Scaling-Up High-Dosage Tutoring Is Crucial to Students’ Academic Success

Center for American Progress

High-dosage tutoring, sometimes called “high-impact” or “high-intensity” tutoring, is one of the few school-based interventions with demonstrated significant positive effects on math and reading achievement. Yet high-dosage tutoring is a very specific form of tutoring that must meet specific criteria:

  • One-on-one or small-group sessions with no more than four students per tutor
  • Use of high-quality materials that align with classroom content
  • Three tutoring sessions per week—at minimum—each lasting at least 30 minutes
  • Sessions held during school hours
  • Students meeting with the same tutor each session
  • Professionally trained tutors who receive ongoing support and coaching

High-dosage tutoring is most effective when the program supports data use and when tutors use ongoing informal assessment to tailor individual student instruction. As a bonus, these sessions can allow educators more opportunities to measure student achievement through informal assessments, potentially providing new holistic accountability measures.

Studies continuously show the benefits of high-dosage tutoring: It increases students’ learning by an additional three to 15 months across grade levels; moves an average student from the 50th percentile to the 66th percentile; and is, overall, 20 times more effective than standard tutoring models for math and 15 times more effective for reading. These increases in achievement show great potential for using high-dosage tutoring as a school improvement strategy. As schools continue to focus on long-term improvement of their education, implementing a high-dosage tutoring program can provide them with the tools necessary to ensure students’ academic achievement by catching knowledge gaps early, meeting students where they are, and providing evidence-based intensive recovery. Indeed, implementing these programs with fidelity allows schools to recover current learning loss while also gaining the long-term knowledge and skill to scale programming as needed moving forward.


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