The COVID-19 pandemic impacted nearly every aspect of education. Moreover, the disruption is magnified without a national system due to the variations across and within states. This constellation of learning realities produces variance in course sequencing, assessment models, and student expectations among neighboring districts. In turn, student achievement is also part of this spectrum.
Beyond reports that have labeled the declines on national assessments as a “moment of truth for education,” state and local level results have districts looking for ways to support students. Among the solutions used by schools, tutoring is a preferred approach.
In other words, “learning loss” has rejuvenated the tutoring industry in the United States. These stats from K-12 Dive tells the story from three different perspectives:
- A July analysis of American Rescue Plan funds found schools are dedicating 2.8% of school money to tutoring or coaching in math and English language arts.
- The projected spending on tutoring is about $3 billion, based on a June compilation of spending plans in 5,004 districts.
- An analysis by FutureEd, published in April 2022, showed 40% of districts indicated they would use the funding for tutoring and coaching.
Although the demand for tutoring is at an all-time high, it is essential to remember that the type of tutoring experience and services provided matter. Moreover, the current trend for tutoring services is designed to address present learning goals instead of attempting to work from a “deficit” mindset. Tutoring that tries to make up for a year or more of dissonance in our schools is bound to be overshadowed by tutoring services rooted in the present and preparing students for the future. As you consider your tutoring services consider these aspects of your program.
Will there be a recommended number or minimum number of sessions for students to attend to achieve specific goals? Do tutoring plans offer flexibility regarding students attendance?
What will the tutor-to-student balance be? Some models of tutoring offer group or partner sessions for those students who find speaking and learning with peers valuable.
Online tutoring has made access to tutors a 24/7 possibility. Hiring to fill this need has impacted, but diversify your tutors by subject. If students have to wait for a tutor in a specific course, they may look elsewhere.
What is your model for the tutoring experience?
Simply providing the answers for students is the wrong way to go. Instead, seek to develop student thinking, comprehension, and skills. Additionally, tutors have assumed the roles of thought partners for discussions and projects and editors for written assignments.
A final aspect regarding the current tutoring phenomenon relates to access. The district I work in is part of the tutoring phenomenon. The service we contract with addresses an access issue in the district to learning options after the school day. Private tutors are available, but the hourly rate has priced out many families.
This results in even more inequity for students. As you form your tutoring program and messaging, be sure to keep this in mind.
Written By: Craig Perrier
We specialize in serving up value that drives positive change throughout your organization. Reach out today to get started