OnYourMark, a non-profit virtual tutoring program designed to equip students in grades K-2 with foundational literacy skills, today announced it has been awarded $250,000 in competitive grant funding. OnYourMark is serving 1,200 students across multiple schools at Uplift Education in the Dallas/Fort Worth region. This funding will support OnYourMark's collaboration with the National Student Support Accelerator to understand how tutor-to-student ratios impact student learning.
Additionally, the Annenberg Institute at Brown University will study the lessons learned from RIDE’s work and other states to create a policy report on how to develop a replicable, state-level model for scaling and sustaining high-impact tutoring. High-impact tutoring, also known as “high-dosage tutoring,” involves tutoring a consistent group of students multiple times a week and has been shown to have a dramatic impact on accelerating student learning.
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.
In a recent study, we report on the implementation of opt-in, on-demand tutoring in partnership with the Aspire Public Schools (a charter management organization, or CMO) in California. The CMO provided 7,000 middle and high school students with free, unlimited access to one-on-one chat-based tutoring during the spring 2021 semester. Students accessed the program from a mobile device and could request help from an available tutor in any core subject. The topic of each tutoring session was usually driven by student questions and the interaction between tutors and students were chat-based with help from a virtual whiteboard to facilitate joint work.
Jack Goodwin was already struggling with math in middle school when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, upending his education even more. His mom, Shelly, knew he needed extra help to catch up.
But Shelly Goodwin couldn’t find a tutor in their small town of Paris, about four hours south of Chicago.
“I would ask the teachers, ‘Do you know anybody that tutors or can you tutor?’,” Shelly Goodwin said. “They would try to meet with [Jack] after school but they had five or six kids after school and they would say, ‘We don’t really know anyone that tutors around here.’”
With reading and math scores plummeting during the pandemic, educators and parents are now turning their attention to how kids can catch up. In the following Q&A, Susanna Loeb, an education economist at Brown University, shines a light on the best ways to use tutoring to help students get back on track.
Sonnemann said Australia should look to the US in expanding research in tutoring, pointing to Brown University using targeted studies with government districts to examine the roll-out of small-group tuition programs and how well they help students catch up.
She said given the size of NSW’s COVID-19 tutoring initiative, it was vital parents and schools know how well it was working and governments should consider rolling out long-term, systematic catch-up tuition.