Students receiving Minnesota Math Corps tutoring significantly exceed expectations according to new study

Math tutors still needed in Fridley

A rigorous evaluation of Minnesota Math Corps found that students receiving tutoring through the AmeriCorps program achieved significantly higher growth in math skills than students who did not.

Fridley, which was awarded four Minnesota Math Corps tutors for the 2017-2018 school year is still hoping to hire two tutors yet this quarter. Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a math tutor is encouraged to visit www.minnesotamathcorps.org.

Minnesota Math Corps supports students in grades 4-8 who are falling behind in math. Recent research provides strong evidence that the program works—a 2016 large-scale study funded by the Brady Education Foundation found that:

• Math Corps students in grades 4-8 made gains in math skills that were significantly larger than students who did not receive Math Corps support.

• Math Corps students were 2-3 months ahead of their expected trajectory at the conclusion of the study, getting them back on track for the academic and career success associated with math proficiency.

In that study, researchers used the “gold standard” of evaluation—a randomized controlled trial (RCT)—in which nearly 500 students in grades 4-8 were randomly assigned to either receive or not receive Math Corps. Schools throughout the state of Minnesota participated in the study. “The results are exceptionally positive, and such significant, meaningful effects across age levels are rare within rigorous educational research. In fact, in the area of math, fewer than 10 percent of existing RCTs have seen positive results,” said Alison Jirik, Math Corps Program Director. She noted that Minnesota schools have responded to the news by requesting more tutors than ever before who are needed to serve about 5,000 students throughout the state.

This school year, Math Corps will continue to be evaluated thanks to support from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. This rigorous, year-long study will determine the impact of Math Corps on student success with the state math assessment and the degree to which Math Corps contributes to closing the achievement gap. Students at Hayes Elementary will participate in the study.

Math Corps brings together the people power of AmeriCorps and evidence-based strategies to help students progress more quickly toward the ultimate goal of algebra success. Algebra is a gateway course correlated with high school graduation, college attendance, and college graduation. Once students fall behind in math, catching up becomes very difficult because skills build on one another. Gaps in math knowledge begin as early as elementary school and increase over time. With direct, targeted intervention, Math Corps provides a solution. More information is available at www.minnesotamathcorps.org.

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