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Summaries of RCT Grants

RCT of the Minnesota Math Corps, a widely implemented one-on-two tutoring program for 4th-8th grade students in Minnesota

This project is a low-cost randomized controlled trial (RCT) of Minnesota Math Corps, a one-on-two tutoring program for 4th-8th graders struggling with math.

Grant Recipient: ServeMinnesota

Term: 2017 –2018

Principal Investigator: David Parker, Ph.D., ServeMinnesota

Funding: $191,051

Summary: This project is a low-cost randomized controlled trial (RCT) of Minnesota Math Corps, a one-on-two tutoring program for 4th-8th graders struggling with math. Minnesota Math Corps was recently evaluated in a short-term RCT, which found it produced a sizable impact on math achievement on a standardized assessment over the course of one semester. More generally, findings from RCTs of a different one-on-one tutoring program for slightly older students struggling with math, suggest that such tutoring can produce meaningful improvements in students’ math achievement (e.g., as much as an extra 2/3 of a grade level of learning over the course of one school year). Minnesota Math Corps already operates on a sizable scale in 150 Minnesota schools and is in the process of expanding to additional states. The program could potentially be implemented on a substantially larger scale given its modest cost – about $800 per student per year – which is made possible by the program’s use of AmeriCorps volunteers as tutors.

This RCT will evaluate Minnesota Math Corps in a sample of approximately 720 4th-8thgraders across 15 elementary schools. The primary outcome measure will be math scores at the end of one school year on Minnesota’s state test, the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment. This study will have a substantially larger sample than the previous RCT of the program and will provide longer-term follow-up than the earlier study, which only lasted one semester. The study’s pre-specified analysis plan is linked here.

This study has been completed. A plain-language summary of the findings is available here.

Grants

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