One of the most difficult tests facing schools this fall is how to pull off widespread intervention and assistance for students who begin the 2020-21 school year with learning loss. The challenge is not a new one. American classrooms have always been heterogeneous, serving students of vastly different backgrounds. But those gaps will be intensified due to the disparities in access to health care, the internet, and robust teaching wrought by COVID-19 since last March.?
An estimate from McKinsey and Company suggests that, if schools don’t return to in-person schooling until January 2021, students could lose between three and 11 months of learning, depending on the quality of the remote learning. Those losses, it suggests, will be worse for Black, Hispanic, and low-income students.
The research on high-dosage tutoring—generally defined as one-on-one tutoring or tutoring in very small groups at least three times a week, or for about 50 hours over a semester—is robust, and it is convincing. On average, the effect sizes are among the largest of all interventions seen in education.??