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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

'Literacy liberators' are as effective as teachers in tutoring early readers

An Oakland parent group hired and trained tutors from the community to work with early readers, reports Linda Jacobson on The 74. Tutoring by Oakland REACH’s “literacy liberators” was as effective as instruction from classroom teachers, according to a new report by the Center on Reinventing Public Education at Arizona State.

Kindergarteners made significant gains, she writes. "From fall 2022 to spring 2023, tutored students gained nearly a full extra year of learning on the widely used iReady assessment, compared to those who did not receive tutoring," researchers found. First and second graders did about the same, whether or not they were tutored.


The Oakland REACH mobilized to improve literacy instruction years ago, working with the local NAACP "to push the district to adopt a research-based reading program," writes Jacobson. During the pandemic, REACH created online “hubs” to teach reading. "After five weeks of virtual summer learning, some students gained as much as they would from two months of in-person reading instruction, data showed."


FluentSeeds, a nonprofit trainer, provides eight weeks of training on how to implement the district’s phonics-based early reading curriculum.

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Darren Miller
Darren Miller
Dec 08, 2023

If this is scalable, let's scale it.

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