NICE TO MEET YOU
In remodeling our website, the media/advertising people asked me to define the Top Score mission, culture, adjective matrices, the necessary brand and soul searching that comes with our (modest) growth. One email assignment was simply titled,"What is the Top Score Difference?" In the end I trashed the worksheets and told the story of our work and why we do what we do.
I started Top Score Education in 2005 because
I imagined doing education better.
Fueled by cheap espresso, hubris and a love for patterns, I spent months autopsying SAT and ACT exams. I wrote my first workbook, 121 pages of cruel and unusual punishment called, "Question the Answers."
My premise was that both school curriculum proficiency and test prep tricks failed to achieve standardized test success. True mastery came from understanding the questions that circle around and around across subjects, year after year. I asked students to systematically perceive, analyze, synthesize and act. With adept personalization and precise practice, students transformed their attitudes and cognitive processes to understand at a deeper level the exam before them.
To me, without dynamic human
connection and diligent brain training,
tutoring is an expensive band-aid.
As the Top Score ethos evolves, my faith in deep learning bleeds into every program's purpose to powerfully educate. Organization, focus, and attitude are at the core of education, but on the periphery of school curricula. Every Top Score curricula rest on these vital mindsets and skills that underpin all learning and this lifelong practice starts at the top. Precision is my particular obsession - I'm a fiend for Excel spreadsheets and bullet points. If we aren’t clear and meticulous, how can we expect our students to follow? I am so humbled by students across decades rising to the expectations of an invested tutor.
We demand intensely our student's precious attention, time and much more special, their trust. To honor this relational imperative, we remain small, exclusively hiring career educators who expertly make personalization not a goal, but a mandate. We are advocates of our students, friends of our families and guides in an education landscape that can range from opaque to hostile.
We hope that you join our learning journey, as a curious youth with Scout, a test taker with Top Score, or a bold adult with Aleph. I am a writer, a book worm, a traveler, a math geek, a sports nut, a husband, a father, and all of it flows through the arteries of this company.
I only hire whole-brained, big-hearted human teachers who ooze their own passion and would never call this a job. I am confident you will feel this in your very first lesson.
I suppose that is the Top Score Difference.
Alex Chip, Top Score Founder