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Academic Success Gazette 
In This Issue:
As AP Tests Grow in Popularity, Questions Arise About Their Purpose
Teachers Rated on the Internet - Good Information or Biased Mischief?
Study Tip -Start the New Year With a New Filing System
Monthly Coach Profile
Quick Links
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How Academic Success Can Support You
At Academic Success we take great pride in finding the right coach to support the unique needs of each student we help.  Please check out the areas where we work on our web site and let us know how we can support you.

Academic Success Partner of the Month


One of our best colleagues in the field is Pattie Earlix, educational therapist.  Pattie works with students, teachers, schools, other professionals and parents to provide strategies that help each learner make the most informed and thoughtful choices based on their individual academic, social and family needs. The needs may be in written language, reading, math or organizational-executive functioning skills.  One aspect of her practice she really enjoys is helping families to find the "right fit" when considering making a change in their child's school setting.  Over the years, she has seen what a difference a good fit with the student's learning profile and the school's teaching style can make in a student's life and the choices they make in the future!  Pattie's years of experience as a parent, public and private school teacher, school administrator, coordinator of school programs, learning specialist for both gifted and special needs programs, and educational consultant for helping families find the correct fit for school placement has provided a wealth of opportunity for doing what she loves best- working with students and their families to make a difference in the quality their lives!  To learn more, contact Pattie at [email protected] or call her at 310-488-7888.

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Check Out 826LA
Academic Success' favorite
826LA, offers writing workshops in local public schools and free after-school tutoring in its Venice and Echo Park facilities.  To see how this dynamic organization is making a real difference in our community, check out their blog or go to one of their free events.

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Looking for a College Counselor or Ed Therapist?
We  partner with excellent Educational Therapists and College Counselors throughout the L.A. area.  Give us a call and we can recommend the right fit for your child.
for a Student Community Service Opportunity?
Surfrider is a responsible and passionate organization dedicated to environmental education, clean-up, and progress. Read about the West L.A.Chapter's Teach & Test program at Santa Monica High, which empowers students, using lab equipment to test the water in Santa Monica Bay for contaminants.  Surfrider then studies and posts the results, and educates the community about the possibility of changing the effectiveness of water treatment facilities.

Finding the Right Coach with
Academic Success

With our team of coaches, there is one perfect fit for every student who needs support.  Check out our web site or call us to learn more about our coaching team.

Happy New Year everyone! Not only are we beginning a new year, this January signals the start of an entirely new decade. For many of us, it feels like the right time to reassess our lives and set new goals for ourselves.

For students, now is the perfect time to review the results of the first half of the year and establish a new plan for tackling the second half with even greater organization, effectiveness, and motivation.

Our study tip will help out with the organizational piece, but don't forget to make an actual list of goals as well. Take ownership of this school year by choosing your grades now, and then follow that clear direction!

Let Academic Success assist you with that process by calling us at (310) 823-4398.


Jamie and Eric

Education News

As AP Tests Grow in Popularity, Questions Arise About Their Purpose
826 logoA debate over the future of the AP test is beginning to heat up among education professionals.  The number of students taking APs has increased by over 50% in the past five years, but should all those students be taking the classes?  Should schools be judged by how many APs they offer or how many students get a score of 3 or better on the test? Should colleges weight AP classes more heavily when judging transcripts? 

The New York Times sponsored an on-line debate looking at some of these issues. Some of the interesting observations from this debate include:
  • Many high schools use the number of AP classes offered as a marketing tool to attract applicants and improve their educational reputation.
  • Many public school districts are seeing tremendous value in a test that used to only exist in elite private schools.   Public schools across the country are starting AP prep academies to encourage disadvantaged students to take advantage of the AP opportunity.
  • There is not much of a correlation between AP scores and college grades on the same subject matter.  Students who took an AP science class and then took that same class in college did only slightly better than students who did not take the AP class in high school.
  • Whereas AP classes were once reserved for the most elite students, now APs are basically mandatory for anyone applying to a competitive college.
The comparisons between AP classes and college level classes might be inconclusive; however the demand for high school students to participate in them is still overwhelming.

Teachers Rated on the Internet - Good Information or Biased Mischief?

New web sites are starting to pop up that allow students to give their teachers ratings and post their opinions about their teacher on line.  Sites like are becoming popular among students and very controversial among academics. 

For students, these anonymous submissions can offer some very useful insights including how much homework the teacher assigns, the class difficulty, and how cogent the lectures are.  However, for students with an axe to grind, these sites can be just the place to grind it without accountability. Many schools fear that teachers who are demanding can be unfairly rated, and that any student can organize a group to dramatically reduce a teachers ratings.  Furthermore, some of the comments about a teacher can be unduly harsh and cause real pain to both the teacher and the reputation of the school.
These types of internet ratings sites are here to stay and will only become more popular over time.  However, like any anonymous source information on the net, students, teachers and schools need to be wary of giving these ratings too much credence.

Study Tips

Study Tip -  Start the New Year With a New Filing System


Is your backpack feeling heavy? Is each binder bursting at the seams with notes and handouts? The beginning of a new year is a great time to create or re-establish your at-home filing system. Most of your notes and handouts will not be needed again, or only at finals time. Relieve your backpack of "dead weight" by keeping all the important items at home, dated and filed away for future reference. Your at-home file will be very useful in creating your own study guides for tests and reviewing concepts that were particularly challenging from the first semester. The most immediate benefit of your filing system will be a lighter bag to carry to school!


Coach Profile

Meet Daniel Smith
Coach Profile of the Month

Daniel SmithDaniel Smith is one of those people who brims over with energy and purpose.  One of Daniel's profound accomplishments is his work with other student leaders to begin One Heart Source, a non-profit orphanage in Tanzania. This orphanage in Tanzania, a country that has been decimated by AIDS, now cares for 30 children and has 63 undergraduate volunteers from four universities who spend time travelling to Africa and working there. 

A very busy fellow, Daniel is applying for Medical School, working at the UCLA Emergency Room as an Emergency Trauma Technician, playing with a high energy drumming company called The Procrastinators, and is training for an Iron Man Triathlon. Some may wonder when he has time to work as a coach for Academic Success. Lucky for us, Daniel does find the time and he is a sensitive and effective coach.  Whether helping students with their advanced math and sciences or working on their overall organization, Daniel is as calm a coach as he is energized outside of the teaching environment.  Although we will lose Daniel to Medical School in the fall of 2010, we feel very privileged to currently count him as a member of our staff.


We consider it a privilege and an honor to support students and their families throughout the Los Angeles area.  Please call us at any time; we welcome your thoughts and input.  We are available at 310-823-4398.
Jamie Altshule & Eric Altshule
Academic Success, Inc.