The Connecticut State Dept of Education is preparing to launch the Connecticut High-Dosage Tutoring Program – a new statewide program for students in grades 6 to 9 that will provide intensive tutoring in mathematics to accelerate learning and address learning loss resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program was announced Wednesday by the Governor.
To support the creation of this program, the Connecticut State Dept of Education is allocating $10 million from its share of federal COVID-19 recovery funds provided through the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund.
The dedication of this funding represents a continued commitment by the Lamont administration and the State Department of Education to invest in programs with a demonstrable and time-tested record of impact on student learning.
“The need for robust accelerated learning interventions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has never been greater, and by dedicating this funding to create an intensive tutoring program, we can provide school districts with greater support to identify students who are struggling and connect them with the resources they need to succeed,” Governor Lamont said in a release.
“We know from established research and practice that high-dosage tutoring is one of the best investments we can make to elevate student achievement,” said Education Charlene Russell-Tucker. “Few interventions have had such an unequivocally positive impact on expanding learning opportunities and closing equity gaps. State and national assessment data have repeatedly demonstrated that middle school mathematics remains an area of significant challenge, so I am pleased to take this added step in implementing a proven strategy in support of our learners, educators, and families.”
An analysis of 2022 Smarter Balanced Assessment scores shows “declines in student proficiency of around 6 to 8 percentage points in English language arts and math.” Students in grades 6 to 8 “may be 5 to 7 months behind in English language arts and a year or more behind in math.” Additionally, recent National Assessment for Educational Progress results in Connecticut reveal significant declines in math scores since the assessment was first administered in 1990.
High-dosage tutoring is a nationally recognized education strategy for boosting student academic achievement. It is being implemented in states and districts across the country as they seek ways to address learning loss from the pandemic. When implemented in accordance with rigorous and well-tested design principles, research has found that students can learn as much as one to two years of math beyond what they might typically achieve in the classroom and experience reductions in failure rates by more than 50%. Elements of Connecticut’s model, which will be released in the coming weeks, will adhere closely to these research principles.
The State Department of Education is preparing to make this program available in Connecticut schools during the 2023-2024 academic year. The department will soon launch a competitive grant application for school districts that are interested in participating. In addition to grant funding, a vetted list of approved tutoring providers will be provided to school districts from which they can choose to augment their school’s tutoring capacity.
To prepare for the program’s launch, the State Department of Education is currently soliciting surveys from tutoring providers that are interested in participating. Tutoring providers that want to be considered can fill out the survey that is available online at portal.ct.gov/SDE/COVID19/AccelerateCT/High-Dosage-Tutoring.
Additionally, the State Department of Education will soon release a request for a technical assistance provider to join the department in coaching schools on best practices for building high-dosage tutoring programs.
US Senator Richard Blumenthal said, “This federal funding – enabling kids to catch up from pandemic learning loss – will be a great boost to our students and schools. Math tutoring in these crucial grades will be deeply impactful, enabling students to overcome obstacles caused by Covid. Teachers and students alike deserve this support to close gaps in math education.”
“COVID-19 forced our students out of schools, depriving them of the opportunity to socialize, collaborate, and, in many cases, reap the full benefits of Connecticut’s excellent education system,” said “US Representative Jim Himes (CT-04). The Connecticut High-Dosage Tutoring Program, established with funds from the American Rescue Plan, will accelerate our children’s learning by providing one-on-one attention so that every student can crush algebraic equations and feel confident in the classroom.”