CRESPAR Report #14: Volunteer Tutoring Programs: A Review of Research on Achievement Outcomes

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The America Reads Challenge makes a national commitment to the goal that every child will read independently and well by the end of third grade. The primary means of achieving this goal is to place one million volunteers in schools to tutor children in reading. However, we know very little about the effectiveness of using volunteer tutors in our schools. This report reviews 16 volunteer tutoring programs. Only two of these programs had an evaluation comparing equivalent treatment and comparison groups to determine the effectiveness of the program. Five of the programs had no evaluations at all.
The Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk (CRESPAR) was established in 1994 and continued until 2004. It was a collaboration between Johns Hopkins University and Howard University. CRESPAR’s mission was to conduct research, development, evaluation, and dissemination of replicable strategies designed to transform schooling for students who were placed at risk due to inadequate institutional responses to such factors as poverty, ethnic minority status, and non-English-speaking home background.
CRESPAR, Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk, Tutoring, Achievement Outcomes