Research on Education Strategies to
Advance Recovery and Turnaround
Paying for Access: Are Tutoring Contracts Focused on the Right Things?
From the brief: "As school systems work to recover from COVID-19 learning losses, they face two linked problems. First, the pace of recovery is slow; in many places, achievement has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels (Fahle et al., 2023; Goldstein, 2023 June 21; Raymond 2023). Second, they are struggling to deliver academic interventions at the scale and strength required for all the students who need help to catch up. In too many cases, school districts are struggling to reach all the students they want to help. For example, when we examined academic recovery in 12 districts during the 2021-2022 school year, we found far fewer students were receiving academic interventions than were called for in the districts’ intervention plans. We defined recovery interventions as programs that were new or had expanded since the pandemic, were supported by ESSER funds, and offered extra supports beyond what students received in their regular classrooms. To learn about recovery interventions, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 68 central office and program leaders. The interviews focused on the type of program (e.g., tutoring, virtual learning), its content (reading, math), intensity (sessions per week), dosage (minutes per session), duration, delivery mode (in-person), and student eligibility criteria. Later, we collected data on program enrollment and participation. Together, these data revealed a large gap between the number of students districts hoped to serve with interventions and the number who received them."