more information and additional ammunition for use with countering the cult infiltration disguised as SES tutors in the States listed above, check out the new Applied Scholastics Exposed Info Pack collection of documents on scribd compliments of whyweprotest.net.

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Applied Scholastics Has Infiltrated the Boards of Ed of at least Eleven States

The Boards of Education of at least 11 states list Applied Scholastics as an approved provider of educational services. Would these boards continue to work with Applied Scholastics if they were made aware that Applied Scholastics is a Scientology entity?

Massachusetts. Contact info to complain here.

California. Contact info to complain here.

Indiana. Contact info is on the same page.

Missouri [pdf]. Contact info to complain here.

Kansas. Contact info is on the same page.

Texas. Contact info is at the bottom of the page.

Colorado. Contact info to complain here [pdf].

Tennessee [pdf]. Contact info to complain here.

Washington State [MS Word doc]. Contact info to complain here.

New Mexico. Contact info to complain here.

Louisiana [pdf]. Contact info is at the bottom of the page.

Florida is still in appeals and has not completed their list.

Educators are either ignorant to the fact that Applied Scholastics effectively is Scientology, or they’ve been assured that the two have no connection. Keep the following in mind when complaining or when speaking to educators: The Church of Scientology International (CSI) declared that Applied Scholastics is part of its “social betterment program” in its Form 1023 statement to the IRS, which was part of the 1993 agreement granting Scientology tax exempt status. The Agreement refers to Applied Scholastics as one of a number of “Scientology-related entities.” Its connection to Scientology is extensively documented on this site. Applied Scholastics exists for the purpose of covertly delivering Scientology to a broader section of society than would otherwise be receptive to it, including your school-age children.

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ASI’s application to Colorado Ed Board

Applied Scholastics 2006 application to the Colorado State Board of Education to provide supplemental educational services

Applied Scholastics International of St. Louis, MO was certified by the Colorado State Board of Education as a Supplemental Educational Services (SES) provider. Here is a copy of their application form (20 page PDF file).

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Boston Herald ~ Scientology school gets close study

By Dave Wedge | Wednesday, April 16, 2008 | http://www.bostonherald.com | Local Coverage

A Boston city councilor is raising concerns about a pilot school’s proposed curriculum and its ties to an arm of Scientology, while a prestigious Hub charitable foundation is taking a second look at its grant to help launch the controversial school.

“We’re reviewing the grant proposal in light of new materials,” Boston Foundation spokesman David Trueblood said of the organization’s $20,000 gift to the proposed “Cornerstone for Success Academy.”

The Herald reported yesterday that the proposed taxpayer-funded high school would base its curriculum on a model created by Applied Scholastics International — the educational arm of the Church of Scientology. Applied Scholastics officials, however, say the program is not religious and is run separately from the church.

The grant will be used as seed money by a group of Hub teachers pushing for the new pilot school, which needs approval of Boston school and union officials. Trueblood said the Boston Foundation did “no evaluation” and didn’t know of the Scientology link — despite references to Applied Scholastics in the group’s application.

Scientology is a federally recognized religion but has been widely criticized as a destructive, mind-controlling cult. A national anti-Scientology campaign was recently launched by Anonymous, a group of computer hackers and protesters who have blasted the church’s teachings.

Boston Teachers Union spokesman Richard Stutman criticized the Boston Foundation grant as “irresponsible,” in light of financial woes facing existing city schools.

“The $20,000 could be far better used in any of the 144 other schools,” Stutman said. “To them (the foundation), $20,000 is not a lot of money. Tell that to a school suffering hardships.”

City Councilor Sam Yoon has called a hearing on the plan, citing concerns about a taxpayer-funded school with a “hidden agenda.”

“It’s about full disclosure,” Yoon said. “I would want to know if a school I’m considering is basing its entire curriculum on something that comes out of the Church of Scientology and what that connection is.”

In a statement, Boston Church of Scientology spokesman Gerard Renna said the teaching methods pioneered by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard are “tremendously effective.” He added that the curriculum “is entirely secular and recognized throughout the world.”

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/general/view.bg?articleid=1087424

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Boston Herald ~ Planned academy tied to Scientology

April 15, 2008 under Applied Scholastics, Boston HELP

‘Cult’-linked pilot school gains $20K grant

By Dave Wedge | Tuesday, April 15, 2008 | http://www.bostonherald.com | Local Coverage

A proposed taxpayer-funded pilot school linked to an arm of the controversial Church of Scientology has scored a $20,000 grant from a blue-chip Hub charitable foundation, the Herald has learned.

The Boston Foundation recently awarded the planning grant to the proposed “Cornerstone for Success Academy,” a high school for at-risk students that would base its curriculum on a model created by Applied Scholastics International – the educational arm of the Church of Scientology.

The celebrity-backed religious organization is often criticized as a destructive, mind-controlling cult, and critics have blasted the educational curriculum as a back-door avenue to recruitment.

The Applied Scholastics Web site includes several testimonials from celebrity Scientologists, including actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

Still, Applied Scholastics spokeswoman Keri Lee said, “Our organization is a secular organization. It’s not religious.” In a statement, she added, “There is no religious mission nor religious material in our programs.”

Officials from Boston’s Church of Scientology did not return calls.

Documents pitching the proposal provided to the School Department by the Boston Foundation include a report about a Louisiana school that states Applied Scholastics is a creation of Scientology leader L. Ron Hubbard.

But Boston Foundation spokesman David Trueblood said the charity was unaware of the proposed school’s connection to the controversial religious sect.

“We give these planning grants to start the conversation,” Trueblood said. “Our interest here as a foundation is to get as many educators and as many schools as possible talking about pilot schools. We are unabashedly pro-pilot schools. We know many are funded and few become pilot schools.”

The proposed school is the brainchild of a group of city teachers, including many from Jeremiah Burke High School and Boston Latin. A bid by the same group to create a charter school was rejected by the state in 2000.

The group has no official headquarters, and individual members could not be reached last night.

The grant can be used as seed money to pay for members’ travel, training, a Web site and other expenses related to making the school a reality. Pilot schools are funded through the city’s school budget and require approval from the school superintendent and the Boston Teachers Union.

“The Boston Foundation obviously didn’t pay careful attention to who they gave the planning grants to,” said teachers union president Richard Stutman. “We respect the church of a Scientology as a church, but public dollars ought not to be spent on activities that borrow from church teachings and philosophy. There has to be a separation of church and state.”

Stutman called the grant a “waste,” predicting it would be overwhelmingly defeated by the union. School department spokesman Jonathan Palumbo said Superintendent Carol Johnson hadn’t yet seen the group’s application but would consider the Scientology ties in a review.

A school that uses Applied Scholastic’s curriculum is already operating in Milton. Delphi Academy was criticized a decade ago for interjecting Scientology into the classroom, a claim rejected by administrators.

But noted cult expert Steve Hassan said he considers Scientology to be a “destructive cult.”

“It is not an organization that promotes critical thinking and freedom of mind,” Hassan said.

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/general/view.bg?articleid=1087188

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Saint Petersburg Times ~ Scientology School Expands in Florida

January 1, 2008 under Applied Scholastics

School using Scientology methods will expand to a new campus
The site will accommodate up to 100 students in the private academy.

By RITA FARLOW, Times Staff Writer

A Clearwater private school that uses study methods created by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard is planning to add a new campus in the Largo area.

Clearwater Academy International purchased the 2.8-acre lot at the corner of S Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Wyatt Street in August 2006 for $995,000. The school recently applied for a sewer permit on the site.

Headmaster Jim Zwers said the expansion, spurred by a steady increase in enrollment over the past several years, is still in the planning stage. Enrollment went from 150 students in 2002 to 270 in 2007, Zwers said. “We just have a lot of students,” he said. “So we’re kind of looking for now and looking toward the future.”

Plans for the corner lot include two wings of connected modular classroom buildings, an asphalt court for hockey or volleyball and a sports field. Three of six existing tennis courts on the lot will remain. The rest will be converted to parking spaces and a basketball court.

“We’ll make it look nice. There’s lots of vegetation and a big lake there,” Zwers said.

The new campus will hold a maximum of 100 students. Zwers said school officials are considering moving the upper grades to the new location, but that decision has not yet been made. Total enrollment at the two sites will not exceed 325, he said.

The school, which serves kids in grades pre-K through 12, was formed in 1997 with the merger of three small private schools: A to Be School, Jefferson Academy and Renaissance Academy.

The school is licensed by Applied Scholastics, a nonprofit organization founded by Scientologists in 1992.

In keeping with Hubbard’s “study technology,” students are taught using a system of “check sheets” that lay out the reading assignments, definitions and concepts required to master each subject. Students are schooled in a primary tenet of Hubbard’s “tech,” which is never to read past a word they don’t understand so they won’t miss the meaning of the text that follows.

Another tenet is that students learn better when they have “mass” in front of them to illustrate abstract concepts.

There are no letter grades.

Students advance to the next grade after successfully completing a check sheet for that grade.

Rita Farlow can be reached at farlow@sptimes.com or 727 445-4162.

Fast facts

Clearwater Academy International

The current campus is at 801 Drew St. in Clearwater. The school expansion will be at 1110 Wyatt St. near Largo in unincorporated Pinellas County. Tuition is $8,210 a year.


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Janesville Gazette ~ School to use Hubbard theories

August 31, 2007 under Applied Scholastics

By Frank Schultz

Here’s the connection between a tiny new school in Janesville and Scientology:

L. Ron Hubbard founded Scientology, a religion popular among some Hollywood types such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta. Hubbard wrote science fiction books, but he also wrote about education. His educational theories are the basis for something called Applied Scholastics.

Applied Scholastics is the method used by Sequoia Academy, a fledgling school that will open its doors Sept. 4 in the home of Christine Koth on the city’s northeast side.

Koth, who founded Sequoia Academy, is not a Scientologist, and neither are her teachers, she said.

Koth said she has read some of Hubbard’s writings, but she doesn’t know a lot about Scientology.

“We use his educational philosophy, not his religious philosophy,” Koth said Monday in a presentation to the Janesville Noon Rotary.

Applied Scholastics has nothing in it about Scientology, Koth said, and people who train in the A.S. must sign documents stating that they will not teach religion in their schools, Koth said.

Indeed, A.S. methods are used in some public schools around the country.

Koth and her head teacher, Caitlin Johnston, are certified in A.S. They took a series of courses at Applied Scholastics International in St. Louis, about three months’ worth over the course of a year. They also apprenticed at an A.S. school, Clearwater Academy in Clearwater, Fla., they said.

Koth has a master’s degree in physical therapy but has never been a schoolteacher. Johnston said she studied to be a teacher for three years at Edgewood College.

So far, the pair have four preschool children signed up. They have room for four more children, through third grade.

School is in the attractively finished basement in Koth’s home, a new house she shares with her husband and two small children.

Koth said she hopes to move out of the basement to a more permanent facility and expand the school. She is excited about the possibility of improving the community through helping children learn, she said.

Applied Scholastics can help children who have trouble learning, even those with ADHD and dyslexia, Koth believes.

Applied Scholastics teachers are trained to identify barriers to learning and then apply methods to overcome those barriers, Koth explained.

A student who is staring out the window might have a problem with a “misunderstood word,” one of the three barriers. The teacher diagnoses the problem and backtracks to teach that word to the student, Koth said.

Or, the student might not be grasping an idea because he is not getting enough concrete examples of what it is about. This is called “lack of mass.” In simple terms, it’s easier to teach what an apple is by using real apples than to try to describe one.

Or, the students may not be learning because the learning “gradient’ is too steep. In other words, the topic should be broken into more steps so that the topic is easier to grasp.

The method boasts “100 percent comprehension.”

Koth said no method is perfect, “but I do believe that if you really use these tools and you apply them in the way they’re meant to be applied, that gives you the best chance for success.”

Koth said Sequoia will be the first Applied Scholastics school in Wisconsin. She said her application to be a licensed home day-care center is being processed. She is aware of the state regulations for private schools and would comply with them if she begins teaching school-age children, she said.

And, while she understands people will have questions, she’d like to put this Scientology connection behind her because, she said, there really is no connection between what she does and the Church of Scientology.

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Quincy Herald Whig ~ Quincy to be Literacy Center’s main office

June 2, 2007 under Applied Scholastics

By Steve Eighinger
Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Bishop E.L. Warren says the goal is far-reaching, but so is the problem it is addressing.

“The purpose of this is to eradicate illiteracy and provide a new place of learning and hope in downtown Quincy,” he said.

Warren, who pastors the Cathedral of Worship, 215 N. 25th, and is the head of E.L. Warren Ministries International, said earlier this week that Quincy will be the headquarters of the Vision Literacy Center.

There will be 52 learning centers around the world, one for each area where a church is located that Warren oversees as presiding bishop of International Network of Affiliate Ministries. Most of the churches are in the continental United States, with the rest in the Caribbean and Africa. INAM is part of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches, a 6,000-church body spread across six continents that will be holding its world convention in Quincy later this year.

The Vision Literacy Center is a nonprofit undertaking involving the partnership of E.L. Warren Ministries and Applied Scholastics International, which describes itself as a nonprofit, nonreligious organization founded in 1972. ASI materials say it is headquartered in suburban St. Louis with a mission to promote and develop programs of effective education for children and adults alike.

Applied Scholastics is based on the Study Technology program developed by the late L. Ron Hubbard, an American fiction and self-help writer who became best-known as the creator of Dianetics and founder of the Church of Scientology.

“This program is not affiliated in any way with the Church of Scientology, none whatsoever,” Warren said. “The only connection is the name of L. Ron Hubbard, who developed the study format. What we have is the technology without the theology.

“We will be confronting illiteracy through the use of creative and effective tools, technology, methods and programs. We are not waiting for buildings in all of these areas where we will have centers. We are already training instructors. We are redirecting funds from E.L. Warren Ministries to get this going. Every day we wait, we run the risk of losing another child.”

The Vision Literacy Center headquarters will occupy the southeast corner suite on the second floor of the Maine Center at Sixth and Maine. It will include a training area.

Applied Scholastics CEO Bennetta Slaughter was in town to discuss the partnership with E.L. Warren Ministries. She is described as a prominent member of the Church of Scientology and head of several of its organizations, including Applied Scholastics. Slaughter and her husband reportedly have donated more than a quarter-million dollars to the International Association of Scientologists.

She said innovative teaching methods and programs are at the core of the ASI model, which she said is now used by 750 organizations in 65 countries to promote literacy.

“A child knows he’s not learning, but not why,” Slaughter said. “(Our programs) teach them to recognize their own barriers and how to overcome them.”

Slaughter said government studies indicate only 30 percent of U.S. students are on the grade level they should be in reading and math.

“Some schools are as low as 10 percent,” Slaughter said.

Warren said the program is in the process of acquiring grants and funding to cover the start-up and operational costs. Corporate sponsorships are also being sought so that ideally any child going through the program will be able to do so for free.

Roderick Warren, son of E.L. Warren and a recent graduate of Lindenwood University in St. Louis, will oversee the Quincy operation.

Slaughter estimates it will cost between $500 and $750 a year per individual. The area will get the first look at how the Vision Literacy Center will work with a “Literacy Boot Camp” from Aug. 6 to Aug. 17 at the Maine Center facility. Twenty-five children will be selected for the program, which will cost about $120 a person.

“The boot camp will involve leaning how to learn,” Rod Warren said. “This boot camp will do for a student what a phone booth does for Clark Kent.”

Quincy schools and the Quincy Housing Authority are partnering with the Vision Literacy Center.

Quincy Schools Superintendent Tom Leahy called the idea “a good thing” and said Quincy schools will work with the Vision Literacy Center to help identify candidates for the boot camp.

George Harper III is the executive director of the Quincy Public Housing Authority, which offers after-school programs to aid residents’ school-age children. Harper said he would welcome the Vision Literacy Central program.

“In public housing, every day we run into people who have had problems with learning,” Harper said.

Renee Higgins, director of the literacy program at John Wood Community College, said school officials have met with E.L. and Roderick Warren.

“We are looking to see how the two programs can collaborate together,” Higgins said. “Right now, we’re just at the beginning of the discussion.”

For more information about Vision Literacy Center, call the Cathedral of Worship at 223-3344, ext. 413.

Contact Staff Writer Steve Eighinger at seighinger@whig.com or (217) 221-3377

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WBRZ News 2 Louisiana – The Advocate ~ Study skills class linked to Scientology

Educators say school benefiting

Advocate staff report
Published: May 29, 2007

Although created by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, a study skills class at Prescott Middle School has impressed initially skeptical local educators who say they see no evidence of religious instruction, but do see profound changes in the children who participate.

“The kids have benefited from the interaction with the trained tutors in positive ways,” said Bob Stockwell, chief academic officer for the East Baton Rouge Parish school system.

“I’m all for anything that gives these kids success, and these kids are experiencing success,” said Roxson Welch, a highly regarded former teacher and now an adviser to Mayor-President Kip Holden.

A May 20 story in the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times raised questions about the possible religious content and the academic value of the studies skills class, known as Applied Scholastics.

The story prominently featured Prescott Middle School in Baton Rouge, which adopted the class 16 months ago, soon after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

David Touretzky, a research professor from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, is perhaps the harshest critic of the program.

On Glenn Beck’s CNN show Wednesday, Touretzky admitted the course doesn’t actively convert children to Scientology. Instead, he described it as “covert instruction in the Scientology religion,” introducing underlying concepts that create familiarity with Scientology.

“What they’re trying to do is gain a foothold for Scientology in civilized society,” he said.

None of the people interviewed for this story, however, have observed anything religious about the program at Prescott Middle, even covert. This reporter, though unaware of the Scientology connection, visited one of the classes last year and noticed nothing religious in the instruction.

According to Scientology literature, Hubbard developed the study techniques now used at Prescott to help the followers of his young religion learn its intricacies and unfamiliar technology — churchgoers still use them. Hubbard, however, decided the techniques were the answer to the problems of education in general.

In 1972, Scientologists started the nonprofit Applied Scholastics as a secular initiative to bring his techniques into schools. In 2001 Applied Scholastics began a major expansion. It reports now that it has licensed the program with 738 different educational entities around the world, including public schools in at least 13 states.

Several prominent celebrity Scientologists, including actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta and singer Isaac Hayes, credit the study technique with improving their own academic skills.

In the wake of Katrina, Hayes and Travolta were two of the many celebrities who visited Baton Rouge offering help.

Bennetta Slaughter, chief executive officer of Applied Scholastics International and a Scientologist herself, said Hayes talked up the program with Holden.

Hayes thought Baton Rouge might benefit from the course, which is taught at her alma mater, Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tenn.

Holden had a school in mind: Prescott Middle.

The low-performing school had recently revamped itself to stave off a takeover by the Louisiana Department of Education. In spring 2005, Elida Bera was named principal. She hired an almost completely new staff and instituted an ambitious set of changes.

Bera said Holden called her in fall 2005. Bera took a look. In her reading, she saw that Hubbard had created the techniques.

“I’m leery about that,” Bera said. “I’m 100 percent Catholic.”

Applied Scholastics representatives, however, assured her that the program steered clear of religion.

The Scientology connection, however, was not well known in the parish school system. Stockwell, the system’s chief academic officer, said he learned of the connection only after it had begun. He said the main attraction was the price, free.

“The fact that it’s related to Scientology is probably fascinating to a lot of people, but it was not our focus or concern,” Stockwell said.

In January 2006, Bera placed about 140 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders in the program. The other students in those grades took a separate, school system-approved study skills course.

By May, when results from last year’s eighth-grade LEAP test arrived, all 20 eighth-graders in the pilot had passed. The passage rate for the rest of the eighth-grade was 77 percent.

Applied Scholastics had a big advantage over the school system studies skill program: a small pupil-teacher ratio of no more than five to one.

Bera, however, said that small classes don’t automatically translate into better results.

“If those teachers are not trained with working with a small group, they would do the same things they would if they were working with a large group,” Bera said.

Another early skeptic was Southern University physics professor Diola Bagayoko. Founder of the Timbuktu Institute, a summer ACT prep course, Bagayoko had already formed a partnership with Prescott, where he helped train teachers and improve parental involvement.

Bagayoko said he did a lot of homework, reading a copy of the curriculum and several books provided by Applied Scholastics. Applied Scholastics is based on the idea that there are three barriers to learning: lack of mass, too steep a gradient and words not understood or wrongly understood.

Although the terminology is unique, Bagayoko saw in these concepts ideas widely used in education, and ones he had written about himself in academic papers.

In practice, he says, he’s been impressed. The tutors are well trained, the students are closely monitored and students can’t move on until they’ve mastered the material, he said.

“The origin of the material is not going to be a stumbling block for me to save the lives of thousands,” he said.

Applied Scholastics has thus far eschewed recognition in academia, particularly getting its results published in education journals. Bagayoko, however, said Applied Scholastic representatives have ample data for educators to evaluate them.

“It’s rooted in the most solid and established ideas of teaching and learning,” he said.

Bagayoko now plans to train Southern students in the study techniques, so they can tutor children at nearby Southern Laboratory School.

Bera has added the program to her budget and hopes to locate tutors for next year. In the meantime, she’s still examining this year’s Louisiana Educational Assessment Program results to see how Applied Scholastics students did, but said other in-house tests show strong growth.

Stockwell said those results may decide whether the school system continues or perhaps expands the program.

Applied Scholastics CEO Slaughter said she hopes Baton Rouge leaders will soon run the program on their own.

“The most efficient method is to hand it over to the people there on the ground,” she said.


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