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Press Release

Continuing the effort to make 2014 a year of action focused on expanding opportunity for all Americans, President Obama announced additional funding commitments for the My Brother's Keeper initiative, including $10 million for the expansion of the Becoming A Man (B.A.M.) and Match tutoring programs studied by the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute’s Urban Education Lab and Crime Lab.

Earlier this year, the Urban Education Lab found that the Match tutoring program's benefits were equivalent to closing nearly two-thirds of the average gap in math test scores between white and black students—the equivalent of what the average American high school student learns in math over three years. The Crime Lab’s evaluation of the B.A.M. sports-based mentoring and cognitive behavioral therapy program found that B.A.M. decreased violent crime arrests of participants by 44 percent, in addition to supporting other improvements in academic behaviors.

Mayor Emanuel announced in a press release that the new federal funding coupled with an earlier $2.5 million gift from the Illinois-based EquiTrust Life Insurance Company and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation will allow B.A.M. to expand to serve a total of 2,000 students at 37 Chicago Public Schools while Match tutoring will work with 1,100 students at 15 CPS schools. The $10 million will also support a large-scale study on the programs’ long-term effects conducted by the Urban Education Lab and Crime Lab and an eventual program expansion to three to five new cities over the next three years. 

The $10 million commitment is made possible by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health in collaboration with the City of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools. 

For the White House press release and full task-force report on the environments and outcomes for boys and young men of color growing up across America, visit the My Brother's Keeper website.


The Urban Education Lab (UEL) was created in 2011 as part of the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute, with the goal of generating knowledge to help improve educational outcomes for children growing up in some of the most distressed urban neighborhoods in America and overseas. UEL seeks to spur improvements in education outcomes by providing scientific evidence about what strategies are the most effective and cost effective, for whom, and why.

The University of Chicago Crime Lab was launched in 2008 to use insights from basic science to help government agencies and non-profit organizations develop innovative new approaches to reducing violence, and work with them to test new innovations using randomized trials (RCT). By carrying out RCTs through public-private partnerships and focusing on priority questions for government decision makers, the Crime Lab seeks to ensure that the frontier of policy innovation takes advantage of the frontier understanding from basic science of people and organizations.