Author Topic: Applied Scholastics is losing ground  (Read 19069 times)

Offline ethercat

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Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« on: September 07, 2009, 21:57 »
I saw this posted to ARS.  Last year, there was an article in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution about Applied Scholastics being on the state tutor's list - does anyone have a copy or the link handy?

Quote
From: "chuckbeatty77 @aol.com" <chuckbeatty77@aol.com>
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: News re Applied Scholastics losing popularity amongst states'
   governments....
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 19:42:51 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <3ad4a28f-2616-456e-a477-61a23ca27371@q35g2000vbi.googlegroups.com>

I got sent this update, to share this news:

"The Supplemental Educational Services (SES) list is now out for each
state. SES is tax-payer paid free tutoring program paying the service
providers between $30-$80 per hours per student in public education.
The "tutors" do not have to be credentialled.  This is one of Bush's
faith-based programs for public education and it is still active.

"There used to be 12-15 states that included Applied Scholastics in
its lists (going back to 2003) but now there are only 8 states:
California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas and
Washington. According to the data that I have, Florida, Georgia, New
Jersey and Ohio have all dropped Applied Scholastics from their
approved provider lists for 2009-2010.  I have asked people to double-
check Florida.

"Currently, the three California human trafficking cases against SCN
are going through the federal court system and looks like they will
prevail against SCN.  We do not know the impact against A.B.L.E. or
any of its components (such as AS) if the plaintiffs are successful in
these law-suits.  I am surmising that there will be more lawsuits, if
even one of these three are successful, and that people who used to be
employed by A.B.L.E. and even A.S. may file similar labor lawsuits in
California and other states.

"Obviously, public education does not want to be associated with any
organization that has been convicted in civil or criminal courts of
having anything to do with "human trafficking."  "

And here's some more Chuck posted as a followup:

Quote
Here is the full info given to me to post:

      This is a posting concerning Scientology’s Applied Scholastics
(AS) in terms of its being part of the tax-payer paid Supplemental
Educational Services (SES) tutoring services for public and charter
schools, under Title 1, Part A, of No Child Left Behind (NCLB).  The
tutors earn between $20 to $80 per hour per student and do not have to
be credentialed teachers. This is a program designed to include faith-
based groups and so any First Amendment or Wall of Separation argument
will not be heard even though there is a commitment that there be no
proselytizing during the tutoring process.

      The concern is a “heads up” for any public education
administrators supervising AS and then ease of transition to less
controversial tutoring programs for any students who have been
enrolled in AS, if the legal issues besetting Scientology comes to
affect the AS program. †

      At this time, the SES federal and state administrations have
been depending on parent complaints (or lack of utilization) in order
to justify more intense oversight or to remove a program from any
state or district listing. However, almost all parents who become
concerned about Applied Scholastics and its connection with
Scientology Study Tech simply withdraw their children and do not file
a complaint.  (There is nothing on any of the current applications
about Applied Scholastics connection to Scientology or to the Hubbard
principles of Study Tech.)  And the administrators of the SES programs
in the affected states think that they, by regulation, cannot provide
more intense over-sight or any other supervisory consequences without
the said complaints from the parents.

     This may be changing because of the three federal California
human trafficking law-suits in Los Angeles. While none of these cases
directly address Applied Scholastics, or its umbrella organization
Association for Better Living and Education (A.B.L.E.), it is
anticipated that there will other human trafficking labor violation
cases in other states against the Church of Scientology and the Church
of Scientology International from ex-Scientologists who have been
employed in A.B.L.E. and, even, Applied Scholastics, alleging similar
practices that are being adjudicated in the three federal court
cases.

     Anons, please contact (politely and professionally) the
Supplemental Education Services administrators in the state department
of education of each of the listed states and bring to their attention
the three California human trafficking labor code lawsuits filed
against the Church of Scientology legal entities.  Almost all state
education administrators have no idea that any type of legal suits are
being conducted against any of the legal entities subsumed under the
Church of Scientology.

      The 8 states are:  California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas,
Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

      AS is no longer an approved SES provider in:
Arizona (was in 2005 but is no longer), Florida, Georgia, New Jersey
and Ohio as of 2009.  Someone could double-check Florida if they wish.

     Please contact your local school district within the approved
provider states and see if Applied Scholastics is offered to the
students.  If so, please have a polite and professional discussion
with the district SES administrator about any concerns around the
tutoring components of Applied Scholastics plus the California
Scientology human trafficking law-suits.  Remember, the administrators
are the good guys. They are bound by the tenets, laws, rules and
regulations of their profession and Title 1, SES, and will probably
only say that they will research the matter.  IF and when any human
trafficking law-suits are filed against A.B.L.E. and/or Applied
Scholastics, they probably will be able to do more but again they have
to do so under the limits of the regulations surrounding the SES
programs.

     You may also contact the House Committee on Education and Labor
Committee, chaired by Representative George Miller, D-California,
1.202.225.2095 and http://georgemiller.house.gov/contactus/and

the U. S. Senate  Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions,
chaired by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, D-MA, ex-officio;
help_comments@help.senate.gov and the education sub-committee, chaired
by Christopher Dodd, D-CT, 202.224.2823.

     The three California human trafficking labor code law-suits
wending their way through the federal court system in Los Angeles
are:


Claire Headley v. Church of Scientology
http://www.scribd.com/full/14464561?access_key=key-1fsp0mqjsb4aiy9a95ss
Summary: A suit from an ex Scientologist alleging, among other labor
charges, abuse, human trafficking, forced abortions, and fraud while
in the Sea Organization.

Status: In Federal Court


Marc Headley v. Church of Scientology
http://www.scribd.com/full/12565013?access_key=key-1bdwxztds5mz3ryw8oei
Summary: A suit from an ex Scientologist alleging, among other labor
charges, inhumane working conditions, labor violations, and an
illegally refusing to pay workers minimum wage as required by law.

Status: In Federal Court


Laura DeCrescenzo v Church of Scientology International
http://www.scribd.com/doc/15348562/1st-Amended-COMPLAINT-Laura-A
Summary: A suit from an ex Scientologist alleging, among other labor
charges,  abuse, first amendment violations, and child labor
violations.

Status: In Federal Court


AS on the 2009-2010 SES approved provider list, by state

1. California


California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 4309
Sacramento, CA  95814
Tel:  (916) 319-0854
E-mail: SES@cde.ca.gov
State SES Website: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ti/supplemental.asp
and http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ti/fnl09provlist.asp

2. Colorado

Vernita Mickens
?Principal Consultant
Colorado Department of Education
201 East Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO  80203
Tel:  (303) 866-6675
? e-mail:
mickens_v@cde.state.co.us

State SES Website: http://www.cde.state.co.us/fedprograms/improvement/SuppServices.asp
http://www.cde.state.co.us/fedprograms/improvement/download/Supplemental%20Services%20Providers%202009-2010.pdf


3. Florida

Not listed this year but was listed in the past.

Please contact to see if the “not listed” is an oversight:

Lisa Bacen
Bureau of Public School Options
Florida Department of Education
325 West Gaines Street, Suite 316
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Tel:  (850) 245-0479
E-mail: Lisa.Bacen@fldoe.org
State SES Website: http://www.fldoe.org/flbpso/nclbchoice/ses/ses.asp

4. Illinois

Gary Greene
Illinois State Board of Education
100 W. Randolph Street, 14-300
Chicago, IL† 60601
Tel:† (312) 814-5818
E-mail:†ggreene@isbe.net
State SES Website: http://www.isbe.net/ses/default.htm and
http://www.isbe.net/ses/html/service_providers.htm

5. Kansas

Diane DeBacker
Deputy Commissioner, Learning & Innovative SErvices
Kansas State Department of Education
120 SE Tenth Avenue
Topeka, KS  66612
Tel:  (785) 296-2303
E-mail: ddebacker@ksde.org

State SES Website: http://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=3479#ses

6. Missouri

Mary C. Pearce
SES Contact
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
PO Box 480
Jefferson City, MO  65102
Tel:  (573) 526-4472
E-mail: Mary.Pearce@dese.mo.gov
State SES Website: http://dese.mo.gov/divimprove/fedprog/grantmgmnt/Supplemental_Services/documents/SESProviderList2009.pdf

Tennessee

Julie McCargar or Carol Groppel
Tennessee Department of Education
710 James Robertson Parkway
5th Floor, Andrew Johnson Tower
Nashville, TN  37243
Tel:  (615) 532-6245
E-mail:  Julie.McCargar@state.tn.us or Carol.Groppel@state.tn.us
State SES Website: http://www.tennessee.gov/education/fedprog/doc/SES_Prov_List.pdf
http://www.state.tn.us/education/fedprog/doc/fptennesseessp.pdfApplied
Scholastics

8. Texas

Anita Villarreal
Director, School Improvement Program
Texas Education Agency
5701 Springdale Road
Austin, TX  78723
Tel:  (512) 919-5313
E-mail: anita.villarreal@tea.state.tx.us

State SES Website:
http://www5.esc13.net/ses/Approved_Provider_Applications_09_10.html

FOR TX 2007-2008 SES Provider List---- Applied Scholastics

http://www5.esc13.net/ses/docs/07-08%20Approved%20Providers/Applied%20Scholastics_Amend_%209-07.pdf

9. Washington

Gayle Pauley
Director of Title I and Title V
PO Box 47200
Olympia, WA  98504-7200
Tel:  (360) 725-6100
E-mail: gpauley@ospi.wednet.edu
State SES Website: http://www.k12.wa.us/TitleI/SupplementalServices.aspx
and
www5.esc13.net/ses/ Approved%20Provider%20Applications%2007-08.html -
47k –

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Offline mefree

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Raven

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Re: Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2009, 09:58 »
Applied is a violation of the separation of Church and State. Tax money should not be handed out to religious groups in!

Offline mefree

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Re: Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2009, 10:03 »
GA dropped them. Hopefully, other states will follow suit. Many have.
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
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Raven

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Re: Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2009, 02:30 »

Offline mefree

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Re: Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2009, 14:14 »
Quote
I think this says they are still approved: http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocument.aspx/SESDirectory.PDF?p=6CC6799F8C1371F64A3509F95141DE93BD252311FCB1CCC38548089823717E71&Type=D
This may be an older list?

I'm just going by the information that they are off the list for 2009-2010 posted above:

Quote
There used to be 12-15 states that included Applied Scholastics in its lists (going back to 2003) but now there are only 8 states:
California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. According to the data that I have, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey and Ohio have all dropped Applied Scholastics from their approved provider lists for 2009-2010.

I found link to new list:
http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocument.aspx/SESDirectory.PDF?p=6CC6799F8C1371F616984CCA2BA3F09698B3792D3B3CCD1C141BC0A54AA5DD59&Type=D
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 23:25 by mefree »
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
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Offline ethercat

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Re: Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2009, 23:22 »
I found link to new list:
http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocument.aspx/SESDirectory.PDF?p=6CC6799F8C1371F616984CCA2BA3F09698B3792D3B3CCD1C141BC0A54AA5DD59&Type=D

Sure enough, they're not on the list.  Anyone who participated in the letter writing campaign can take a bow - well done.

Considering how scientology is with names of the front groups, though, I guess someone will have to go through the list and look up all the approved tutors and make sure they didn't just change the name to something else (like they're doing with narconon all the time).
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Offline wynot

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Re: Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2009, 08:41 »
I noticed the old listing indicated that AS had only 20 students, and were charging the state $30 per student-hour, or $90 per week per student. Since so much of that money would have to go uplines to DM's pocket, my guess is the local cultie (Dr.? Mary Duda) running the operation wasn't making huge profits off it anyway. But I am happy that now they (apparently) are getting none of our tax dollars.

What do you bet that the kids were mostly children of her fellow cultists? It is a marvel how Scientology finds so many ways to suck the bucks out their members!

'til later;
wynot
"When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before."

Jacob Riis

Raven

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Re: Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2009, 17:15 »
We will have to see if they reincorporate. There current info is here:  http://corp.sos.state.ga.us/corp/soskb/Corp.asp?1522327

Offline ethercat

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Re: Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2009, 22:25 »
Almost 15 years old, but since we know scientology doesn't change its ways unless it's forced to, I believe this is still valid information: Applied Scholastics: A testimony from inside

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Offline mefree

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Re: Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2009, 22:42 »
Quote
My experience with Scientology was mostly through one of their Applied Scholastics schools. I was looking for something other than the public school system and found an Applied Scholastics school that claimed to be non-denominational, a sane environment, and an individual self-paced academic program for the student. I was told that it was based on the breakthrough study technology of the great "educator" L. Ron Hubbard. I didn't really know anything about LRH being the founder of Scientology at the time, and once I found out, I didn't know anything about Scientology anyway except for the fact that John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Tom Cruise and other "successful" Hollywood actors were members.

Great educator? Don't remember reading about him in any history books over the years.....
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Offline mefree

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The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
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Offline Lorelei

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Re: Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2010, 23:48 »
What "great" educator drops out of college after consistently crappy performance and low grades?
"Once the foundation of a revolution has been laid down, it is almost always
in the next generation that the revolution is accomplished." -- Jean d'Alembert

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Offline AnonLover

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Re: Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2010, 23:51 »
oh hai!

I thought i should stop by with more details on the latest info gathering & dissemination on this fine effort Atlfags started. 

When hivemind caught wind of recent additions to the list of states where ASI has gotten itself approved as a SES Provider, i picked up where OP left over & did a round of research, re-verification of SES approved status ALL states and territories, and commenced to spew some major dox for better harpoon leverage for support.

Thus we have UPDATED INFOS nao available for better poons!

Near Final Info Pack: AppliedScholasticsExposed2.pdf
  • still needs copypasta placeholder text in opening sections revamped into a trageted intro,
  • Feedback, suggestions & grammar nazi edits = DO WANT!

Wiki page expanded: tl;dr Highlights of Key Info from ^^Info Pack

Shoutout to any of the folks on these fine forums who researched this stuff initially last fall, your feedback on the draft info pack and/or wiki page would be most welcome & very much appreciated!

ALSO wanted - input from any of the letter writers who previously harpooned Georgia or Florida education officials where the ASI SES approval was kick to the curb for 2009-10 school year. Anyone happen to get followup scoop on the reason why either of these two states rejected AS services? If so please feel free to slide it to me confidentially if you prefer... either by pm or go post it anonymously on the related wwwp noted in previous post.

TIA for any and halp those who have tread this path before can lend to improve are harpoon fodder and spreading these latest infos all around for the greater good.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 02:21 by AnonLover »

Offline Lorelei

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Re: Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2010, 00:56 »
Fantastic, AnonLover!
"Once the foundation of a revolution has been laid down, it is almost always
in the next generation that the revolution is accomplished." -- Jean d'Alembert

The Human Wiki.
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Offline SocialTransparency

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Re: Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2010, 08:46 »
oh hai!

I thought i should stop by with more details on the latest info gathering & dissemination on this fine effort Atlfags started. 

When hivemind caught wind of recent additions to the list of states where ASI has gotten itself approved as a SES Provider, i picked up where OP left over & did a round of research, re-verification of SES approved status ALL states and territories, and commenced to spew some major dox for better harpoon leverage for support.

Thus we have UPDATED INFOS nao available for better poons!

Near Final Info Pack: AppliedScholasticsExposed2.pdf
  • still needs copypasta placeholder text in opening sections revamped into a trageted intro,
  • Feedback, suggestions & grammar nazi edits = DO WANT!

Wiki page expanded: tl;dr Highlights of Key Info from ^^Info Pack

Shoutout to any of the folks on these fine forums who researched this stuff initially last fall, your feedback on the draft info pack and/or wiki page would be most welcome & very much appreciated!

ALSO wanted - input from any of the letter writers who previously harpooned Georgia or Florida education officials where the ASI SES approval was kick to the curb for 2009-10 school year. Anyone happen to get followup scoop on the reason why either of these two states rejected AS services? If so please feel free to slide it to me confidentially if you prefer... either by pm or go post it anonymously on the related wwwp noted in previous post.

TIA for any and halp those who have tread this path before can lend to improve are harpoon fodder and spreading these latest infos all around for the greater good.

 Nice stuff with valve added information. The only AS program that I personally was aware of, was in the Cobb County Georgia school system. The program was funded by a rather small state/federal grant. I mean really small grant to one individual operating out of their personal home.

 This was in 2008. The AS program was only used in one school to my knowledge. That school was poorly rated performance wise. The AS program was utilized for a few 'At risk" or poorly preforming students.

  http://www.au.org/media/church-and-state/archives/2009/04/ga-officials-investigate.html

  http://www.rickross.com/reference/scientology/studytech/studytech28.html

 To my knowledge, they are not in operation @ this time within the state. Funny thing about AS and many of the other front groups the media covers. The media never seems to report that the C of S gets a financial bump from the use of these LRH materials.


« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 08:58 by SocialTransparency »

Offline mefree

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Re: Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2010, 09:08 »
Quote
Funny thing about AS and many of the other front groups the media covers. The media never seems to report that the C of S gets a financial bump from the use of these LRH materials.

Well to be fair, there was this article:
http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,25.0.html
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
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Offline SocialTransparency

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Re: Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2010, 10:12 »
Quote
Funny thing about AS and many of the other front groups the media covers. The media never seems to report that the C of S gets a financial bump from the use of these LRH materials.

Well to be fair, there was this article:
http://forum.reachingforthetippingpoint.net/index.php/topic,25.0.html

 Oops. Missed that one.Thank you for pointing it out. Could a mod make that article a little more reader friendly? It has some very good information.

Offline mefree

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Re: Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2010, 10:26 »
Controversial church linked to tutors on state list
By Cameron McWhirter, Heather Vogell
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Sunday, March 01, 2009

A tutoring agency in Cobb County with ties to the Church of Scientology has drawn critics along with federal dollars.

Applied Scholastics pledges to offer only secular lessons. But critics who lodged four complaints last year against the nonprofit —- which uses Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings —- wrote they feared it wouldn’t keep ideology out of the classroom.

State education officials began an annual inspection in February and will observe the group’s tutoring this month. The review will include making sure Applied Scholastics’ policies and teachings are geared toward secular instruction, officials said.

Private agencies apply to the state Board of Education for a spot on the list of tutors parents can pick from to get extra help for children at certain schools that failed to meet federal academic standards. Georgia’s Department of Education monitors approved tutors while the federal government foots the bill.

Scientology is a religion that counts among its members such Hollywood celebrities as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

Applied Scholastics has caused controversy in recent years in U.S. cities as well as in other countries. In April, for instance, a Boston pilot program for a charter school had its foundation grant questioned after a newspaper reported the school was adopting Applied Scholastics.

Supporters argue the program is nonreligious and has helped students overcome learning problems. Opponents argue it’s a veiled way for Scientology —- which some opponents charge is a cult —- to bring its ideas to children and their parents.

Applied Scholastics uses Hubbard’s “study technology,” described on the group’s Web site as “a system of learning how to learn.” Hubbard argued that a tutor needs to work closely with students to overcome barriers to learning by breaking down complex ideas.

Critics argue that Hubbard’s framework and terminology used in StudyTech mimic the practices of Scientology. People joining Scientology are assigned an “auditor” who helps them break down barriers.

A spokeswoman for St. Louis-based Applied Scholastics said the tutor does not teach Scientology, but does use Hubbard’s educational practices.

“Our organization is not a religious organization,” said Keri Lee. “There is no connection to any church. We use Mr. Hubbard’s teachings. And we are really grateful for them.”

Four of the 123 other state-approved tutors say they are faith-based. None has received complaints, state officials said.

The Georgia Board of Education approved Applied Scholastics in 2006 for a three-year license —- which is up for renewal in September —- to tutor children in grades one through eight in reading and math. The group currently tutors 17 students in Cobb County, state officials said.

The four e-mailed complaints last year alleged Applied Scholastics is a front for Scientology, though none came from a tutored student’s parent. Two of the writers identified themselves as Georgia residents; a third said she was a former Applied Scholastics student.

Mona Manus, who learned about the group while surfing the Web, filed a complaint in April.

State officials said that as long as Applied Scholastics follows state and federal rules, it can remain on the approved tutor list.

“The law was designed to give parents the option and allow them to do the research,” said Dana Tofig, state education spokesman.

Applied Scholastics received $11,300 in federal money for the past two school years, a Cobb district spokesman said.

In its application, Applied Scholastics cited Hubbard’s work as the basis for its approach. State examiners gave the application acceptable marks overall, but they raised questions about the group’s effort to remain non-ideological.

But in its spring 2007 review, Applied Scholastics met or exceeded all state requirements, documents show, including neutrality. State tutor program monitor Lou Ferretti said that during that site visit he saw students sitting at a table at a Cobb library working.

Cruise was a speaker at the opening of the Applied Scholastics world headquarters in 2003. The Scientology magazine Freedom reported he told the crowd that he was trying to learn how to fly for the 1986 movie “Top Gun,” but he had trouble understanding the manuals. He said he had been “diagnosed with a false label, dyslexia.”

“Shortly after that I discovered ‘the Study Technology,’ ” he said, adding that he later learned to fly.

CHECK OUR SOURCES
Georgia Board of Education
www.doe.k12.ga.us/pea_board.aspx?PageReq=PEABoardMembers
Official Applied Scholastics Web site
www.appliedscholastics.org
Critic of Applied Scholastics
www.studytech.org         

found at http://www.ajc.com/services/content/printedition/2009/03/01/tutors0301.html
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
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Offline SocialTransparency

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Re: Applied Scholastics is losing ground
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2010, 10:48 »
Controversial church linked to tutors on state list
By Cameron McWhirter, Heather Vogell
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Sunday, March 01, 2009

A tutoring agency in Cobb County with ties to the Church of Scientology has drawn critics along with federal dollars.

Applied Scholastics pledges to offer only secular lessons. But critics who lodged four complaints last year against the nonprofit —- which uses Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings —- wrote they feared it wouldn’t keep ideology out of the classroom.

State education officials began an annual inspection in February and will observe the group’s tutoring this month. The review will include making sure Applied Scholastics’ policies and teachings are geared toward secular instruction, officials said.

Private agencies apply to the state Board of Education for a spot on the list of tutors parents can pick from to get extra help for children at certain schools that failed to meet federal academic standards. Georgia’s Department of Education monitors approved tutors while the federal government foots the bill.

Scientology is a religion that counts among its members such Hollywood celebrities as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

Applied Scholastics has caused controversy in recent years in U.S. cities as well as in other countries. In April, for instance, a Boston pilot program for a charter school had its foundation grant questioned after a newspaper reported the school was adopting Applied Scholastics.

Supporters argue the program is nonreligious and has helped students overcome learning problems. Opponents argue it’s a veiled way for Scientology —- which some opponents charge is a cult —- to bring its ideas to children and their parents.

Applied Scholastics uses Hubbard’s “study technology,” described on the group’s Web site as “a system of learning how to learn.” Hubbard argued that a tutor needs to work closely with students to overcome barriers to learning by breaking down complex ideas.

Critics argue that Hubbard’s framework and terminology used in StudyTech mimic the practices of Scientology. People joining Scientology are assigned an “auditor” who helps them break down barriers.

A spokeswoman for St. Louis-based Applied Scholastics said the tutor does not teach Scientology, but does use Hubbard’s educational practices.

“Our organization is not a religious organization,” said Keri Lee. “There is no connection to any church. We use Mr. Hubbard’s teachings. And we are really grateful for them.”

Four of the 123 other state-approved tutors say they are faith-based. None has received complaints, state officials said.

The Georgia Board of Education approved Applied Scholastics in 2006 for a three-year license —- which is up for renewal in September —- to tutor children in grades one through eight in reading and math. The group currently tutors 17 students in Cobb County, state officials said.

The four e-mailed complaints last year alleged Applied Scholastics is a front for Scientology, though none came from a tutored student’s parent. Two of the writers identified themselves as Georgia residents; a third said she was a former Applied Scholastics student.

Mona Manus, who learned about the group while surfing the Web, filed a complaint in April.

State officials said that as long as Applied Scholastics follows state and federal rules, it can remain on the approved tutor list.

“The law was designed to give parents the option and allow them to do the research,” said Dana Tofig, state education spokesman.

Applied Scholastics received $11,300 in federal money for the past two school years, a Cobb district spokesman said.

In its application, Applied Scholastics cited Hubbard’s work as the basis for its approach. State examiners gave the application acceptable marks overall, but they raised questions about the group’s effort to remain non-ideological.

But in its spring 2007 review, Applied Scholastics met or exceeded all state requirements, documents show, including neutrality. State tutor program monitor Lou Ferretti said that during that site visit he saw students sitting at a table at a Cobb library working.

Cruise was a speaker at the opening of the Applied Scholastics world headquarters in 2003. The Scientology magazine Freedom reported he told the crowd that he was trying to learn how to fly for the 1986 movie “Top Gun,” but he had trouble understanding the manuals. He said he had been “diagnosed with a false label, dyslexia.”

“Shortly after that I discovered ‘the Study Technology,’ ” he said, adding that he later learned to fly.

CHECK OUR SOURCES
Georgia Board of Education
www.doe.k12.ga.us/pea_board.aspx?PageReq=PEABoardMembers
Official Applied Scholastics Web site
www.appliedscholastics.org
Critic of Applied Scholastics
www.studytech.org         

found at http://www.ajc.com/services/content/printedition/2009/03/01/tutors0301.html

 Ahhhh.