November 3, 2021
New Guidebook to Help Districts Launch High-Dosage Tutoring Programs

As part of its commitment to help K-12 systems accelerate student learning amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Chiefs for Change, a bipartisan network of state and district education chiefs, today released a comprehensive guidebook for leaders seeking to launch high-dosage tutoring initiatives.

The new resource is a detailed guide for building a successful tutoring program in collaboration with a community partner. It contains actionable step-by-step materials to establish and scale a local program, including a capacity calculator to assist systems in determining how many tutors are needed, sample criteria for identifying potential tutors, and sample tutoring schedules. In addition, there is information on logistics, funding considerations, curricula selection, and how to track and determine program effectiveness.

The Chiefs for Change guidebook is modeled after the Tennessee Accelerating Literacy and Learning Corps (TN ALL Corps) initiative, operated by the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) to support districts that have historically struggled to find enough tutors. Through TN ALL Corps, the department recently announced a partnership with 79 districts and an investment of $200 million in federal education funding for high-quality tutoring programs.

“With the unprecedented disruptions to our students’ education over the past 18 months, it is important for educators to deliver high-dosage tutoring programs that, like TN ALL Corps, will not only help students get back on track in school but also accelerate their learning so kids can achieve their full potential,” said Chiefs for Change member and Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “TDOE has seen the remarkable impact that programs like these can have on our students. I’m thrilled that Chiefs for Change is building on and sharing the learnings from our state so that systems across the country can implement their own initiatives.”

The federal government has approved an unprecedented amount of emergency Covid relief aid that K-12 systems can use for innovative programs designed to combat learning loss. High-dosage tutoring is one such approach. A study by the University of Chicago Education Lab found that students who received tutoring learned as much as an extra two and a half years of math in one academic year. Other studies from EdResearch for Recovery and J-PAL also point to significant gains for students, with J-PAL noting the “transformative potential of tutoring” on learning outcomes. Despite the strong research base, tutoring has not been scaled widely due to the challenges of doing so in large systems, especially in districts with a limited supply of available tutors.

Created in partnership with education experts and district leaders, the guidebook is grounded in a 10-point framework developed by The Coalition to Advance Future Student Success—a group of 12 leading education organizations committed to working together to reopen, recover, and rebuild schools.

“Covid-19 has severely disrupted every aspect of our education system and has significantly impacted a generation of students,” said Chiefs for Change CEO Mike Magee. “More than ever, we need to focus our energy and efforts on how to better support America’s students. Following Tennessee’s leading example, we are pleased to offer this resource that any district can use to implement high-quality tutoring programs that will make a difference for kids.”