Biden Admin Recruiting 250,000 Tutors To Aid Pandemic Learning Loss

The Biden administration announced an initiative to recruit 250,000 tutors to help students catch up from pandemic learning loss.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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Schools across the nation have been working to close the academic gap on learning loss in many ways, but one common theme to do so is tutoring. There’s a good reason for this, as tutoring offers a structured learning experience much like in the class, but with a more personalized touch catered to each student’s needs. Understanding how important tutors are, the Biden administration just announced a call to action plan to hire 250,000 more tutors for students across the nation.

In an announcement made on the U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) website posted Tuesday, July 5th, the administration announced the plan to hire 250,000 tutors to boost academic recovery needed from increased learning loss disrupted by school closures during the COVID pandemic. This will be made possible by the government’s newly launched initiative, the National Partnership for Student Success (NPSS). It will congregate tutors across school districts, nonprofits, colleges, and universities to boost student learning. 

To make this endeavor possible, the US DOE partnered with AmeriCorps and the John Hopkins Everyone Graduates Center. Tutors will be able to sign up to help through volunteer or national service opportunities, along with mentoring programs, or work studies. In a statement, the US Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona, signified the importance of initiating this act, citing how school leaders know now, more than ever, that learning loss was greatly exacerbated all across the country in the past few years. 

While many estimated that learning loss would decimate school achievement because of the pandemic, data and extensive studies have just started to depict just how great this was felt. Disadvantaged students already struggling before COVID are now known to have severely suffered academically. Tutors might be the only hope to catch these students up.

In promoting the new tutor initiative, the DOE also announced a plan to expand upon the Best Practices Clearinghouse. This site aids districts in navigating ways to use funds from the American Rescue Plan to fund initiatives to hire tutors. Additionally, many states are boosting tutoring efforts with COVID relief funds.

In Arkansas, the state DOE launched a Tutoring Corps to recruit tutors and expand all across the state. DC invested COVID funds into what they call High-Dosage Tutoring. This effort invested $40 million over the next three years with a focus to place tutors in front of high-risk students who suffered the most learning loss. Oklahoma funded a similar program as well for 8th-grade students learning math. In South Carolina, virtual tutoring programs are helping to catch kids up. And in Tennessee, a grant matching program will give children access to tutors. 

While many are lauding the government’s new effort to bolster academics and aid in the search for more tutors amid a massive teacher shortage crisis, many critics were quick to ridicule the administration, pointing to the fact that the government aided and abetted schools unions and organization that pushed to keep schools closed. However, pointing fingers at whose to blame does nothing to solve the problem at hand. Moving forward, and focusing on ways to aid students in learning recovery should be of the utmost importance, regardless of who might be to blame for the increased amount of learning loss.