Student doing math homework.
It seeks to improve the learning capacity of students. Photo: Pixabay.

Gates Foundation funds mentoring research for diverse learners

The study, conducted in conjunction with Renaissance, will be held in school districts across the United States.


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Noting that the report points to the strong likelihood that high-impact tutoring can deliver learning gains for a broad group of students, 3 school districts across the country have been chosen to conduct data-driven experiments to get closer to a tutoring design that is highly effective in cost-benefit terms.

Thanks to resources allocated by the Gates Foundation, the research, led by Littera Education, will use Littera's Tutoring Management System (TMS) in conjunction with Renaissance's assessment and curriculum.

Justin Serrano, CEO and co-founder of Littera, stated:

The pandemic not only left students months behind in math, but it widened achievement gaps for historically disadvantaged students.

Scopes of the Project

With the goal of improving the implementation of math tutoring programs that support Black, Latino, and other diverse students, Littera will partner with the following schools to advance the study:

  1. Charles County Public Schools (MD)
  2. Grand Forks Public Schools (ND)
  3. Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (CA)

“Federal emergency relief funding has been a tremendous help in supporting learning recovery through high-impact tutoring, but what happens when that funding ends? This grant project will provide insights into key factors that impact student achievement so districts can design sustainable tutoring programs that are outcomes-driven and cost-effective,” added Serrano.

For his part, Todd Brekhus, CPO of Renaissance, noted: “We are excited to provide comprehensive assessment and instructional tools to help these districts create student-centered learning experiences that maximize outcomes for all.”

Project Leader

Matthew Kraft, associate professor of education and economics at Brown University, is responsible for leading the research and publishing the results in 2023.

“When Littera asked me to join this project as an independent researcher, I was intrigued by the idea of applying a cost-benefit analysis to high-impact tutoring. We look forward to examining how different design factors — such as session frequency or group size — impact achievement outcomes so districts can better design math tutoring programs for the students who need it most,” highlighted  Kraft.


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