In the Apollo 20 Schools in Houston ISD and the Denver Summit Schools, there was a significant positive impact on student achievement that could be attributed to the provision of high-dosage math tutoring for students in specific grades. Based on these results, we ask whether these results can be replicated – or even amplified – in reading by providing a cohort of students with daily small-group tutoring over the course of three years.
In partnership with the NYC Department of Education and ExpandED Schools, a cohort of approximately 900 sixth grade students in 20 schools are eligible to receive daily reading tutoring, beginning in the 2013-14 school year and lasting through the 2015-16 school year – their entire middle school career. These schools are part of a larger initiative within the NYCDOE known as the Middle School Quality Initiative, which is focused on improving literacy instruction for middle school students. Additionally, students in these schools are eligible to participate in expanded day learning opportunities through the schools’ partnership with ExpandED Schools.
The reading tutoring is aimed at the subset of students who had basic reading fluency but displayed below-grade-level comprehension skills. This group of students was eligible to receive approximately forty-five minutes of guided reading each day in groups of four students with a dedicated reading tutor. The curriculum for the program includes approximately 150 high-interest young adult texts and was developed by adolescent literacy experts to enable tutors without a background in reading instruction to implement high-quality reading tutoring.
This project is ongoing and analyses will be forthcoming.