Rare Government Study Concludes Curriculum Doubles Student Algebra Gains

Large-Scale, Random Controlled Field Survey by the RAND Corporation Finds Students Improved by an Average of Eight Percentile Points in Algebra

Jun 20, 2013, 09:25 ET from Carnegie Learning, Inc.

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recently completed research funded by the U.S. Department of Education and independently conducted by the RAND Corporation revealed a statistically significant impact of eight percentile points for students who used Carnegie Learning's Cognitive Tutor® Algebra I. (View the multimedia news release here).

"We are thrilled by the outcome," said Steve Ritter, Ph.D. and Chief Scientist of Carnegie Learning. "RAND's independent research confirms that our blended learning approach to Algebra is producing tremendous academic improvements among middle and high school students."

The results are significant because of a combination of both the size of the research and the substantial change in student outcomes. Over 17,000 students participated in 147 schools across seven states (Alabama, Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and Texas) for two years at a cost of $6 million. This is one of the largest studies conducted by the Department of Education in the last nine years.

"A random-controlled trial in American schools that is this broad and deep is rare," said John Pane, Ph.D., RAND Senior Scientist and author of the working paper, which has been conditionally accepted for publication in an academic journal. "The realistic implementation, along with a very diverse sample of schools and students in the study, is important because other schools that decide to adopt the curriculum on their own might expect to see similar results. The student gains are meaningful and deserve consideration by educators working to improve our students' math outcomes."

Further, the working paper is significant because – despite the size and diversity of the research – students realized significant gains in comparison with their peers in the control group. Research participants improved eight percentile points, which is "about the same as doubling math learning in a year for a high school student," said Dr. Ritter.

Finally, the research comes at a time when policymakers and school administrators are looking for solutions in algebra instruction. Only 35 percent of American 8th grade students are proficient in math with average scores among their international peers, trailing countries like Korea, Russia, and Finland. Compounding the problem, the 45 states implementing the Common Core Standards have been urged to introduce algebraic thinking before the sixth grade.


Carnegie Learning is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Apollo Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: APOL). Carnegie Learning® and Cognitive Tutor® are registered trademarks of Carnegie Learning, Inc.

About Carnegie Learning, Inc. (www.carnegielearning.com)

Carnegie Learning is a publisher of innovative, research-based mathematics software and textbooks for middle school and high school students aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Providing differentiated instruction in schools across the United States, Carnegie Learning is helping students to succeed in math as a gateway to graduation, college, and the 21st century workforce. Carnegie Learning, located in Pittsburgh, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apollo Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: APOL) and is the sole source provider of Cognitive Tutor® and MATHia® software for students in grades 6-12.

About Apollo Group, Inc. (www.apollo.edu)

Apollo Group is one of the world's largest private education providers and has been in the education business for approximately 40 years. The Company offers innovative and distinctive educational programs and services both online and on-campus at the undergraduate, master's and doctoral levels through its subsidiaries: University of Phoenix, Apollo Global, Institute for Professional Development and College for Financial Planning. The Company offers programs and services throughout the United States and in Latin America and Europe, as well as online throughout the world. For more information about Apollo Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries, call (800) 990-APOL or visit the Company's website.

SOURCE Carnegie Learning, Inc.