K-12 Program Evaluation Findings

In our review of over 75 program evaluations completed for districts across the U.S., we found students enrolled in extra-curricular tutoring programs, unsurprisingly, had lower scores on the initial benchmarking exams and also had lower averages on the year-end state-level examinations. What is surprising, and even alarming, is that there is little to indicate that students enrolled in tutoring services in either reading or math during the school years exhibited higher gains/improved performances on the state-level examination as a result of the extra tutoring (as compared to the group of students who received no tutorial services). Only a single provider of reading tutorial services was associated with a positive and significant improvement on the state examination (+4.3 points) as compared to the reference group of students who did not get any tutorial help. By applying an evidence-based approach to identifying which tutoring services are effective, the district can replicate success that impacts student achievement.

–          For one negative-effect model, the instruction materials alone cost close to $17,960 ($40 for 445 students) while the personnel costs associated ranged closer to $36,000 (15 teachers at $10/hr for 240 hours). The total cost-savings associated with nixing the program are close to $55,000 in total.

–          For another, the initial cost is $43,000 and continues at $716 per student. Enrolling a total of 193 students, the district spent a grand total of $181,188 on an intervention proven to have a negative effect on student achievement.

–          The final negative outcome cost close to $2,000 in total.

–          By eliminating programs proven to be detrimental to student learning, one district could save up to $238,188 in total. 


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