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Tutoring Programs are a Research Based Way to Catch Kids Up

Guest Blog by Prateek Dutta, State Policy Director,

Democrats for Education Reform.


The interruptions to in-person learning and the variability in the quality of remote learning have parents worried about whether their child has fallen behind or is ready to move on to the next grade. And initial results show they have some reason to be. Students over the past year have lost as much as 8 months of learning, and these results will have ripple effects on student achievement for years if not addressed. For example, a student who might not fully understand the concepts of Algebra might struggle throughout every high school math class if they never receive remediation.


In the upcoming months, parents will have access to many tools that can be used to address learning loss or unfinished learning. And depending on the context and community, many of these might be right for your child.


But one intervention has consistently shown to deliver results, and state lawmakers are poised to make sure as many districts as possible are able to access it.


High-Impact Tutoring, sometimes called high-dosage tutoring, show clear, positive results for all students – and especially for students farthest behind. High-impact tutoring is different than just tutoring and has a few components to it. Students receiving high-impact tutoring will have the same tutor and receive tutoring in small groups at least 3 times a week. The tutor will be trained and have access to a high-quality, standards-based curriculum. And student progress should be monitored for academic progress throughout the duration of the tutoring program.


Students participating in high-impact tutoring have gained an additional one to two years of Math and an additional year of learning in English Language Arts on top of what they learning in the classroom compared to students who did not receive high-impact tutoring. Additionally, out of all of the interventions studied (summer school, longer school day, smaller class sizes, etc) high impact tutoring has shown to be the most effective at increasing student achievement. In fact, high-impact tutoring is the most effective intervention ever studied.


A bi-partisan bill will have its first hearing this week that would allow districts to use state and federal stimulus dollars to implement high-impact tutoring. We hope parents and districts will support this bill. If you want to get involved and support, join TEN's community meeting on Wednesday at 4pm or track the bill's progress here or here.


The consequences of learning loss and unfinished learning could be catastrophic, but our students and families are resilient. With the right interventions and strategies, students can be fully caught-up by the end of the next school year.

We are confident that having access to high-impact tutoring across the state will be an important step to alleviate learning loss and ensure all students are fully prepared next year.