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Emanuel Announces $2.5 Million for Specialized CPS Math Tutoring

(Chicago) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel yesterday announced $2.5 million to expand a math-tutoring program to 1,000 Chicago Public School students.

A $1.5 million donation from Illinois-based EquiTrust Life Insurance Company and a $1 million pledge from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation will allow more students to take part in the proven, intensive Match math tutoring program.

A recent randomized controlled trial by the University of Chicago Urban Education Lab, in partnership with the University of Chicago Crime Lab, found that participating students learned in an eight-month period the equivalent of what the average American high school student learns in math over three years of school.

“Today’s commitments from EquiTrust and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation are incredible investments in tackling our City’s most urgent goals: improving school outcomes, keeping our youth safe, and putting our children on the path to a bright and successful future,” Emanuel said.

Match tutoring takes on the “mismatch” between a student’s grade level and the actual skills he or she has developed, which can be four to seven years behind grade level. To help students catch up to grade level and re-engage with regular classroom instruction, the Match program provides an hour a day of tutoring for 9th and 10th grade boys in a ratio of 1 tutor to two students, as a class during the regular school day.

“EquiTrust is proud to financially support improving the education of Chicago’s youth,” stated Jeff Lange, CEO of EquiTrust Life Insurance Company.  “We know that some kids just don’t get the education opportunities they need at an early age, and so they fall further and further behind.”

The Match program began at Harper High School during the 2012-2013 school year when 106 ninth- and tenth-grade students were selected. Match tutoring currently serves 600 youth at 12 CPS high schools. This increased funding will allow 1,000 students to participate in the program. About half of the students will also be participating in Youth Guidance’s Becoming A Man (BAM) program.

“The benefits of Match intensive tutoring may extend beyond improved learning in the classroom,” Anne Milgram, Vice President of Criminal Justice at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, explained. “We are hopeful that this program may also be able to reduce violent crime and improve the lives of at-risk youth.”

This year, the University of Chicago Urban Education Lab and University of Chicago Crime Lab released a study showing that male, African American, high school students who were at risk of dropping out greatly improved their math test scores and school attendance with the help of Match and BAM. The program’s benefits were equivalent to closing the achievement gap in math test scores between white and black students by 60 percent.

After just six months, Match tutoring resulted in student misconducts dropping by 67 percent.  The program is also predicted to reduce violent arrests among students by 50 percent and reduce course failures by 37 percent.

In addition to a significant jump in math test scores, students receiving tutoring and mentoring, on average increased their likelihood of being “on track” for graduation by nearly one-half.

“Match Education is so grateful to the Arnold Foundation and EquiTrust for this extraordinary support, and to Mayor Emanuel for his belief in the value of our work in helping the students of Chicago,” said Stig Leschly, CEO of Match Education.

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