The once-in-a-century health crisis due to the pandemic has created a once-in-a-century education crisis, with the average student losing the equivalent of at least a half-year’s worth of learning. The federal government has invested $122 billion in schools to help overcome pandemic-related learning loss. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona encouraged every district in the country to use Recovery Act funds to provide every student that fell behind during the pandemic with high-dosage tutoring.
More than half of the districts nationwide have followed this recommendation and are investing in tutoring supports. This includes CPS, which has invested $25 million in establishing the CPS Tutor Corps, a first-of-its-kind, equity-based, in-house tutoring initiative to accelerate student learning and target those students most in need. The Education Lab is working closely with CPS to understand the impact of the Tutor Corps on students’ academic growth and how to cost-effectively scale this support to reach all students in need.
Improving Academic Outcomes for Disadvantaged Students: Scaling Up Individualized Tutoring
Education Lab Faculty Co-Directors Jon Guryan and Jens Ludwig and Executive Director Rosesanna Ander penned this The Hamilton Project policy proposal.
The evaluation is part of the Education Lab’s Personalized Learning Initiative, a multi-year effort to study the benefits of high-dosage tutoring and scale the supports available to students. While school districts recognize the importance of high-dosage tutoring, many public school systems cannot afford to implement tutoring at the scale necessary to overcome pandemic-related learning loss – much less at the scale needed to overcome pre-pandemic disparities. Therefore, PLI also aims to work with CPS to develop other cost-effective tutoring models to bring high-dosage tutoring to more students that need it and sustain CPS’ investment in tutoring to serve students for years to come.
Under the larger scope of PLI, the CPS Tutor Corps evaluation team is working with CPS to monitor program impact and ensure that the students in our community are getting the best support possible. To conduct this evaluation, the Education Lab has enlisted help from MDRC, a leading research non-profit. The research team has also enlisted the expertise of leading researchers at Northwestern University, Stanford University, and the University of Toronto.