July 10, 2024

Press Release: Accelerate’s Inaugural Research Learning Community to Develop Rigorous Empirical Evidence on Design, Implementation, and Impact of High-Dosage Tutoring Programs

By: Accelerate

Accelerate is setting rigorous standards for high-dosage tutoring research with Call to Effective Action Program, Quarterly Research Notes

Nashville, Tenn. (July 11, 2024) — Today the national nonprofit Accelerate announced a new initiative that will bring together top education researchers from across the U.S. to develop rigorous research on the impact, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of various high-dosage tutoring programs. Accelerate is launching its inaugural Research Learning Community as part of a commitment to helping policymakers and school districts access the high-quality and transparent evidence they need to make informed decisions for their students. 

Some partners of the Research Learning Community will be matched with a subset of Accelerate’s 2024-25 Call to Effective Action grantees to conduct randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-experimental design (QED) studies. Accelerate’s third cohort of Call to Effective Action grantees, announced in June 2024, includes nonprofit, for-profit, and public sector organizations focused on developing and scaling research-backed tutoring models to improve student outcomes, especially for historically underserved students. These grantees operate in nearly 650 schools across 21 states and employ a range of tutoring modalities including in-person, virtual synchronous and asynchronous, and hybrid, and have a maximum tutor-to-student ratio of 1:5. Tutors include teacher candidates, certified teachers, paraprofessionals, college students, volunteers, community members, peers, parents, college graduates, and AmeriCorps fellows.

Using data collected from more than 60,000 K-12 students receiving tutoring and personalized learning from Accelerate’s grantees, the Research Learning Community will meet quarterly to exchange ideas, share findings from ongoing research, and develop rigorous empirical evidence on the design, implementation, and impact of tutoring and personalized learning models. This research will build on the efficiency and cost-effectiveness metrics that Accelerate researchers introduced in a May 2024 reanalysis of existing tutoring data.

“Ultimately, our goal is to drive better student outcomes,” said Kevin Huffman, CEO of Accelerate. “The evidence behind high-dosage tutoring as an intervention is strong, but we still need to learn more about the efficiency and cost-effectiveness that come along with different types of tutoring programs. Not every tutoring program will be the right fit for every school district, and it’s the responsibility of tutoring providers and researchers to make sure that policymakers and school districts have high-quality data to inform their decision-making.”

The members of the Research Learning Community include:

  • Abt Global  
  • Arnold Ventures 
  • Harvard University’s Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR)
  • Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Research and Reform in Education (CRRE) 
  • Mathematica  
  • Overdeck Family Foundation
  • University of Chicago’s Education Lab
  • University of Michigan’s Youth Policy Lab 
  • Walton Family Foundation

“As we were thinking about which research organizations to partner with and match with our Call to Effective Action grantees, there were two key dimensions that we considered,” said Matthew Steinberg, Managing Director of Research and Evaluation at Accelerate. “One was their track record as an organization studying the impact of educational interventions, and the other was their expertise in designing and implementing RCTs. Our partners are among the leading research organizations in the country, and we’re bringing them together so we can all learn more about high-dosage tutoring and ultimately build evidence that will drive what states and school districts are doing for kids.”

In addition to making significant investments in producing original research, Accelerate continues to identify and elevate external research on high-dosage tutoring and personalized learning to ensure schools, districts, and state education leaders have the evidence they need to make informed decisions about the best use of their time and resources. Accelerate summarizes relevant studies in its Quarterly Research Notes which can be found here. Released today, Quarterly Research Note 1.2 provides an overview of the newest research, what it says, and what it means for students.

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