A proven, Minnesota-born model that has already boosted the reading and math skills of hundreds of thousands of students across the country is part of the solution that will address youngsters’ instructional interruption during the pandemic — and you can help.
In December 2020, Johns Hopkins University education researchers Nancy Madden, Robert Slavin and their colleagues sounded an alarm for the nation: “We are facing an extraordinary crisis in the education of disadvantaged students in the U.S. These students have long performed below the level of other students on average, but the Covid-19 school closures have added a great deal to their educational disadvantages.”
Reading Corps and Math Corps are part of the solution to this crisis. Both programs have joined Madden and Slavin’s ProvenTutoring, a newly launched national coalition of more than a dozen evidence-based tutoring programs.
With funding from the American Rescue Plan, ProvenTutoring plans to rapidly scale access to these programs with the aim of reaching 4 million students in the 2021–2022 academic year. This ambitious goal will require tens of thousands of dedicated volunteer tutors.
Tutoring: the most effective way to close the gaps
Many students have been challenged during the pandemic because of the difficulties of virtual schooling.
In the U.S., students on average started the 2020-21 school year about three months behind grade level in mathematics, according to one study. Those lags get more severe when broken down by race: White students were about one to three months behind, while students of color were three to five months behind.
Research has shown that of all the solutions for students behind in math and reading, evidence-based tutoring like that provided by Reading Corps and Math Corps may be the single best option available. An independent study conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago showed the additional growth demonstrated by students working with Reading Corps tutors equates to an extra half year to almost a full year of extra school.
Reading Corps and Math Corps deliver proven results through a cost-effective model that’s driven by the people power of volunteer tutors. Like never before, tutors have the chance to be part of something that not only helps individual children but will also have an impact on the entire country.
If you or someone you know would like to be part of this exciting nationwide effort to close the learning gap widened by the pandemic, visit Reading Corps and Math Corps for information on how to apply to become a tutor.
Reading Corps and Math Corps are featured on ProvenTutoring’s website to help educators learn about and access tutoring programs shown to increase the achievement of students performing far below grade level.
“If you are concerned about equity in the U.S., ProvenTutoring should matter to you,” said Johns Hopkins researcher Amanda Neitzel. “Lower-income students and students of color have suffered the most from COVID-related school building closures. Not only do we know that tutoring works, but we know the specific elements that make tutoring programs most effective.”