MDRC in the News

US Students Lost Decades of Progress in Math, Reading. Could This Strategy Be the Solution?

USA Today


…..In much of the country, the disruptions caused by COVID-19 erased decades of academic progress. Intensive, small-group tutoring during the school day is, research shows, one of the most effective strategies for catching kids up…..

…..A new $18 million research initiative seeks to finally address some of the longstanding obstacles that have prevented effective tutoring from becoming a widespread reality. In news shared exclusively with USA TODAY, the University of Chicago Education Lab announced it would be leading the research project in partnership with MDRC, experimenting with different models while also expanding access to tutoring and applying solutions in real time. 

“We have a once-in-a century public health crisis and also a once-a-century education crisis,” said Monica Bhatt, senior research director for the Education Lab. “This is an opportunity to do things a little differently.”

…..An education strategy that’s been around for centuries, this form of tutoring can provide ideal learning conditions, Bhatt said. Tutors are integrated into the school day as a complement to classroom instruction, with tailored and targeted support in small groups…..

…..The ultimate goal is to include as many as 50,000 students in the study. Most of the existing studies on high-dosage tutoring have focused on no more than a couple thousand kids…..

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