Can High-Impact Tutoring be Sustainable over the Long-term?

National Student Support Accelerator

Yes! We have much work to do to ensure high-impact tutoring is embedded in schools for all students for the long term, but we see places where it is happening. Here are three examples of high-impact tutoring programs that have been serving students for over a decade before the pandemic and continue to grow.

Reading Corps started in 2003 and currently reaches 35,000 students age 3 to grade 3 with a daily, in-school literacy tutoring program. 

Reading Corps started in Minnesota as a partnership with ServeMinnesota, state policy leaders, and local education experts to train and coach Americorps members to be literacy tutors at partner schools in response to poor literacy rates  in the state. The model is now replicated in 14 states (and the District of Columbia) across the country and scaling in multiple communities to meet local and statewide demand.

Multiple randomized control trials of Reading Corps’ program show significant impact on student learning. Students of all backgrounds make sizable improvements in their reading skills, averaging from a half a year to a full year of additional literacy growth.

The program’s model provides schools with AmeriCorps members who deliver daily data-informed tutoring within school hours. These tutors are trained and coached by Reading Corps staff – and supported by educators in schools – to ensure the program is delivered with fidelity, integrated into existing school efforts and fosters strong student-tutor relationships.  

In 20 years, the Reading Corps program grew from serving a couple hundred students in a rural Minnesota school district to serving tens of thousands of students across the country, in urban, suburban, and rural communities.  Reading Corps is structured to be scalable wherever there is student need and a caring adult who wants to give back to their community, leveraging the potential of community-based AmeriCorps and high-impact tutoring.   

FEV Tutor, founded in 2010, is serving approximately 150,000 students this school year through various online, high-impact tutoring programs provided in partnership with districts across the country. FEV started as an on-demand tutoring service, but realized that structured tutoring during the school day that aligns to a student's core classroom experience was more effective at improving student achievement. 

FEV partners with districts to design a tutoring program that integrates with existing school goals, schedules and curriculum. Using consistent, trained and coached virtual tutors and student data from the district, FEV provides individualized instruction through a chat-based platform two - four times per week for 30 - 60 minutes to meet each student’s needs.

Great Oaks Legacy Charter School started in Newark, NJ in 2011 and expanded to three other urban charter schools in New York, Connecticut and Delaware. This school-developed model provides daily, in-school tutoring for students provided by AmeriCorps members, who are called Fellows. Tutoring and mentoring at Great Oaks (GO) schools is baked into the school program’s design with Fellows on campus throughout the day, working collaboratively with teachers to ensure alignment with classroom work. At the Great Oaks Legacy School in Newark more than 80% of graduates matriculate into college, with 73% persisting—rates that far outpace Newark public schools where students don’t have the benefit of high-dosage tutoring. High-potential Fellows participate in a Teacher Residency program run in collaboration with the Relay and NYU graduate schools of education thus contributing to an expanded teacher pipeline. Recently, Great Oaks partnered with a number of existing charter schools to build their tutoring model (the GO Foundation Fellowship) into these charter school’s existing education programs. The goal of these new partnerships is to provide more than 3,000 students with high-dosage tutoring and mentoring in these additional schools across the northeast in the next year.

These examples demonstrate that high-impact tutoring can successfully be integrated into schools for the long-term.

See the Accelerator’s Funding Tutoring Programs and District Playbook to learn more about sustainable funding for tutoring programs.