ProvenTutoring offers school districts a path to address the pandemic’s effects on learning and support children struggling with reading and math
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND (May 4, 2021) — A new coalition of more than a dozen established tutoring programs launched this week to help schools nationwide meet the needs of students whose struggles with math and reading worsened during the pandemic. Known as ProvenTutoring, the coalition seeks to rapidly scale-up research-backed, high-impact tutoring programs to serve students performing far below grade level in Title I schools across the country. With funding from the American Rescue Plan and in partnership with school districts across the nation, ProvenTutoring programs seek to serve four-million children in the 2021-22 school year.
To help school districts match programs that fit the needs of their students, ProvenTutoring.org serves as a one-stop-shop for information about highly effective, highly rigorous programs that follow evidence-backed best practices and have research to show their effectiveness.
ProvenTutoring member organizations include: AARP; Lesley University and The Ohio State University; Lindamood-Bell; Benedict Silverman Foundation; University of North Carolina; Success for All Foundation; University of Oregon; Reading & Math, Inc; Fuchs Tutoring; and Saga Education. Programming offered by these organizations supports reading tutoring in kindergarten through sixth grades and math tutoring in kindergarten through 10th grades.
Prior to the pandemic, many children in the U.S. already struggled to meet grade-level expectations. During the pandemic, as many schools went virtual for months, the situation worsened as many students were not able to fully engage with online school because of internet, device, and other challenges. An analysis by McKinsey in December shows that students on average started the 2020-21 school year roughly three months behind grade level in mathematics. This trend doesn’t play out equally across demographics. White students were about one-to-three months behind, and students of color were three-to-five months behind. [UPDATE: An analysis by McKinsey in June showed these learning losses could be even worse than initially projected, particularly among low-income, black, and Hispanic students – for many of which “the hurt could last a lifetime”].
“If you are concerned about equity in the U.S., ProvenTutoring should matter to you. Lower-income students and students of color have suffered the most from COVID-related school building closures,” said Amanda Nietzel, spokesperson for ProvenTutoring. “Not only do we know that that tutoring works, but we know the specific elements that make tutoring programs most effective.”
Extensive research shows that one-on-one and small group tutoring has been proven to be the most effective way to deliver support to students. Effective tutoring programs can make a large difference in a short amount of time. The effect size of a ProvenTutoring program is +0.41 in reading and +.030 in math, whereas the effect size of summer school is +0.06 on reading and +0.02 on math. According to late researcher and ProvenTutoring co-founder Robert Slavin, the effect sizes of these programs could translate to a gain of 20 points in reading and 15 points in math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
Neitzel added, “All of our ProvenTutoring partners are committed to these key principles and to scaling-up services to reach as many children as possible in partnership with school districts across the country.”
Co-founder Robert Slavin passed away suddenly just before the launch of ProvenTutoring. The coalition is led by Nancy Madden and the Success for All Foundation. Information is available at ProvenTutoring.org.