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Dear Academic Approach Families & Colleagues:

As policymakers look for solutions to get students back on track academically, a recent examination of experimental studies (a meta-analysis of 96 randomized controlled trials, typically considered by many to be the ideal setup for education research) points to the efficacy of tutoring. A team of economists has found that tutoring offers the potential for transformative academic impacts. Philip Oreopoulos, a public policy professor at the University of Toronto and one of the paper’s authors, explains that most studies show that “under different circumstances, different environments, different states…tutoring is a really good activity to boost student performance.”

Teacher-Student Ratios Matter
One-to-one tutoring models have shown remarkable success even when taken to scale. Matt Kraft, an economics professor at Brown University, observes, however, that the tutoring lessens in impact at “a certain point, whether it’s four-to-one [or] five-to-one, where it moves from individualized instruction to group instruction.”

Quantity Matters
The programs that seemed to produce the best outcomes were those conducted relatively frequently and regularly during the school day.

Reading & Math Grow Differently
Tutoring for reading was relatively more effective than math tutoring among students in younger grades. However, for older students, math tutoring had greater impact.

We’re working hard to support families and schools with academic tutoring solutions this year, remaining focused on helping students and schools avoid learning loss and maintain academic progress. This year is a critical year for our work in Teaching Beyond the Test.

Be well,
Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D., Founder & CEO

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