Alliance Schools Reimagine High-Dosage Math Tutoring
Through a combination of innovation, collaboration, and a strong commitment to equity, Alliance College-Ready Public Schools has set the pace as one of the largest and most successful nonprofit charter public school networks in Los Angeles, educating 13,000 scholars from our most marginalized communities. Funding from LA2050 will allow us to double down on our culture of shared learning and implement a reimagined high-dosage math tutoring initiative to close the learning gap for hundreds of scholars across our 26 middle and high schools.
What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?
K-12 STEAM Education
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
San Fernando Valley
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?
Expand existing project, program, or initiative
What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?
The public health emergency of the last three years has taken a drastic toll on student achievement nationwide, with low-income scholars of color-who make up 97% of the scholar population at Alliance-disproportionately harmed by the pandemic's stolen opportunities to learn. Not only have trends demonstrated a steep decline in student growth and performance across all academic subjects, but Math in particular has reflected the largest declines across the United States where students already perform below average compared to students from other countries on the global stage. Math concepts are compounding, requiring students to master a number of prerequisite skills in order to perform on grade level. When significant gaps in early understanding and mastery are not addressed, it makes it especially difficult for students to build upon the important conceptual foundation often needed to be successful in the classroom and in the real world.
Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.
Given the urgency of this national crisis and the unique constraints now facing Alliance scholars in math-and in service of our mission to ensure all Alliance scholars graduate college-ready-over the next three years we seek to implement a network-wide, high-dosage math tutoring intervention strategy. This strategy is designed to bolster academic instruction and mitigate the damaging impact of the pandemic on near- and long-term scholar achievement. Continuing to strengthen general education math for all scholars and offering high dosage tutoring is one of the most promising ways to support and accelerate scholar learning. Tutoring ensures specific interventions are available to help scholars below grade level learn important math concepts, while safeguarding time for teachers to focus on providing grade-level instruction in the general education classroom. Towards this end, Alliance seeks funding to expand our partnership with Air Tutors-a virtual tutoring company that offers small group tutoring for scholars-allowing us to provide high-dosage math tutoring across the network. We have selected Air Tutors because of the company's demonstrated efficacy and impressive outcomes in serving students with similar demographic backgrounds and life experiences to Alliance scholars.
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
In the short-term, addressing scholars' unfinished learning is a top priority for Alliance, particularly in math where scholars lost significant ground during the pandemic. Our partnership with Air Tutors will allow us to cultivate a safe and supportive space for positive learning experiences for Los Angeles' youth, close critical learning gaps, and accelerate scholars' academic success in math. Long term, our organizational northstar is that at least 75% of Alliance scholars successfully graduate from a four-year college. As Los Angeles grows increasingly diverse with economic inequality becoming more pronounced, youth are calling on us to change the underlying structural inequalities that have stopped us from living up to our highest ideals as a nation and threaten our collective well-being and global sustainability. Our shared well being is tied directly to the Alliance scholars' success and their ability to access the single most important lever for social change: a college degree.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
To regularly assess scholars' academic progress across the network throughout the year, Alliance introduced the iReady diagnostic screener for the first time last year, helping our educators to pinpoint each scholars' strengths and areas for academic improvement through targeted interventions. The primary objective of implementing high-dosage math tutoring is to accelerate the skills of scholars who are 2 or 3+ years behind, so they can access core grade level mathematics. We aim to build the math confidence of our scholars and provide high-dosage tutoring to scholars in a way that minimizes the lift on school leaders and teachers. Ultimately, our goal is to support Alliance scholars to achieve growth toward math proficiency, as measured by their scores on the state standardized exam SBAC and a 6 percentage point gain average over the next three schools years, beginning with last year's 2021-22 school year performance as our baseline (Middle School math 17%, High School math 23%).
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 13,000
Indirect Impact: 51,500
Describe the role of collaborating organizations on this project.
The Alliance Foundation is serving as lead applicant for this proposal, with project implementation being carried out by Alliance College-Ready Public Schools. Existing solely to strengthen community support of and investment in Alliance schools, the Alliance Foundation, a separate legal entity with no overlapping board members or staff, works in tandem with Alliance to ensure that excellent educational opportunities exist for our 13,000 annually enrolled scholars and families that live in communities where traditional institutions have failed them. While distinct 501(c)(3) entities, both organizations are working in fidelity to the charge established by Alliance's founders to provide support for scholars and families who deserve access to an exceptional public education.