— Minahil Asim

Policy Reports

Can the Middle-Tier Drive Foundational Learning at Scale (2023) Research Triangle Institute

The Evidence for Tutoring to Accelerate Learning and Address Educational Inequities During Canada’s Pandemic Recovery” (2022) Diversity Institute, Toronto Metropolitan University with Kelly Gallagher-Mackay (Wilfred Laurier University), Karen Mundy and Tatiana Feitosa de Britto (University of Toronto)   

Abstract: As the world struggles to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, students and school systems continue to experience unprecedented disruption. All evidence suggests these disruptions are exacerbating pre-existing inequalities. Students living in poverty, students in racialized and newcomer communities, and students with disabilities experience greater burden of disease and more challenges accessing and benefitting from remote schooling and necessary supports. Yet we know that equitable access to education lays the foundation for full participation in Canada’s economy and civic life and is a prerequisite for a more prosperous and inclusive society. Around the world, tutoring programs are emerging as an important mechanism for addressing the widening gaps in educational outcomes associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This review of the evidence on tutoring’s effectiveness aims to provide policymakers and community stakeholders with key information to help them consider whether large-scale tutoring programs can form part of an effective educational policy response to the disruptions of the pandemic. We discuss the impressive evidence on outcomes of tutoring programs for students and society; what we know about tutoring in Canada; and national tutoring initiatives launched in other OECD countries. Overall, we show that tutoring is a cost-effective and impactful strategy through which to address the learning challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Universal Evaluation Toolkit for Academic Tutoring Programs (2022) Diversity Institute, Toronto Metropolitan University with Kerrie Proulx (independent consultant), Karen Mundy and Kelly Gallagher-Mackay   

Abstract: The Universal Evaluation Toolkit for Tutoring Programs walks through the key steps of evaluating an academic tutoring program (K–12) for organizations that wish to measure and understand changes in students’ progress. Evaluation can be used to understand progress towards achieving the tutoring program’s goals, make course corrections, and demonstrate the program’s value and impact to key stakeholders, including funders. We focus, in particular, on measuring changes in student academic achievement (such as literacy and numeracy outcomes) and student well being (such as psychological well-being and aspirations) and on understanding how tutoring programs have led to those changes.

“12th Grade Course-taking and the Distribution of Opportunity in College Readiness in Mathematics” (2019), Policy Analysis for California Education (with Michal Kurlaender (UC Davis) and Sherrie Reed (UC Davis))   

Abstract: Research suggests that preparation in high school is a key predictor of college success. In fact, student completion of rigorous high school mathematics courses is associated with a greater likelihood of attending and completing college, and higher earnings. Yet, in 2018, only 13 percent of California high school students were considered prepared for college-level math based on their performance on the Smarter Balanced Assessments. Importantly, not all students have equal access to college preparatory classes in high school, resulting in persistent disparities in enrollment and success in advanced math courses in secondary school. We examine how disparities in access to advanced math courses and successful performance in those classes may limit students’ postsecondary success. Our findings demonstrate that although a majority of college-bound students enrolled in math in their senior year of high school, advanced math pathways were not equally accessed. Disparities in enrollment patterns by race/ethnicity and school characteristics likely contribute to disparities in postsecondary access and success.