Chicago Public Schools investing recovery funds to develop a tutor corps targeting multilingual learners.

Chicago Public Schools will use $25 million of its federal relief funds to hire and train 850 individuals from Chicago, including college students, community members, retired educators, and recent CPS graduates for a district-wide Tutor Corps focused on students most heavily impacted by COVID-19. To ensure that tutors can help support multilingual learners, the district is training them on effective strategies for working with multilingual learners. For a district with over 70,000 multilingual learners, ensuring that district staff is trained to address their needs is important for improving student outcomes.

Investing in targeted development of tutors to equip them with strategies for effectively working with multilingual learners can help ensure that high dosage tutoring meaningfully accelerates learning for this student population.

We are spotlighting this practice because small-group high dosage tutoring can help accelerate learning, but unless multilingual learners are receiving targeted support that attends to their needs through proven strategies, it may miss the mark for improving outcomes for this disproportionately impacted student population. An investment in ensuring tutors receive basic training for working with multilingual learners will improve the chances the tutoring effort is successful. The partnership and investment between the tutor corps and the Office of Language and Cultural Education can also help identify and address broader needs within the district’s high dosage tutoring program with a lens for multilingual learners.

Reviewer Analysis

The Education Trust

We are encouraged by this practice. It is targeting students, particularly multilingual learners, who have been most impacted by the pandemic and equipping tutors with evidence-based strategies to address unfinished learning.

The Rural Alliance

Seems like a great opportunity to develop and train a critical educational workforce. The targeted development of the tutors allows for a better opportunity for expertise.

Leslie Villegas

This investment has many of the details and depth that some of the other, more generic tutoring and afterschool programs are missing. It should be noted ensuring that ELs are receiving target support should be incorporated in all of those programs as well.

Southern Regional Education Board

The use of college students, retired educators and recent graduates builds a support system that can continue. Initial training of all of the tutoring corp is critical for success.

New Leaders

Equipping tutors with effective strategies to support multilingual learners’ specific needs is a step towards creating more equitable learning opportunities and outcomes for all students.

The Bush Center

It is smart to make investments to build the needed adult capacity to support students directly.

Results for America

We appreciate that Chicago’s tutoring program is rooted in evidence (e.g., small student:tutor ratio; tutoring occurs during the school day) and we love that Chicago is working to make sure that their evidence-based tutoring supports are available for ALL students.

National Parents Union

We like this innovative and targeted approach to help the multilingual learners. Also, the fact that the CPS has decided to hire people from the community to assist with this effort. 6th through 12th grade should also have literacy included.

About the Author

Chad Aldeman is a nationally recognized expert on education policy, including school finance; teacher preparation, evaluation, and compensation; and state standards, assessment, and accountability. Keep up with Chad on the EduProgess: Unpacked blog.

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