Tutoring is one of the most popular strategies for helping students catch up in the wake of the pandemic. But cost, staffing, and scheduling challenges often make it hard for schools to get these programs off the ground.
A sweeping $10 million research effort announced Thursday aims to tackle that problem by studying 31 different tutoring initiatives across the country this school year. The goal is to answer some of the biggest open questions about how schools can put successful tutoring programs in place for more students — and then figure out if they worked.
“It feels like out in the education ecosphere people are sort of yelling at districts and saying: ‘Why aren’t you doing more?’” said Kevin Huffman, the head of Accelerate, a nonprofit that awarded the grants. Districts are trying, he said, but it’s been complicated to staff in-person programs and difficult to vet tutoring services run by outside companies.
The research has the potential to help schools know which tutoring efforts are worth their time and money — before their COVID relief funding runs out.