Experts agree that high-dosage tutoring — offered in small groups, multiple times a week — can be highly effective in helping students progress academically. But districts in other states have struggled throughout the pandemic to find funding and staffing for programs. They’ve also struggled to get students to participate.
“I’m asking for our community to step up,” Horton said.
The tutoring program is part of an effort to improve academic achievement in a district that typically lags behind other area school systems.
Horton said the recent results from this year’s Georgia Milestones exams were encouraging for DeKalb.
“We made some shifts in the right direction,” he said. “We’ve made progress that we haven’t seen in 20 years.”
Still, just roughly 32% of third graders scored proficient or better on their English language arts exams. Only about 23% of eighth graders scored proficient or better in math. And in both of those areas — which are often used as touchstones to measure academic performance — the district came in below the state average.
Horton hopes to have the centers up and running by January. He plans to hire a recruitment firm to help the district hire tutors.