Mayor Emanuel announces $2.5 million to expand tutoring backed by research evidence

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Urban Education Lab and Crime Lab to continue studying program’s promise in closing achievement gap

An additional $2.5 million in funding will support the expansion of a tutoring program that UChicago researchers have found helps at-risk students, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on March 31.

The funding for the Match tutoring program in the Chicago Public Schools comes from a $1.5 million pledge from the Illinois-based EquiTrust Life Insurance Company and a $1 million pledge from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Researchers from UChicago’s Urban Education Lab and Crime Lab have shown that Match can help improve test scores and school attendance, keeping students on track for graduation. The new funding will help support the next stage of that research.

“We are immensely grateful to EquiTrust and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation for their support of this work, which seeks to ensure that some of Chicago’s most vulnerable youth are squarely on the path to reaching their full potential,” said Roseanna Ander, Executive Director of the Urban Education Lab and the Crime Lab.

Emanuel announced in January plans to expand Match from 600 to 1,000 CPS high school students. That coincided with new results from the Urban Education Lab and Crime Lab showing that Match tutoring, along with counseling and mentoring through the Becoming a Man (BAM) program, could reduce the achievement gap for CPS students. About half of students who take part in the new expansion also will participate in the BAM program, developed by Chicago non-profits Youth Guidance and World Sport Chicago.

Earlier this year, Jens Ludwig, co-director of the Urban Education Lab, director of the UChicago Crime Lab and the McCormick Foundation Professor of Social Service Administration, Law, and Public Policy, welcomed the additional support for the tutoring and mentoring programs. The expansion will allow researchers to better understand the mechanisms of how these programs work and whether they can produce the same results with a larger group of students.

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