Schools Are Desperate for Tutors. Can College Students Help?



Much of the pandemic relief funding made available to schools went to tutoring. The Biden Administration identified high-dose tutoring — usually defined as regular, intensive, small-group tutoring — as a plausible way to give a jolt to student learning after the pandemic.

But now, with federal funds dwindling, schools have to rely on states or other sources to keep tutoring programs going.

Funding is the biggest barrier to tutoring in schools, says Alvin Makori, a doctoral student at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. Makori co-authored a research paper about the challenges to schools offering tutor services at scale. The paper — based on surveys of teachers at charter and public schools in California — also noted concerns about tutor quality and trouble finding the space and time to work tutoring into the school day as problem areas for the schools it inspected. (The study did not look at virtual high-dose tutoring, of the kind provided by some of the organizations discussed here.)


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