Saga Education Annual Report
Table of Contents
*For additional information, including insights about Saga technology, our team, and financials, download the full Annual Report PDF below.
Letter from Leadership
Dear Partners and Friends,
Against the backdrop of new and unprecedented challenges, Saga Education transformed our approach, joining the wave of innovation across education sparked by the aftermath of the pandemic. Our passionate AmeriCorps members, determined staff, and dedicated partners propelled us forward on many fronts and resulted in serving more students and developing a suite of innovative solutions that are enabling districts to do the same.
As the gold standard for high-impact tutoring, we have demonstrated that our model for service is a powerful tool to accelerate learning and belonging in schools. Rigorous randomized control trial evidence shows that our students learn up to 2.5 years of math in one year. During the 2021-2022 school year, Saga students nationwide improved academically. Even amidst concerns about learning loss, across all Saga regions, students demonstrated average growth of 15 percentage points on our foundational skills assessment and 78% of Saga students passed their math class in the second semester.
The funds we’ve secured through district partnerships, philanthropic contributions, and federal funding – including catalyzing funds from the Overdeck Family Foundation and Blue Meridian – supported our mission and program operations during the 2021-2022 school year, allowing us to grow our direct service model exponentially. This past year, we’ve been able to serve more students, in more schools, than ever before. We are now supporting tutoring programs through our widespread impact program in every time zone in the continental U.S.
Thanks to the hard work and generosity of our Saga Education teams, fellows, partners, and donors, as well as the evolution that took place during the 2021-2022 school year, we are poised to accelerate our reach and impact as we plan for the future and enter the next derivative of our organization’s impact.
Antonio (AJ) AJ Gutierrez
Co-founder, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors
Co-founder, CEO, Chair of the Board of Directors
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As the national leader in high-impact, in-school tutoring and most trusted leader on powerful tutoring relationships, Saga Education leverages both the power of human capital and technology to accelerate student outcomes and create more equitable learning opportunities.
In Fiscal Year 2022, we helped districts across six regions—Broward County, FL; Charleston, SC; Chicago, IL; New York City, NY; Providence, RI; and Washington, D.C.— to develop and implement these high-quality tutoring models. We offer technical assistance and quality assurance, as well as access to best-in-class learning tools and resources to give our Saga partners the best experience and outcomes possible.
The Three Branches of Saga
Saga Education is constantly innovating to better serve students and support partners to discover and adopt best practices for the largest impact. We work to influence change through a range of Direct Services, Widespread Impact, and Systems Change strategies, which are grounded in evidence and coalition-building. We aim to inform policymakers, the education community, and the public about high-impact tutoring as an effective, evidence-based solution to increase academic performance and accelerate educational equity for underserved students.
We provide high-impact tutoring directly to students as a district and school partner, embedded in the students’ regular school schedule during their school day, which is the gold standard for math tutoring.
We build the capacity of states and school districts. Using Saga’s custom software solutions, tools, and resources, school districts can directly implement Saga’s high-impact tutoring program.
We shift mindsets, relationships, and power by highlighting the needs and amplifying the voices of those most affected by inequity in schools. We work to change policies, practices, and resource flows to strengthen programs and visions for change.
Since the start of the pandemic, students, especially Black and Latinx students and those in underserved communities, have been facing ongoing learning loss. This is a significant challenge that we won’t be able to solve immediately.
Saga Education remains dedicated to our mission of accelerating educational opportunities to advocate for equity and close opportunity gaps. The social and economic disparities that young people experience outside the classroom create disparities within it. Improving the academic outcomes of low-income students is one of our nation’s most urgent challenges and we’ve chosen cities where income inequality and underserved areas create barriers to a large number of students’ academic success. Though we won’t be able to provide on-the-ground tutoring to every student throughout the country, we have and will continue to empower schools with the tools and services they need to implement high-impact tutoring programs for those students who need it the most.
We believe in the power of service to address our nation’s toughest challenges, and we are proud members of the AmeriCorps program.
Meet Saga AmeriCorps Member Hannah Heiden
“I joined Saga because I believe high-quality education should be accessible to everyone. I grew up in a low-income area, but I was fortunate enough to have so much support throughout my education that I was able to succeed academically, and I want to be that beacon of support for our students.
I am really happy I got to work at Saga because, while math isn’t my main passion, it was so fulfilling to give students the extra support they deserve and to show them how smart they are! We were here to help them see that they are more than capable of success in math and life as a whole, and I felt fortunate to be a part of that.”
View Our Full Impact + Newsworthy Moments
Philanthropy + Grants
Saga Education was awarded a total of $37,433,261 in philanthropic and government funding between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.
Thank you to our philanthropic and government partners for their support during FY22.
Our Funders Spotlight
Relationship-driven. Growth-minded. Impact-driven. Our core values are a driving force at Saga Education. We view everything we do through the lens of how that action aligns with our values. It is with deep appreciation that we acknowledge the partners and supporters that share our core values. These relationships are crucial in that they allow us to advance our vision of accelerating educational equity through the proven power of high-impact tutoring. We would like to take this opportunity to highlight a few of our amazing partners and supporters.
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We are building a coalition and influencing federal administrative and state regulations that will support the ecosystem for high-impact tutoring long-term.
Our goal? To change the landscape of education for the better.
To date, Saga has built strong relationships with key stakeholders, such as the U.S. Department of Education and AmeriCorps, and met with more than two dozen Congressional offices on Capitol Hill, including those of leaders on key committees of oversight. We drafted policy guidance, provided expert testimony, and focused on specific initiatives. Saga was also featured in a number of studies and research briefs (e.g., McKinsey & Company’s study on COVID-19 and learning loss).
“We now have the president of the United States saying [in his State of the Union address] that he wants to make high-impact tutoring a priority… the research base is helping to inform policy, and that’s exciting.”
– AJ Gutierrez, Saga Co-founder and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
The U.S. Department of Education reports that high-impact tutoring is an effective recovery model to consider. In turn, this had a trickle-down effect to influence others. This past year, we’ve seen a shift in education; over 44% of district leaders plan on using American Rescue Plan dollars on high-impact tutoring. Saga Education’s resources, technology, and programs have supported, and will continue to support, educators making this shift.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging (DEIB)
Our DEIB Vision
Our workforce is talented, diverse, and inclusive, which sustains our ability to be a national leader in high-impact tutoring. The following DEIB values hold to our vision, shape how we carry out our mission, and guide how we are expected to treat one another.
Our DEIB Promise
- We are committed to eradicating educational inequities and empowering the academic, social, and emotional growth of young people who are historically underserved and systemically excluded from high-quality educational opportunities.
- We encourage our employees from all walks of life to reach their full potential, which fuels innovation and connection.
- We require diverse and innovative teams to ensure a positive impact on our services, solutions, and products, which enhance the quality of services for our students and communities.
- We expect the incorporation of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in our daily work.
- We pledge to educate ourselves on DEIB best practices continuously.
- We will foster a workplace built on mutual trust, respect, and integrity where employees feel valued, respected, and engaged.