“Charting the Path Forward for Tutoring Based in Evidence and Practice” was the first time Accelerate.us hosted an in-person gathering. Held April 26-27th in Arlington, Virginia, this invite-only event was extended to 31 grantees and provided valuable insights, fresh ideas, and networking prospects within the tutoring community and K-12 Education System.
Investing in the K-12 Education System
John Failla, Founder and CEO at Pearl, and Nate Casey, Chief Strategy Officer at Pearl, spent the day with the Acclerate.us Community of Practice listening to panel discussions, participating in breakout sessions, and connecting with fellow grantees. The dedication to incorporating tutoring as a fundamental component of the K-12 education system in the upcoming years has never been more apparent.
Attendees were a wonderful blend of K-12 Education professionals ranging from classroom educators, researchers, policy experts, to EdTech innovators. As panel discussions unfolded and workshops began, everyone contributed their unique knowledge and valuable experiences, making this a truly inspirational event.
Accelerate.us Conference Key Takeaways
Accelerate’s CEP, Kevin Huffman initiated the conference with an optimistic, yet grounded, perspective on the past two years and the challenges ahead. The room was pervaded by a palpable sense of urgency to demonstrate the efficacy of our approach before the ARP ESSER funding expires in September 2024.
The opening panel featured district leaders from Baltimore and Washington DC, who shared intriguing insights into the complexities of implementing tutoring programs within the K-12 education system. In particular, Arthur Mola, Principal of the Cardoza Education Campus captivated the audience through his discussion on the importance of having a dedicated tutoring lead and the necessary steps to foster genuine collaboration with external support.
Implementing Tutoring Programs
- Having a dedicated tutoring coordinator on your campus greatly streamlines the integration of tutoring into the scheduling framework
- Engaging kids in the data that shows their personal academic growth can be a powerful motivating factor.
- Rolling out MTSS anew is hard, but can become a strong catalyst for weaving tutoring more thoughtfully into the K-12 experience.
Future of Tech
- ChatGPT and AI writing software is not just a clear game changer, it has the opportunity to impact education in many ways, including professional development, assessment, and driving deeper individualized learning pathways.
- Although new technologies have a tremendous amount of promise, the “relationship” between student and tutor is still a critical aspect to learning.
- New technology is focused on driving down the cost of individualized learning which may soon allow for a single teacher to teach a classroom of students with individual learning gap data feeding “in real time” to the teacher.
Ensuring Outcomes Through Policy
- Every case study examined (Arkansas, Tennessee, and Texas) took a different approach to leveraging policy as a way to move quickly on tutoring.
- In many instances, the most meaningful policies are the ones that unblock heavy barriers to entry, like streamlining criminal background checks or incentivizing tutors with better pay.
There is a great opportunity to incentivize programs that adhere to strict evidence-based approaches to delivering tutoring (i.e. – TQIS as defined by the NSSA)
Sustainability and The Future
- Increased emphasis on personalized learning: With advances in educational technology and the availability of data-driven insights, more school districts are likely to adopt personalized learning models that cater to the unique needs and preferences of individual students. This may include a greater use of adaptive learning platforms, virtual tutors, and other tools that enable students to learn at their own pace and according to their own learning styles.
- Greater collaboration between schools and external stakeholders: To address the increasing demand for high-quality tutoring services, K-12 education systems and school districts may partner with external stakeholders such as community organizations, non-profits, and private companies to provide additional resources and support. This may involve the development of public-private partnerships, grant programs, and other initiatives that bring together various stakeholders to improve access and equity in education.
- Enhanced infrastructure to support remote learning: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many school districts have already invested in upgrading their infrastructure to support remote learning. This trend is likely to continue in the next five years, with more schools adopting blended learning models that combine traditional classroom instruction with online and remote learning opportunities. This may require investments in new hardware and software, as well as training and professional development for teachers and staff to support effective remote instruction.
Accelerate actively builds the country’s knowledge of tools and practices that significantly advance student learning. [They] do this by bridging the gaps between research, communities, and systems to ensure the rapid and widespread adoption of proven strategies.