Ken Griffin and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Scale Tutoring Program to Address Persistent Opportunity Gaps in Major Urban Districts

August 10, 2020

Saga Education’s innovative, personalized math tutoring program will reach 1,600 new students across 11 schools in Chicago and New York City

Today, Saga Education, a nonprofit that provides consistent, personalized, academic tutoring during the school day, announced the expansion of its tutoring program in New York City and Chicago. Supported by nearly $6M in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Citadel Founder and CEO Ken Griffin, philanthropic dollars will enable Saga Education to reach 1,600 new high school students in under resourced schools in the 2020-21 school year.

Even before the pandemic, research found that many students arrive at high school three or more years behind in grade level academics, especially math. Eighty percent of students who drop out of high school cite course failures as their number one reason — Algebra 1 being the most frequently failed course. Since 2013, the University of Chicago Education Lab has researched Saga Education’s intensive math tutoring model in Chicago Public Schools and in New York City, finding that it substantially improves academic outcomes for high school students.

“Saga’s innovative approach to personalized education in math is creating pathways to success for students across our country,” said Griffin. “I am proud to support their work to empower students with the tools and confidence they need to learn, grow and make their aspirations a reality.”

In partnership with leaders in two of the nation’s largest school districts, the program will scale through a combination of public and private funding and employ 187 tutors in a service year model. The Gates Foundation’s support will expand the program online to 1,000 students per year across six schools in New York City over two years. Griffin’s support will scale the program by 600 additional students across five schools in Chicago this academic year, bringing the total served in Chicago to 2120 students in 20 schools. The Saga model can be delivered in person, or online, by professional tutors.

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