A preteen girl sits in her colorful bedroom studying and looking at her laptop screen.

Tutoring as a Student Catch-up Strategy

The most effective student tutoring involves daily customized sessions with highly trained educators, not volunteers.

Jill Barshay has been following tutoring research since before the COVID-19 pandemic. She tells listeners what the research says, discusses what type of tutoring schools are doing, and shares how she uses education research to find stories. (EWA Radio Episode 312)

Photo credit: E-Furor Production/Bigstock

The federal government is pushing school districts to spend 20% of the $122 billion in relief funds to “catch children up” academically. Many are turning to tutoring as a way to help students after months of disruption from the pandemic.

Research shows “high-dosage” tutoring is particularly promising: Students and their tutor meet every day, usually in school. The tutors are specially trained, and there is a set curriculum. All these things can create logistical challenges.

Jill Barshay, a senior writer for The Hechinger Report and the author of its Proof Points column, has been looking at tutoring research. She found about half of all school districts are using tutoring programs, but not all follow best practices.

On this EWA Radio episode, Jill explains her work, why students don’t log in for online help, who some of these online tutors are and how she looks for “good news” stories in education research.

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