In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, tutoring has increasingly become a popular tool for learning recovery. By the end of the 2021-22 school year, 23 states (including the District of Columbia) initiated or passed legislation mandating or encouraging tutoring initiatives, and federal pandemic relief funds were made available for school districts to spend directly on tutoring programs. This is all for good reason: over 100 randomized controlled trials show that high-impact tutoring is one of the most effective ways to accelerate student learning.
Substantial new federal funds, such as those from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), are allowing districts to provide students with services such as tutoring that were not financially feasible in the past.
Are these new programs cost-effective enough to merit allocating other funds to sustain them, such as Title I and Title IV funding, after ARPA funding runs out in 2024?
Many education leaders are turning to high-impact tutoring to accelerate student learning and compensate for interrupted instruction due to COVID-19. As federal, state, and local tutoring policies and practices develop, understanding the key barriers and challenges that have the potential to limit program reach and hinder efficacy and then developing targeted approaches to overcoming these barriers can improve the likelihood of success and the ultimate benefits for students.
As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic and schools reopen their doors to in-person learning, we are faced with the challenge of reengaging students — many of whom have been chronically absent from school and have experienced severe social stresses. With students having faced an extraordinary range of experiences during the past year, a “business as usual” approach is unlikely to rebuild students’ well-being and accelerate their learning. Schools need new approaches, targeted to students’ needs.
High-Impact Tutoring: An Equitable, Proven Approach to Addressing Pandemic Learning Loss and Accelerating Learning
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted schooling across the country, leading to substantial learning loss for students, especially for students living in poverty and from communities of color. In fact, 70% of parents are worried that reduction in learning during the pandemic will have a lasting effect, with 68% concerned about their child staying on track in school.