Press Release
March 31, 2014

Mayor Emanuel Announces Funding to Achieve Goal of Expanding Match Tutoring Program by 66% to Reach 1,000 Chicago Public School Students

Funding commitments from EquiTrust and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation will Expand Access to Math Tutoring Program that Helps Close the Achievement Gap between Black and White Students in Math by 60%
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Emanuel today announced funding to expand the Match Education math-tutoring program to 1,000 Chicago Public School (CPS) 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 this proven, intensive tutoring program and will set them on a path to learn on grade level, excel at math and graduate on time. 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,” Mayor Emanuel said. “The support has put us across the finish line in securing funding to provide 1,000 students with the opportunity to participate in a rigorous tutoring program with a proven track record of success. This partnership is part of a larger City-wide strategy to invest in expanding youth access to learning, mentoring and employment opportunities that will better ensure all of our students graduate 100% college ready and 100% college bound.”

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. The Match tutor also contacts families each week about student progress to keep them aware of the successes and needs of their children.

"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. We believe this program will help make a difference and restore the hope and opportunity every child should have for a bright, successful future."

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.

The commitments of EquiTrust and the Arnold Foundation join support that has funded the Match intervention in Chicago thus far. This support includes grants from the Crown Family, the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, J-PAL North America, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

“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. “We are honored by this confidence in our efforts, and will work hard to keep earning it.”

This initiative is part of Mayor Emanuel’s holistic effort to prevent youth violence. To address the complex factors that drive youth violence, the city has significantly increased investments in evidence-based prevention programs and school-based programs, including:

• Expanding mentoring, jobs and skill building opportunities for youth

• Adopting school-based programs to reconnected youth to school, implement a restorative approach to student misconduct, and create safer, calmer school environments.

As a result of this strategy, the City has invested in opportunities for young people including:

• Access for over 2,300 additional children to high-quality, pre-K programs across the city.
• One Summer Chicago, which gives more than 22,000 students a City-funded summer job that helps them build character, have a taste of the working world and a paycheck.
• The Summer of Learning, which keeps over 200,000 Chicago students engaged in learning when school is out, helping battle the “summer slide” in which children regress academically.
• CPS’ new code of conduct, which focuses on restorative, instructive, and corrective approaches to misconduct and has led to a 16.5% decrease in out-of-school suspensions in high schools.

About EquiTrust

For additional information, visit www.equitrust.com.

About Laura and John Arnold Foundation

Laura and John Arnold Foundation is private foundation that currently focuses its strategic investments on criminal justice, education, public accountability, and research integrity. LJAF has offices in Houston and New York City.

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