Intensive math tutoring is helping Chicago boys catch up, writes David Kirp, a public policy professor at Berkeley. It could break the “school-to-prison pipeline,” concludes the University of Chicago study.
Working two-on-one, the tutors worked with ninth- and tenth-grade males with elementary math and reading skills, writes Kirp. Most were black or Latino and poor. “The previous year they missed more than a month of school, on average” and nearly a fifth had arrest records.
The tutored students earned higher test scores and passed more classes — not just in math — than the control group, the study found. They were 60 percent less likely to be arrested for a violent crime.
Match Education, which runs a very successful Boston charter school, ran the Chicago program. Tutors use “friendship and pushing” to “nag them to success,” Barbara Algarin, MATCH’s executive director said. “These students can make remarkable progress when they appreciate that their tutor is in their corner. . . . Grades improve across the board.”
The tutors earn about $16,000 a year plus benefits, so the extra help cost 3,800 a year per student.