Crime Lab New York Individualized Tutoring to Help Students Get Back on Track

Personalized education to help all students realize their potential: Personalized education has long been known to greatly increase academic gains - for instance, Oxford University has leveraged individualized 1-on-1 or 2-on-1 tutorials for the past 900 years. But, this individualized instruction – which results in significant academic gains – comes at a high cost. School districts struggle to afford class sizes of 25 or 30 students per class, much less something more personalized. However over the past few years, the non-profit Saga Education has developed a cost-effective model for delivering this type of personalized tutoring. Saga recognizes that a tutor requires less training than a full time teacher, and as such Saga is able to dramatically widen the potential labor pool, and hire people who are willing to work for one year at a modest stipend as a sort of public service. Our study of this approach, structured just like the sort of randomized trial that provides “gold standard” evidence in medicine, suggests that this intervention essentially doubles the amount of math students learn each year. We’re currently working with Saga Education, the New York City Department of Education, and Chicago Public Schools to figure out how to operate this model at even larger scale, to better support all students.