Having partnered with multiple state, university and district-led community-tutoring programs, Pearl is developing the nation’s most diverse dataset in the tutoring industry. The platform is foundational for managing and scaling hybrid tutoring through evidence-based best practices and collaborates with the Annenberg Institute at Brown University and its National Student Support Accelerator (NSSA) to safely gather data to continuously improve program design and measurably accelerate student outcomes.

“Tutoring is one of the most promising approaches for accelerating student learning and reducing educational disparities,” according to a working paper of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.

However, there is still little data on which programs are most effective, studies show.

Even when tutoring is available, struggling students are far less likely to opt in than their more-engaged and higher-achieving peers, the Annenberg paper also found.

"I do think that as districts have success in tutoring, and see student learning ... then they’ll start to think more about how they embed it, and link it more deeply to the rest of the work they’re doing in schools." Susanna Loeb, founder and executive director, National Student Support Accelerator

At the conclusion of the first year of a four-year longitudinal study, researchers at Stanford University’s Annenberg Institute National Student Support Accelerator found that 68% of students who participated in 1:1 high impact tutoring from Chapter One met or exceeded end-of-year early literacy benchmarks, compared to 32% of students in the control group. Chapter One high impact tutoring is an ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Tier 1 evidence-based intervention.

The latest installment also provided a detailed look at schools’ efforts to implement high-dosage tutoring, which Stanford University researcher Susanna Loeb called the “best approach that we know for accelerating students’ learning” because it offers students help from “an adult who knows them, cares about them and has the tools to address their needs.” 

She has been tracking the implementation of large-scale tutoring efforts across the country as part of the National Student Support Accelerator and called the survey results “the most comprehensive information out there” on how schools are addressing learning loss.

Rebuilding students’ self-esteem requires ongoing support from the same tutor, said Susanna Loeb, an education researcher at Stanford University. Those relationships, she said, allow students to take risks and work until they understand the material.

In the year since Cardona’s address, she said she’s seen real improvement in some district’s ability “to actually pull off harder, more intensive support for students.”

That’s partly due to her previous work at Brown University on the National Student Support Accelerator. The center summarizes important research about high-dosage tutoring — likely the inspiration, Loeb said, for Cardona’s prescription for “30 minutes per day, three days a week, with a well-trained tutor.”

“They both have the word ‘tutoring’ in them, so it seems like the same thing but it’s really not,” said Susanna Loeb, an education professor at Stanford University who has been deeply involved in research on the subject and worked with school systems nationally. Loeb said there may be benefits to opt-in tutoring for students who use it, but it is not a proven way to reach the mass of students struggling the most.

Get the insights you need on getting the most out of tutoring programs, how tutoring can help with learning recovery, connecting students with tutoring services, how districts can introduce and scale up tutoring, and recent efforts to improve the recruitment of tutors.