Rebuilding students’ self-esteem requires ongoing support from the same tutor, said Susanna Loeb, an education researcher at Stanford University. Those relationships, she said, allow students to take risks and work until they understand the material.
In the year since Cardona’s address, she said she’s seen real improvement in some district’s ability “to actually pull off harder, more intensive support for students.”
That’s partly due to her previous work at Brown University on the National Student Support Accelerator. The center summarizes important research about high-dosage tutoring — likely the inspiration, Loeb said, for Cardona’s prescription for “30 minutes per day, three days a week, with a well-trained tutor.”
“They both have the word ‘tutoring’ in them, so it seems like the same thing but it’s really not,” said Susanna Loeb, an education professor at Stanford University who has been deeply involved in research on the subject and worked with school systems nationally. Loeb said there may be benefits to opt-in tutoring for students who use it, but it is not a proven way to reach the mass of students struggling the most.
Susanna Loeb is named to the 2023 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings.
The metrics recognize university-based scholars in the U.S. who are doing the most to influence educational policy and practice. The rubric reflects both a scholar's larger body of work and their impact on the public discourse last year.
The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University reports that supplementing classroom instruction with high-impact tutoring “leads to substantial learning gains for students.” However, a variety of factors can influence the way educational institutions need to implement tutoring programs. To illustrate how schools or districts can customize a tutoring program to meet their specific needs, FEV Tutor has published a white paper titled “High-Impact Online Tutoring for Academic Success: An Afterschool Implementation.”
Research released last month seems to back that up. In California’s Aspire charter school network, only 1 in 5 of the middle and high school students in the study used Paper in spring 2021. But higher-achieving students were almost twice as likely to use the platform than students who’d gotten at least one D or F the prior semester — the exact students the charter network had hired Paper to help.