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Tutoring is the solution to the education crisis | COMMENTARY

Kolby Farrar, left, a 17-year-old senior at Carver, works with tutor Tom Stanton during an SAT prep course at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute last year.
Kolby Farrar, left, a 17-year-old senior at Carver, works with tutor Tom Stanton during an SAT prep course at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute last year. (Jerry Jackson / Baltimore Sun)

As our state continues to grapple with the impacts of COVID-19 learning loss, Kalman Hettleman’s argument for proven tutoring programs is a welcomed addition to the conversation (“A cure for COVID-19 learning loss: tutoring,” Oct. 9).

The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated educational inequities for students, especially those experiencing economic disadvantages. According to a McKinsey report issued in June, it’s estimated that these students may lose more than a year of learning due to school closures, three times the average estimated reading loss.

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One-on-one literacy tutoring can help reverse this learning loss and empower students with the foundational reading skills they need to progress academically. I’ve seen this impact in the incredible literacy gains our students make; I’ve heard it in the voices of our volunteers as they begin to serve students virtually this school year. Whether it’s supporting Reading Partners Baltimore or supporting other nonprofits like Higher Achievement, Literacy Lab or Thread, I urge all Baltimore residents to learn more about the tutoring and mentorship opportunities available in our city. Each one of us has a responsibility and a role to play in closing opportunity gaps for students, and evidence-based, individualized tutoring is one much-needed cure to our current education crisis.

Jeffrey Zwillenberg

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The writer is executive director of Reading Partners Baltimore.

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