Saga Education offers historically underserved students personalized and consistent academic support through high dosage math tutoring conducted by professional Tutoring Fellows for one class period every day for an entire school year. Fellows mentor students on the behaviors and skills that are critical to success in high school and beyond. In addition, Fellows communicate regularly with families, keeping them engaged in their children’s learning.
Saga’s high dosage tutoring interventions have been shown to improve learning for all students, especially those furthest behind in high school math. But while the in-person math tutoring model was effective, its high cost was prohibitive to scale. We supported Saga in implementing and validating a blended-learning version of its model, incorporating technology alongside in-person tutoring.
Analysis of early findings from the two-year randomized controlled trial suggest gains in the blended-learning model are comparable to gains in the traditional in-person model: an average of one to two and a half extra years of learning a year. But the cost per student is much lower, and the blended learning approach made it possible for Saga to quickly expand virtual tutoring in light of COVID-19.
Saga, which serves over 4,500 students, the vast majority of whom are students of color, is now integrating technology platforms to facilitate greater scale and customization into their offering, including a fully virtual tutoring model for SY 2020-21. Our 2020 grant to Saga will continue to support their increased reach, projected to be over 10,000 students by 2022, and the validation of the blended tutoring model in partnership with Arnold Ventures and University of Chicago.