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Noah Smith

Want to Fix Education? Give a Kid a Tutor

It's hard to improve families and communities. There's a better way to spend time and money.
This actually helps.

This actually helps.

Photographer: Mahala Gaylord/The Denver Post/Getty Images

In 1974, physicist Richard Feynman derided education research as a form of pseudoscience:

Four decades later, social scientists might have found an answer to Feynman’s question. That answer is field experiments. By applying education policies carefully, researchers can see the effect of those policies very clearly. In recent years, as concern over U.S. educational performance rose, more and more such experiments have been tried.