Tutoring not the focus of MI ESSER spending

The lightbulb went on for Cahni James as she sat on a brightly colored rug with a tutor and three other third graders at her school in Ecorse, a city just outside Detroit.

“Ooh, I get it,” she said, after an explanation about units of measure.

“When I’m alone with my teacher, I can concentrate,” she explained later, noting that she finally understands fractions thanks to after-school tutoring sessions.

Scenes like this one were widely envisioned when the federal government sent an unprecedented $190 billion to schools nationwide to help students recover from the academic and emotional effects of the pandemic. Tutoring is among the most powerful learning accelerators that have ever been studied in depth, experts say. Top policymakers, from President Joe Biden on down, named tutoring as a key piece of the post-COVID-19 comeback for American schools and encouraged schools to spend COVID-19 funds on tutoring programs.