Congress is debating what parts of No Child Left Behind works and which don’t. The law needs revisions, but we have evidence that Supplemental Education Services (SES) work.
The March 2011 study, Supplemental Education Services and Student Achievement in Five Waiver Districts, shows that African-American and Hispanic youth participated in SES program at the highest rates. These are the exactly the students who need the most academic attention in order to close the achievement gap, one of the key objectives of No Child Left Behind, as the law’s statement of purpose makes clear. To review just how important that is, see the law’s stated purposes here.
The study also shows that SES programs increase student achievement. As it states, “SES participation was associated with statistically significant achievement gains in both mathematics and reading.” The study makes clear that students who participated in the program have significantly higher achievement than students who were eligible for the program and did not participate. In other words, the tutoring works. As NCLB comes up for reauthorization, there will be debate over which parts of the law to keep. As the Department of Education study shows, SES is one part worth keeping.