The Blueprint of a WIN-WIN

We recently came across this stellar article by Matthew Kraft, an Associate Professor of Education & Economics at Brown University, “A Blueprint for Scaling Tutoring and Mentoring Across Public Schools.”

This article suggests the “US public education system substantially underinvests in individualized instruction and academic mentoring,” while research has proven time and time again the impact positive relationships play in childhood development.

Did you know that private tutoring is a $124 billion dollar industry globally?

Given the research and global demand for private tutoring, its efficacy is clear and undeniable.

But who do you think continues to have inequitable access to this private tutoring?

You guessed it, people with money.

According to the article, “the number of private tutoring centers in the United States alone has grown from 3,000 in 1997 to over 9,000 in 2016, with the majority of this growth in high-income communities.”

As they say, the rich just get richer. The poor, well…

So, how can we possibly rebalance this inequity – to scale, and efficiently?

I’m oversimplifying the premise of the article here but the answer, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.

Yes, teenagers!

Thinking back to high school, I always thought the majority of what I was learning wasn’t practical.

I asked the question that many have asked, “How will I use this in life?” Now with children of my own, one in high school and another entering high school next year, my feelings about this have only grown.

How good of an experience would tutoring and mentoring be for ALL high schoolers?

Think of all the skills they’d develop, not to mention the empowerment you receive when helping someone else.

How good would tutoring be for the students being tutored?

There’s the obvious academic benefits but how about knowing a “big high schooler” is on your side, the confidence this would build, etc. etc.

Need proof it will work? Check out this video of what one of our charter beneficiaries, READ Alliance, has been doing with Teen Leaders as one-on-one reading tutors for more than 20 years.

Ok, the sophistication of this tutoring blueprint is so much more than I have represented here, but if you are like me, you’d ask the big question, cost?

Expanding tutoring across K-8 Title 1 schools would only cost $16 billion annually.

Let’s not forget the savings we’d realize over time from a program like this.

“Only” you say Brian? YES, only. Let’s put this in perspective, shall we?

US Military Budget for 2022? $715 billion.

US Government spend on space programs in 2021? $54.6 billion.

My favorite line in the article?

“Nothing has ever been accomplished that was not first imagined.”



Are you familiar with Stewart Brand?

If not, I won’t ruin your fun, google him.

If your google search intrigues you, continue your fun by watching the documentary, We are as gods.

Known as “the intellectual Johnny Appleseed of the counterculture,” Stewart Brand is more than interesting – one of his many thought-provoking ideas and life’s pursuits is De-Extinction.

Yes, you read that correctly.

His first target? The woolly mammoth.

Honestly, my 2¢, though De-Extinction sounds cool and an intriguing big idea concept, not really sure that’s a good idea. I think our time is better spent preventing any more extinctions.


GOOD NEWS, make it, share it

  • Childhood poverty has dropped 59% over the past 26 years in America
  • Due to a “no-catch zone” 4 times the size of California, tuna populations are on the rise
  • Study finds eating dinner as a family makes 91% of families less stressed
  • Cure for baldness nearing as hair cells being generated in a lab
  • Cooper Roberts, 8 year-old paralyzed in the Fourth of July Parade mass shooting in Highland Park, IL returns to school

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