How District Tutoring Programs Can Address Unfinished Learning In K-12 Schools
If you read or listen to the news today, you're likely to come across a story about learning loss or unfinished learning. Students struggling is not a new phenomenon. However, with the global pandemic causing major disruptions to the academic year and causing many schools and districts to adjust their teaching plans with no warning, more students than ever need extra help.
Tutoring has long been shown to be an effective means of accelerating student learning. But tutoring comes with many barriers: cost, access, disconnection from the classroom are just some. But what if you remove those barriers and provide school districts with a way to design and deliver tutoring programs, aligned to district instructional models and targeted to the students who need help the most?
Private tutoring is now a $47 billion dollar industry in the United States alone. This enormous demand for tutoring further attests to its impact, yet access to tutoring services remains inherently unequal - there are all sorts of hurdles that tutors and tutoring services will never be able to overcome if things remain the way that they are now.
One strategy that can enable school districts to invest in addressing these learning opportunities is to develop tutoring programs that cut through the red tape and help eradicate these long-standing inequalities.
The Hurdles of District-Wide Tutoring Programs
Even before the onset of the coronavirus, tutoring programs faced many seemingly insurmountable hurdles that prevent students from receiving the help and guidance they need. From logistical problems to tech challenges in identifying the students who need tutors the most, establishing these kinds of organized tutoring programs is clearly much easier said than done. It's so much more than this, too: districts have struggled to match students with tutors, faced difficulties when it comes to scheduling, and even failed to gather enough constructive feedback to make sure that the existing programs are even helping where help is needed.
How Tutoring Can Change the Narrative
According to the U.S. Department of Education, academic tutoring is one of the leading approaches to help students improve skills, stay in school, and ultimately achieve a high school diploma — especially among students who face extreme challenges with equity and access and are therefore at a higher risk of dropping out. This fact seems particularly important when you look at the Department of Education's key findings on tutoring:
One in three of all high schools in the U.S. requires academic tutoring for its students, and 8% of U.S. high schools actually made academic tutoring a requirement. Among those schools that made tutoring a requirement, 95% of students required tutoring to make up for learning loss that had negatively impacted their grades. Among schools with tutoring programs, 95% said they provided tutors in person. Compare this to only 6% that offered remote tutoring. Students who receive tutoring tend to have a higher overall success rate compared to those who don't.
The Bottom Line: Tutoring Programs Are Essential
The COVID 19 pandemic has undoubtedly altered the trajectory of many students’ academic progress. Educators will face many challenges as schools return a new version of normal in the fall and will need to address unfinished learning and help close learning gaps that have arisen.
The question remains, though: How can this be done?
One answer is Littera Education: a reliable and accessible way for K-12 schools and districts to design and manage effective academic support and tutoring programs that are tailored to their students’ unique needs. By providing visibility and quality control of diverse programs and placing them in the hands of district personnel, Littera Education can help districts manage their tutoring programs and address unfinished learning opportunities. Littera Education includes the flexibility to use internal staff from the schools and districts as tutors and tools to help leverage district data and content to help get the right students matched with the right tutors. Not to mention, teachers can use feedback from these tutoring programs to improve instruction in the classroom and prevent greater learning loss.
Littera’s Academic Support Platform allows your district to create a comprehensive academic support network for all of your students’ learning needs. Creating a scaled tutoring program to help every student in need has never been more essential or more simplified.