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.

Accelerate.us Conference 2023

Accelerate.us Conference 2023

“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
    1. Having a dedicated tutoring coordinator on your campus greatly streamlines the integration of tutoring into the scheduling framework
    2. Engaging kids in the data that shows their personal academic growth can be a powerful motivating factor.
    3. 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
    1. 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.
    2. Although new technologies have a tremendous amount of promise, the “relationship” between student and tutor is still a critical aspect to learning.
    3. 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
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.

6 Signs You Need Tutoring Business Software 

6 Signs You Need Tutoring Business Software 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to devastating learning loss among student populations around the country while creating a chance for entrepreneurial tutors to rush in and save the day! The year 2021 saw tutoring become a hot side hustle for some and a full-time business endeavor for others. Now, in 2022, many tutors are continuing to offer their tutoring services as part-time gigs, while those with broader goals are launching highly-profitable, scalable tutoring enterprises. 

No matter how big or small your tutoring business is, at some point, you’re going to need professional software to help you stay organized and manage your tutoring enterprise. Here are 6 signs you’re ready to take things to the next level with professional tutoring business software.

1. Your inbox is clogged

Your tutoring business must stay on top of communications to maintain a professional reputation. If you’re struggling to keep track of important messages with clients via email, it’s probably past time to move on to a better way of doing things. 

Pearl’s tutoring business software lets you keep all your business messaging in one place, so you never lose track again! 

2. You’ve missed appointments with students 

Each time students miss scheduled tutoring sessions, that’s a loss of revenue for your business. Of course, you can set a policy to charge for missed appointments, but that might lead to frustrations with clients. 

The simplest way to address this issue is with a built-in reminder system that keeps students, parents—and you—on time and on schedule. Pearl lets you book, view, and manage appointments quickly and send calendar reminders for upcoming tutoring sessions.

3. You need an easier payment management

Are you tired of wasting time with manual accounting for your business tax purposes? Want to get rid of the hassle of checks or cash payments, but need a more efficient way to manage credit card payments for your tutoring sessions? 

At Pearl, our tutoring software offers easy-to-use storefront payment management features that help you do all these things and more!

4. You’re struggling to keep track of student progress

Tutoring is a financial investment for clients, and sometimes clients wonder how effective their sessions are. The fastest way to show them is through progress tracking, which helps your business demonstrate the value of your tutoring services. When clients see their return on investment, you’ll retain them longer. 

Pearl was built by tutors for tutors, so we’ve built progress tracking tools right into our tutoring platform.

5. You need more virtual classroom features

Many tutors conducting online lessons rely on video conferencing tools like Zoom or Google Meet to connect with students. Unfortunately, such tools weren’t built for educational purposes and often lack essential features you may need to share information or hold your students’ interest. 

Pearl’s tutoring business software includes more engaging video conferencing with whiteboards and screen sharing conveniently built into your dashboard.

6. You need the ability to review lessons 

Both clients and tutors love the ability to record sessions for later viewing. This capability allows students to go back and review material while enabling tutors to look for areas where students might be losing focus during lessons. 

Too many tutoring entrepreneurs try to scrape by without the proper tools at their disposal, leading to wasted time, points of frustration, and potential loss of customers. 

Pearl takes the headache out of managing your daily operations so you can focus on the things that are most important—such as teaching students effectively…and growing your tutoring business! 


To schedule a demo and see Pearl in action, get in touch with us today by filling out this contact form.

How to Grow Your Tutoring Business

How to Grow Your Tutoring Business

Congratulations on launching your new tutoring business! Trust us, we know exactly how much effort goes into such a mighty feat. But if your tutoring business is at a point where you’re ready to grow and take things to the next level, then here’s a list of some of our best tips for growing your tutoring business: 

Set goals and milestones

Zig Ziglar said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” 

To grow your tutoring business, you’ll need to establish clear short and long-term goals in your business plan. These will be your “targets” to aim at. Examples may include goals like how much income you want to bring in each month from your tutoring sessions or how many students you desire to have. 

Whatever your goals, aim high and make sure to set up achievable milestones along the way.  

Decide if you want to grow or scale

Think about the difference between growing versus scaling. Growth can require extra capital, such as hiring extra tutors. Scaling, in contrast, increases revenue without necessarily adding costs. 

Do you want to bring in more tutors so you can book more students? Should you charge higher rates for your tutoring sessions or diversify by offering discounted small group lessons? 

There’s no right answer; you’ll have to work out the best big-picture strategies to achieve your unique business goals.

Do what the pros do

You’re marketing tutoring as a service, so consider applying the Ansoff model

  • Re-examine the markets you serve and your competition. 
  • Are there ways to sell more of your existing offerings (via market penetration)? 
  • Can you apply market development to find and fill unexplored gaps, such as overlooked niche subjects nobody else is teaching? 
  • What about developing new diversified services for existing students or teaming up with other tutoring companies instead of competing against them? 

There’s no shortage of creative ideas out there, so do your homework and emulate the pro strategies of top tutoring companies. 

Learn something new

You may be a subject matter expert on the topics you tutor, but when it comes to business, there’s always more to learn. Apart from researching on your own, it could pay off to invest in education and training classes. 

A certification program or even stand-alone business courses (like University of Virginia’s Business Growth Strategy, taught via Coursera) can provide invaluable insights to help your business reach the next level! 

Rethink your branding and marketing

How’s your branding holding up? Is the brand name catchy and compelling? Do you have a distinctive logo, color scheme, or brand guidelines? Is your website attractive and functional? To gain more from your tutoring business, you might need to invest in a professional brand makeover. 

Hand-in-hand with branding comes creative marketing and advertising strategies. Many tutors try to do everything on their own, but you can find affordable, talented help from experienced marketing and design freelancers on platforms like Upwork. Or, if your budget can bear it, you might try a full-service digital marketing agency. 

Get your finances in order

If you’ve been operating your tutoring business for a while, you’re probably aware that you have to save back enough to pay taxes to the IRS. Even if you’re only running a small business from home, Uncle Sam will want a cut if your self-employment income exceeds $400. 

While growing, your business plan should forecast extra expenditures and potential revenue increases. Track those numbers diligently, so you don’t underestimate taxes and leave yourself in a bind. 

If profits are running high, consider re-investing in the business to grow faster. How that looks depends on you. Some businesses reinvest 30% – 50% of profits; some invest all profits for a duration to really get the engines revved up.

Use a flexible tutoring platform 

Many tutoring businesses subscribe to an online tutoring platform or software that can be used for remote virtual classes as well as scheduling, messaging, and other routine tutoring business functions. 

Make sure to select a tutoring platform that’s flexible and offers the right features to handle growth. The tutoring software Pearl, for example, was built by tutors, for tutors, with all these considerations in mind!

Streamline your business model 

Your small tutoring business uses processes, whether you think about them as such or not. Sit down and spend some time taking an objective look at your processes and workflow. 

Look for inefficiencies that can be reduced or eliminated so your workflow can improve — leaving you with more time and energy! One way to cut down time billing clients is to try Pearl’s user-friendly payment management features

Leverage testimonials

Nothing generates buzz like old-fashioned word of mouth, so a few ideas for getting the word out are: 

  • Ask clients to share their student outcome stories on social media. 
  • Offer a discount to those willing to make referrals. 
  • Create a Google Business profile and share the direct link so clients can easily leave reviews. 
  • Post testimonials of parents and students on your website. 

While our list is short and sweet, these concise but powerful strategies should help you jumpstart your tutoring business’s growth in no time! 

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