2023 Pearl Year-In-Review

2023 Pearl Year-In-Review

As we close out another year, we can say with 100% confidence that 2023 has been a wild ride!

At Pearl, we are grateful to all our Tutoring Partners, Ecosystem Partners, Pearl Team Members, and Instructors that have invested their time, energy, and commitment into fostering student success through both in-person and virtual high-impact tutoring.

5 Reasons to Start a Home-Grown Tutoring Program

5 Reasons to Start a Home-Grown Tutoring Program

A Home-Grown Tutoring Partnership represents a collaborative effort, typically spearheaded by state DOEs, districts (LEAs), or non-profit organizations, to harness the power of local tutoring resources for the benefit of schools in their vicinity. The cornerstone of these initiatives is the emphasis on evidence-based practices, such as in-person high-impact tutoring, ensuring not only immediate academic support but also long-term sustainability of the programs.

This type of program has the potential to be a community treasure, transforming local experts like retired teachers, inspired professionals, and local college students into educational lifelines. These initiatives go beyond standard tutoring, offering customized, locally relevant learning while simultaneously boosting the community’s economy through internal investment.

Why Develop a Home-Grown Model

1. Strengthening Community Bonds

Home-grown tutoring programs bring education back to the local level, fostering a sense of community involvement and ownership that is irreplaceable. When local residents — be they in-house teachers and support staff, local university students, retired teachers, high-achieving high school students, or passionate volunteers — become tutors, it strengthens community bonds. This engagement isn’t just heartwarming; it’s also effective. Tutors with a profound understanding of local dynamics are uniquely positioned to connect with and inspire their students.

2. Economic Reinvestment in the Community

By employing residents as tutors, districts keep State funding within the community, contributing to local economic sustainability. Instead of allocating resources to entities outside the community, the money flows back into the local economy, enhancing the district’s financial health and fostering a sense of communal pride and investment in the success of its students.

3. Tailored Learning Experiences

The home-grown approach to tutoring takes personalized learning a step further, capitalizing on the intrinsic understanding local tutors have of the unique cultural, economic, and social dynamics that influence their students. This deep comprehension stems from shared experiences and histories, an asset that cannot be imported. Moreover, this approach fosters enhanced communication and stronger relationships between tutors and regular school teachers. 

Being part of the same community, they can collaborate more effectively (often in-person), aligning their strategies and goals. This synergy ensures a cohesive learning journey for students, where tutoring complements mainstream education. The tutors’ nuanced understanding of local dynamics, combined with consistent dialogue with school teachers, creates a more holistic, supportive, and effective educational ecosystem.

4. Empowered Professional Development

Home-grown tutoring initiatives create professional development opportunities within the community. Educators can collaborate with local tutors, sharing insights, strategies, and feedback that drive improvement. This continual learning environment not only enhances the quality of education but also increases job satisfaction and retention among teachers.

Home-grown tutoring partnerships are more than educational aids; they’re career springboards for tutors themselves. By fostering skills like leadership and communication, these local initiatives help tutors navigate diverse career or higher-ed paths. The hands-on experience enhances job applications and academic pursuits alike, making these programs a win-win: enriching student learning while advancing tutors’ professional journeys.

5. Enhanced School-Community Relationships

When schools initiate or expand home-grown tutoring programs, it signals to the community that the district values local talent and collaboration. This approach strengthens the relationship between schools and the communities they serve, establishing a foundation of mutual trust and respect that benefits all educational initiatives.

Summary

By focusing on local talent, tailored learning, economic reinvestment, and professional development, districts can cultivate a more engaged, effective, and sustainable educational environment. The challenges faced by rural areas have given rise to a model of education that’s not just a necessity for them but a beacon of inspiration for all. It’s time for educational districts everywhere to recognize the universal potential of this approach and embrace the home-grown advantage.

To Learn more about how Pearl supports Home-Grown Community Tutoring Programs – read the spotlight on Guilford Public Schools in North Carolina (and their amazing success).

Pearl Launches Tutoring Ecosystem with 10 of the Nation’s Leading Education Organizations

Pearl Launches Tutoring Ecosystem with 10 of the Nation’s Leading Education Organizations

Reprinted from original source: Globenewswire

RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pearl, a leading research-based tutoring platform, today announced the launch of their ecosystem which includes strategic partnerships with 10 of the nation’s top universities and education organizations – including Centers for Research and Reform at Johns Hopkins University, The National Student Support Accelerator at Stanford University, Stanford Graduate School of Education, and Deans for Impact – during the launch of its Tutoring Ecosystem. The Pearl Tutoring Ecosystem is the combination of its operational and data platform with specialized resources from the nation’s leading colleges, universities, and community partners across critical aspects of evidence-based tutoring programs. Pearl Ecosystem partners are united in their efforts to support communities trying to start, scale, and sustain relationship-based, high-impact tutoring.

“The organizations Pearl supports gain efficiencies through an all-in-one solution that caters to the diverse needs of tutoring programs at the state and local levels by streamlining operations, reporting actionable data and, most importantly, improving student outcomes,” said John Failla, Pearl’s Founder and CEO. “Our tutoring partners trust us to help them design an all-encompassing evidence-based program and now they will have access to an ecosystem featuring many of the nation’s leading education organizations.”

The key resources provided by the Pearl Tutoring Ecosystem includes assessment, content and curriculum, funding support, program design, third-party research and third-party evaluation, tutor management, and tutor training and professional development.

Leading education companies joining Pearl in the Tutoring Ecosystem:

  • Deans for Impact
  • JUMP Math
  • K12 Connect at Grand Valley State University
  • Mindprint Learning
  • National Student Support Accelerator
  • PLUS – Personalized Learning Squared
  • Proven Tutoring at CRRE Johns Hopkins University
  • Proximity Learning
  • RFP/Grant Support Specialist, Ashley Parker Sheils
  • Stanford University Graduate School of Education

“Research shows that relationship-based, intensive tutoring leads to positive academic growth and student success,” said Susanna Loeb, PhD, Professor at Stanford and Director of the National Student Support Accelerator. “As schools across the country navigate the ongoing challenges that COVID learning loss continues to present three years after its onset, providing educators with streamlined access to tools that support student growth can be greatly beneficial and the reason that we collaborate regularly with Pearl and are part of the Pearl ecosystem of support. Through our frequent conversations with education leaders, we know the benefit of making it easier for schools and students to access the tutoring support they need and for school systems to have the data they need to measure and drive achievement and continuously improve their programs.”

To become a Pearl Tutoring Ecosystem partner or learn more about the platform, visit tutorwithpearl.com.

Based in Richmond, VA, Pearl is the first research-based education ecosystem that streamlines operations, reports actionable data, and improves outcomes for districts, state agencies, and organizations tutoring tomorrow’s workforce, today. The platform’s fully integrated classroom and administrative tools allow its partners to start, scale, and sustain evidence-based tutoring to support measurable outcomes for all communities. This all-in-one solution provides access to the nation’s largest and most respected industry partners including the National Student Support Accelerator at Stanford University. To schedule a demo and learn more, visit TutorwithPearl.com.

 

Tutoring Takes a Village (and an Ecosystem)

Tutoring Takes a Village (and an Ecosystem)

As summer comes to an end and kids are back in school, learning and learning loss is top-of-mind for parents and educators. Unfortunately, current learning loss has reached levels unseen by any previous generation. According to the NWEA, only a quarter of students are up to grade level in math, with one-third at grade level in reading. It would take more than 7 months and more than 9 months for eighth graders to catch up in reading and math, respectively. That’s not the kind of deficit that can be made up in a few after school sessions./span>

The Power of High-Impact Tutoring

Fortunately, high-impact tutoring (HIT) is proven to mitigate learning loss, and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding has allowed many districts to take advantage of its benefits. In 2022, the market size in revenue of the online tutoring services industry was $1.9 billion, an increase of 17.7% over 2021.

But HIT only works if done correctly, and while billions of dollars are going into tutoring, the data landscape for the industry is so fragmented that administrators are forced to make buying decisions in the dark. States and districts unfamiliar with the principles of HIT lack the tools to identify the partners who are best positioned to help the students they aim to support.

Decision-makers need their own support in designing their programs, finding and communicating with the right tutors, and, perhaps even more importantly, engaging researchers that can properly perform a third-party evaluation to prove compliance to evidence-based tutoring standards, overall impact, and ROI of their program.

The Need for New

Seeing the challenges our existing tutoring partners were facing, Pearl used our network of top educational connections to build a tutoring ecosystem, benefiting states, districts, and independent tutoring organizations. 

The Tutoring Ecosystem gives Pearl tutoring platform users access to resources and organizations to help them with content and curriculum, funding support, program design, third-party research and evaluation, tutor management, and professional development, as well as streamlining operations and reporting actionable data. This kind of arrangement gives tutors and administrators the tools they need to succeed, which translates tangibly to student success.

Relationships Matter

It all comes down to relationships and consistency. In his 2009 meta study, Visible Learning, John Hattie found that a student who has a strong relationship with a teacher will learn 72% faster than a student without one. That means meeting with the same tutor for at least 30 minutes, three times a week. This consistency accounts for two of the five pillars of successful HIT. The other key components are small groups of no more than three students, sessions embedded during the school day, and data-driven instructional materials and assessment tools.

Community-Based Tutoring Programs

One way states and districts can build a tutoring program is to connect K-12 schools with colleges and universities to establish community-based tutoring. Through the Federal Work Study program, college students are hired to tutor part-time, which helps finance the cost of their postsecondary education while providing dependable tutoring services to K-12 schools at a fraction of the conventional cost. In addition, the National Partnership for Student Success infuses the educational landscape with resources while fostering community connections and establishing a talent pipeline from universities to schools.

Future Forward

The new school year is upon us, as is the ESSER cliff (though thankfully it’s been extended!). With academic anxieties steadily rising, the magnified threat of learning loss stands as an unanticipated challenge for this generation. While high-impact tutoring offers a promising solution, it’s crucial that it’s implemented with precision and backed by evidence. The fragmented nature of the current tutoring model often leaves educational decision-makers navigating in obscurity. 

Pearl’s Tutoring Ecosystem is illuminating a way forward, combining proprietary technology with invaluable resources from the best in education. By fostering robust relationships and leveraging community connections, we’ve created a tutoring framework that doesn’t just patch learning deficits but propels students towards success. Instead of merely injecting funds into ad-hoc tutoring bandaids, the path ahead calls for an integrated, holistic approach where tutors are empowered to make lasting impacts. It’s not just about catching up; it’s about reinventing the way we support our students’ academic journeys.

About the Author

John Failla is the CEO and Founder of Pearl, a leading research-based, tutoring ecosystem. Inspired by his experience as a struggling student and the positive impact created by his high-school tutor, John built the proprietary Pearl platform in 2019 to help his tutoring company scale, while keeping relationships at the core. Pearl prioritizes relationships by uniting teaching with technology, helping relationship-based educators and students achieve meaningful and measurable success.

Today, John is on a mission to create equitable access to relationship-based education that is impactful, scalable and sustainable. Pearl is the platform provider behind many of the nation’s largest community-based, tutoring initiatives including Arkansas, New Jersey, Illinois, and Virginia, with the Ecosystem bringing together the most progressive and respected education organizations including the National Student Support Accelerator at Stanford University. 

John is a graduate of the University of Richmond where he serves as Founder in Residence, fostering relationships between the university and its burgeoning startup community.

VIRTUAL SUMMIT: "The Future of High-Impact Tutoring with AI" | June 5 from 12-3 pm ET
This is default text for notification bar