Internal program evaluation indicates positive effects on students’ long-term achievement
June 4, 2020
Heart Math Tutoring’s mission is to ensure all elementary students develop the strong foundation in math and enthusiasm for academics needed for long-term success, by helping schools use volunteers as tutors. During the spring, Heart Tutoring conducted an internal evaluation specifically determining the program’s effect on students’ long-term success.
Based on a data-sharing agreement, Heart Math Tutoring receives North Carolina End of Grade (EOG) Mathematics test scores from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) for students who have participated in the program. Heart Tutoring also receives selected de-identified data for students attending Heart partner schools. Heart Tutoring conducted internal analysis of these 30,965 observations using fixed effects regression models by school, year, and grade, or by school-grade-year combinations.
Heart Tutoring prioritizes accepting students into the program who are economically disadvantaged students (EDS) and are performing 1-3 years below grade level in math. School administration and teachers identify students who may be eligible for program participation.
As determined by the Fall NWEA MAP scores of 1st graders, on average, the achievement scores of students who participate in Heart’s program are below those of their peers who do not participate in Heart. This trend is also observed in the EOG scores of 3rd – 5th graders in the year prior to being served by Heart, with fifth graders starting an average of 2 years of schooling behind the non-Heart students at their schools, on average.
One measure of success for the program’s efficacy would be if Heart Tutoring helps close the gap between achievement of Heart and non-Heart students. The internal analysis found encouraging effects on student outcomes.
Students who participated in Heart during 1st and 2nd grade achieved 3rd grade EOG scores reflecting no significant difference from peers, one year after participating in Heart. In essence, the initial gap between Heart students and their non-Heart peers was eliminated by third grade.
Additionally, students who achieved at least 60 points of mastery on Heart post-assessments had no significant difference in EOG scores compared to non-Heart peers a year after program participation, as 4th and 5th graders, despite starting with lower scores than non-Heart peers. (Heart Tutoring also measures student growth internally through pre- and post-assessments conducted before and after program participation each year.) These results indicate that participation and success in Heart’s program could have a lasting positive effect on student achievement.
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