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Rare Government Study Concludes Curriculum Doubles Student Algebra Gains

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.

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