New research results show promise for reducing the pandemic-era learning loss in students.

The preliminary results from the Personalized Learning Initiative (PLI) show that in-school high-dosage tutoring can lead to large and positive effects on student learning in math—even when delivered in the aftermath of the pandemic and in diverse academic settings.

High-dosage tutoring has been used in education for centuries, but lack of funding has poised a barrier to wide implementation. In this approach, one instructor works with one or two students at a time for several hours per week.

In this study, approximately 2,000 students in Chicago Public Schools in Illinois and Fulton County Schools in Georgia who participated in district-wide, in-school tutoring during the 2022-23 school year saw meaningful improvement in math learning. (The results for reading scores are not yet conclusive.)

Delivering tutoring during the school day—as opposed to ad-hoc, “on demand,” or after school—seems critical to realizing large gains in student learning, the Education Lab says.

These results are among the first indications that in-school high-dosage tutoring, done at scale, can effectively counteract pandemic-era learning setbacks.

Research has highlighted the promise of high-dosage tutoring and earned the endorsement of US Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. In addition, President Biden’s recently launched Improving Student Achievement Agenda centered the University of Chicago Education Lab’s research to announce expanded support for high-dosage tutoring.

Prior research from the University of Chicago Education Lab, in partnership with Saga Education, found that high-dosage tutoring can double or even triple student learning in a single academic year.

High-dosage tutoring also helps address what teachers report in surveys to be the two most difficult challenges of classroom teaching: variability in students’ academic levels (and hence their needs); and classroom management.

But challenges such as cost and hiring have made it difficult for school districts to implement and scale high-dosage tutoring—even with an influx of federal funding.

To overcome these barriers, the PLI works with partners to launch, scale, and evaluate high-dosage tutoring programs. To date, the PLI has allocated more than $5 million to fund the delivery of tutoring in partner sites. This includes funding outside providers that help address implementation challenges, such as scheduling tutoring sessions and optimizing the use of educational technology.

Read the full article about learning loss at Futurity.