Saga Education’s Evidence-Based Tutoring Program Scales to Address Learning Loss — Saga Education

August 10, 2020


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BOSTON (August 10, 2020) – Saga Education, a nonprofit that provides consistent, personalized, in-school-day math tutoring and mentoring, today announced the expansion of its tutoring program in New York City and Chicago. Supported by nearly $6M in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Citadel Founder and CEO Ken Griffin, philanthropic dollars will enable Saga Education to reach 1,600 new high school students in under resourced schools in the 2020-21 school year.

In partnership with leaders in two of the nation’s largest school districts, the program will scale through a combination of public and private funding and employ 187 tutors in a service year model. The Gates Foundation’s support will expand the program online to 1,000 students per year across six schools in New York City over two years. Griffin’s support will scale the program by 600 additional students across five schools in Chicago this academic year, bringing the total served in Chicago to 2120 students in 20 schools. The Saga model can be delivered in person, or online, by professional tutors.

“Early research suggests that millions of students will start the 2020-21 school year behind. Researchers and educators have called for new, intentional investments in tutoring to address learning loss,” said Antonio Gutierrez, co-founder of Saga Education. “We know that high-dosage tutoring models like Saga drive positive outcomes for students. The support and recognition from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Ken Griffin will allow us to scale research-proven supports to our most vulnerable students in a dire moment.”

“Saga’s innovative approach to personalized education in math is creating pathways to success for students across our country,” said Griffin. “I am proud to support their work to empower students with the tools and confidence they need to learn, grow and make their aspirations a reality.”

Even before the pandemic, research has found that many students arrive to high school three or more years behind grade level, especially in math — a key barrier to graduation. 80 percent of students who drop out of high school cite course failures as their number one reason and Algebra 1 is the course most frequently failed.

Since 2013, the University of Chicago Education Lab has researched Saga Education’s intensive math tutoring model in Chicago Public Schools and in New York City, finding that it substantially improves academic outcomes for high school students. In two randomized controlled trials, students who received Saga tutoring learned as much as an extra two and a half years of math in one academic year – the equivalent to closing up to 50 percent of the black-white test score gap in one school year. The randomized controlled trials also found that Saga’s tutoring model reduced math course failure rates by 60 percent.

About Saga Education

Saga Education is an evidence-based, personalized tutoring intervention designed to support students struggling with math, to give them the confidence and academic strength to graduate high school and pursue their dreams. In 2020, the organization was named to Fast Company’s prestigious list of the World’s Most Innovative Educational Companies, recognized for its evidence–based, scalable tutoring model which serves students in high-need schools.

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