Is tutoring the solution to producing more equitable educational outcomes?

Garrett Wilson's picture

My proposal focuses on the intersection of education and poverty. Multiple studies have shown that lower income students tend to do worse in school for a variety of reasons including lack of school funding, crime, and lack of role models. It's often disheartening as talent and intelligence are equally distributed while opportunity is often not. When low income students don't succeed in school, it can perpetuate an unfornate cycle that can become intergenerational. 

This has long been an issue in America and many proposals have been proposed to fix it, such as increased school funding, increased after school group educational and recreation programs, and school vouchers to name a few. 

However, as I've been doing research for my proposal, I've been researching increased access to free one-on-one school tutoring as a means to school success for low income students. I'm sure many Michigan students understand how beneficial tutoring can be. Based on student demographics, some of us were probably lucky enough to receive tutoring in high school, whether it be for important tests like the SAT/ACT, or in specific subjects where we struggled. 

This article addresses just how beneficial tutoring can be to low income students. The study focuses on math tutoring, and over the course of the year "the improvement in math grades was the equivalent of going from a 1.77 GPA to a GPA of 2.35, or a jump from a C- to a C+". Clearly, this is significant as "98% of students performed better than the control group that used no tutoring". 

Do you have experiences of your own with tutoring? What are your thoughts on this policy? How could it be effectively implemented? Would love some feedback as this is specifically what I'm working on for my proposal!

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