The success of Match Charter Public School, which serves low-income students in grades preK-12 in Boston, is due in part to the emphasis it places on something rather boring: tutoring. Match’s students receive two full hours of two-on-one tutoring each day through its Match Corps program. All students receive tutoring in math and English; at the high school level, students additionally receive tutoring in the humanities and sciences.
Corps members commit to tutor at the school for a full academic year; they are paid a stipend—approximately $17,000—and receive subsidized housing (some even live in the renovated, dorm-like top floor of Match’s high school). Match has designed its school schedule to seamlessly incorporate students’ tutoring sessions into the school day.
And it works—incredibly well. As a former teacher, this seems like a no-brainer. The middle school classrooms in which I taught typically had 25-30 students in them, and class periods lasted about 50 minutes. In the best-case scenario, this means that each kid could have no more than two minutes of my undivided attention. Match’s tutors can do what I could only dream of doing: provide each student with two hours of individualized support every day.