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Patricia Burch specializes in the study of out-of-school time organizational structures, digital learning structures, private contracting in public and community education spaces, and education policy. From 2003 to 2009, she was assistant professor of education policy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and later served as principal investigator for the Multi-Site Study of the Implementation and Impact of Supplemental Educational Services. Burch is a fellow at the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
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Examines the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) program. Studies the impact of out-of-school time (OST) tutoring on student reading and mathematics achievement that link provider attributes and policy and program administration variables to tutoring program effectiveness. Argues that many students are not getting enough hours of high-quality, differentiated instruction to produce significant gains in their learning, in part because of high hourly rates charged by providers for tutoring. Identifies strategies and policy levers that school districts can use to improve OST tutoring policy design and launch improved programs as waivers from NCLB are granted.