photo of THE Journal Insider podcast host and guest with text reading Tutoring Triumphs How a Texas District

Tutoring Triumphs in Texas: Ector County ISD's Unique Approach Yielding Remarkable Progress

02/16/23 editor and podcast host Kristal Kuykendall digs into a story of tutoring triumphs in Odessa, Texas, with guest Dr. Scott Muri, superintendent of Ector County Independent School District, which has 33,500 students and 44 schools.

ECISD entered the pandemic already ramping up to address a district failing the state’s academic growth grading system. Under Muri — who took the helm at ECISD in summer 2019 — the district has implemented district-wide high-dosage tutoring strategically and quickly, with some unusual features such as pegging the tutoring providers’ payments to how much the students being tutored actually grow academically.

Muri’s efforts — and the remarkable academic growth that has resulted from his tutoring strategy — are notable not only because of the unique outcomes-based contract tutoring; the Texas Legislature passed a law in 2021 that began requiring individualized intervention for every student falling below state standards on core subjects in several grades. The requirements and the urgency with which they went into effect have proven to be a heavy lift for many Texas districts, and ECISD has stood out as an early success story for what high-dosage tutoring implemented strategically and within the structure of the school day can accomplish.

In this episode, Muri shares a number of valuable lessons his district learned along their journey — lessons likely to save time and money for any K–12 school or district selecting a tutoring provider, negotiating a contract, or deciding when and how the tutoring sessions should be held. He also explains outcomes-based contracting, which he and ECISD helped pilot in a study with Harvard University’s Center for Education Policy Research. For more details, read our extended report on ECISD's academic recovery efforts at

THE Journal Insider podcast explores current ed tech trends and issues impacting K–12 educators, IT professionals, instructional technologists, education leaders, and ed tech providers. Listen in as Editor Kristal Kuykendall chats with ed tech experts, educators, and industry leaders about how they are 'meeting the moment' in the U.S. public education system. Find all podcast episodes as well as K–12 ed tech news updated daily at


Music by LemonMusicStudio from Pixabay

Duration: 25 min.

Kristal Kuykendall