Evidence for ESSA Recognizes Saga High-Impact Math Tutoring with a “Strong” Evidence Rating

May 22, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Strong Evidence for Effectiveness: Saga Education’s high-impact tutoring (HIT) program for grades 9-10 math received a “strong” evidence rating from Evidence for ESSA. This signifies that the program has been rigorously evaluated and shows significant effectiveness in improving student learning outcomes.

  • Focus on Supplementing Math Instruction: Saga’s HIT program is designed to complement, not replace, existing math classes. It provides additional support during the school day, with sessions happening at least three times a week for 90 minutes each.

  • Flexible Tutoring Models: Saga offers HIT programs in two models: traditional with smaller group sizes (1:2, 1:3, 1:4) and a technology-enhanced model with a larger group size (1:8) where students alternate between direct tutoring and computer-assisted learning.

  • Ongoing Development and Exploration: Saga Education acknowledges the potential for further development in high-impact tutoring. They are exploring how to leverage technology (like AI) to improve scalability and how to apply HIT to other areas like teacher support, student attendance, and parent communication.

Saga’s High-Impact Math Tutoring Earns “Strong” Evidence Rating from ESSA

Saga Education’s approach to high-impact tutoring (HIT) for math in grades 9 and 10 recently received a rating of “strong” evidence from Evidence for ESSA

What is a “Strong” Evidence Rating from Evidence for ESSA? 

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the primary law governing K–12 education in the U.S., sets stringent standards for evidence ratings, recognizing four levels: strong, moderate, promising, and evidence-building. A “strong evidence” rating, as received by Saga Education, signifies that their educational interventions have been rigorously evaluated and proven effective through well-designed and well-implemented studies, according to Evidence for ESSA. 

“At Saga, which is an edtech nonprofit, we’re devoted to ensuring the tutoring support that we provide to schools and to help struggling students is proven to work,” said Saga Education CEO and Co-founder Alan Safran. “Research has repeatedly shown that high-impact tutoring in various models—when implemented well—can improve students’ learning outcomes and set kids up for success for years to come. We’re honored to have this strong validation of our framework from Evidence for ESSA.” 

How Saga’s HIT Program Works: Supplementing Math Instruction

Evidence for ESSA based its “Strong” rating for Saga Education on three evaluations of Saga Math in large-scale randomized controlled trials and Saga’s average effect size of +0.14 across Saga tutoring models. These specific pieces of evidence highlight the effectiveness of Saga’s approach and its potential to improve students’ learning outcomes significantly.

Flexible Tutoring Models: Meeting Student Needs

Saga’s framework for high-impact tutoring embeds it during the regular school day. HIT does not replace existing math courses but supplements it. Tutoring occurs at least three times per week for at least  90 minutes. Saga’s curriculum aligns with federal and state standards. Tutor supervisors meet with teachers to ensure tutoring aligns with classroom instruction. In Saga’s traditional model, tutors meet with students in tutor-to-student ratios of 1:2, 1:3, and 1:4. In Saga’s technology-enhanced model, tutors work in a 1:8 tutor-to-student ratio, with tutors working directly with four students on alternating days and students who are not being tutored directly working on a computer-assisted learning platform. 

Saga Education acknowledges the potential of high-impact tutoring as an area for ongoing exploration and development. We look forward to sharing more insights with our partners, including how AI and technology can enhance scalability. Additionally, we aim to explore how high-impact tutoring can support other critical areas in education, such as the teacher pipeline, student attendance, mentorship, and parent communication.

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