Okla. Dept. of Education launches Math Tutoring Corps for 7th-9th graders

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Mathematics is no longer a dreaded subject for most of the 400 students in 7th, 8th and 9th grades in Oklahoma who participated virtually in a pilot program to help with math.

The Department of Education launched the pilot program of Math Tutoring Corps in the Spring. It was designed to help 7th through 9th graders learn the skills and concepts they may have missed during the disruptions to their education caused by the pandemic.

Anthony Purcell is the director of High School and College Math Readiness for the Oklahoma Department of Education.

“Mathematics skills builds over time and algebra readiness is critical for success in higher level mathematics and other post-secondary opportunities,” he said.

Purcell said evidence shows math tutoring is most effective with older students.

After the pilot program last spring, students, tutors and families responded to a survey questions about their experiences after the program. Ninety percent of the students in the program said it increased their understanding of math. Eighty-four percent of parents said their students felt more confident in math. Seventy-four percent of students felt more comfortable asking questions in their math classrooms.

Tutors in the program were a mix of teachers and college students. Some of those college students, Purcell said, were inspired to become math teachers after the program.

Roxanne Boyce tutored three students in different parts of the state in the pilot program.

“They loved it. It was definitely a need. These students were excited to come on and learn every night. They would learn more. They were doing better in class. They were more outspoken in class that their grades were going up,” Boyce said.

And she said they enjoyed the community together in their virtual classroom.

Boyce said she will continue teaching both sessions this year.

Students can participate in one or both of the Math Tutoring Corps sessions this year. Enrollment begins September 1st for the Fall session and there will be a second one beginning in January.

The state is using $5 million in federal pandemic relief funds for the Oklahoma Math Tutoring Corps through the summer of 2024.

For more information about enrolling in the Math Tutoring Corps, you can go the state department of education website.