Match To Chicago: Update

Nine months ago I blogged that Match was going to Chicago. 

Here's an update, from the NY Times:

But tutoring could be more cost-effective than efforts to shrink class sizes across the board...

...The challenge that teachers face was apparent on a morning in December in Nusirat Olaniran’s sophomore geometry class at Harlan Community Academy, one of the 12 high schools where Professor Ludwig and his research partners have expanded their study to see if they will achieve similar results.

As Ms. Olaniran reviewed a recent quiz, one boy repeatedly demanded permission to go to the bathroom. Another boy and a girl gleefully fenced with pencils at the front of the room. By the time the bell rang, Ms. Olaniran had managed only a few moments with a pair of students who had gotten three-quarters of the test questions wrong.

The contrast was striking with another classroom at the school, where tutors sat across from pairs of ninth- and 10th-grade boys, their heads quietly bent over white erasable boards. Some reviewed basic multiplication while others plotted lines on graph paper. If a student got stuck or appeared restless, the tutors quickly redirected them.

“They absolutely do way more work just because there is a body in front of them,” said Devon James, one of the tutors.

The researchers modeled the tutoring on a program developed by Match Education, a Boston-based nonprofit group that provides tutoring for about 2,200 students. The group hires recent college graduates or retirees willing to work for an average salary of $17,000 a year full-time for 11 months. Generally, the tutors are not credentialed teachers.

“There is a huge supply of people who want to do something before they go down the career path of law or medicine or business,” said Alan Safran, the president of Match Tutors, a unit of Match Education. Because tutors do not have to manage large classes or develop curriculum, he said, people not qualified as teachers could still make effective tutors.

Read the whole thing here

The Match work, led by Alan, is part of a larger effort, put together by the University of Chicago's Crime Lab, called "Becoming A Man."  The foundational aspect of the program is counseling for boys.  Match provides math tutoring as a supplement.  A first rate scholar named Jens Ludwig is evaluating the effort. 

President Obama has recently taken an interest in the program, as part of a larger new effort for him, called "My Brother's Keeper."