SAGA Innovations

The Results

Tutoring closed the achievement gap by 30% in one year.


Likelihood of students on track to graduate increased by 50%.

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The results are compelling. SAGA high-dosage tutoring is helping to achieve dramatic gains in student achievement.

 Achievement Gap: Refers to the observed (grades and standardized test scores) and persistent disparity in educational performance by socioeconomic status (typically between students from higher and lower income families). 

Chicago, IL (2013-2014)

In a randomized control trial by the University of Chicago Crime Lab, high dosage tutoring in 12 of the city’s lowest performing high schools produced remarkable results.

  • 40% of students without tutoring failed their math class–compared to 20% of students in tutoring.
  • Tutoring reduced the chance that students failed their other (non-tutored) courses  by about one-quarter
  • Tutoring closed the black/white test score gap by 30% within one year

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The Hamilton Project / Brookings Institute 

A policy paper published March 28, 2016 in the Hamilton Project-a national think tank-advocated for the scale of SAGA-style tutoring to “improve math learning, narrow achievement and test-score gaps, and boost high school graduation rates for struggling students.”  The paper concludes: “we believe this individualized tutorial program has the potential to be a transformative strategy in public education, helping our most at-risk youth catch back up to grade level, reengage with regular classroom instruction, and gain real hope for a diploma and all the long-term economic benefits that go along with that.”


Lawrence, MA (2012-2014)

High Dosage tutoring helped transform students in a school district under receivership and comprised nearly entirely of recent immigrants.

  • Two lowest performing high schools vaulted to the top 7% of high school students in the state, in terms of the rate of growth in student achievement
  • One of these schools showed the single greatest turnaround in growth in math in state history

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In 2004, Match Education of Boston began a full-time, in-school-day tutoring program for all 220 of its high school students. Alan Safran was the Executive Director of Match leading this work; Antonio Gutierrez was a Match HS junior who would receive the benefits of this tutoring for his junior and senior years.

Assisted by Mr. Safran (2010-Houston) and then led by Mr. Safran, Ms. Algarin and Mr. Gutierrez (2011-2014, Lawrence MA; Chicago IL; Stamford CT), this innovative idea of providing students with in-school-day, professional tutors, in a freestanding class for credit has been implemented in district public schools across the country with compelling results.

In October 2014, Mr. Safran and Mr. Gutierrez co-founded SAGA Innovations, a non-profit, charitable organization to disseminate and scale this high-dosage tutoring model.


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