RIDE receives $250K to develop and scale high-impact tutoring models

PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Department of Education on Monday was awarded $250,000 in grant funding from nonprofit Accelerate to develop state-level policies and systems to support the scaling and sustainability of high-impact tutoring of students in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

RIDE is the only state education agency among more than 30 grant recipients nationwide, and one of 31 research and education partners, selected. 

The award is part of a national effort to develop and scale sustainable, cost-effective models for high-impact tutoring that boost academic achievement for all students. 

“Access to high-quality tutoring is vital in ensuring Rhode Island students fill in learning gaps and leap ahead in academic achievement in the wake of the pandemic,” said R.I. Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “Tutoring is one of various extended learning opportunities identified by RIDE’s Learning, Equity, and Accelerated Pathways Task Force and we share our gratitude with the educators and administrators who have shown unwavering commitment to moving students forward academically, socially and emotionally.” 

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The award will help RIDE source qualified tutors by piloting a new “trainee-as-tutor” model that connects trainee teachers in teacher preparation programs with schools in need of tutors. RIDE will also test the use of a regional tutoring coordinator – a new full-time position – to help local education agencies with the staffing capacity they need to launch new tutoring programs. 

“We know that good tutoring programs work  partly because well-off families have used them to boost student success for generations. And we know that those same programs can be a powerful tool to close racial and economic opportunity gaps when we give less-privileged students the same access,” said Accelerate CEO Kevin Huffman. “What we haven’t figured out yet is how to make high-impact tutoring available for everyone. With districts deciding how to spend one-time federal funds to combat the effects of the pandemic, solving that challenge has never been more urgent.”  

Additionally, the Annenberg Institute at Brown University will study the lessons learned from RIDE’s work and other states to create a policy report on how to develop a replicable, state-level model for scaling and sustaining high-impact tutoring. High-impact tutoring, also known as “high-dosage tutoring,” involves tutoring a consistent group of students multiple times a week and has been shown to have a dramatic impact on accelerating student learning. 

“We must meet students where they are, and the opportunity through Accelerate to develop policies and systems of support for high-impact tutoring will have a direct, positive impact on our school communities statewide,” said Patti DiCenso, chairwoman of RIDE’s Council on Elementary and Secondary Education.