How Donor Support Can Impact ST Math Implementation

How do MIND’s philanthropic and strategic partners help students get more out of our ST Math program?

Across the country, our social impact partners are having a positive impact on students that we serve together. Of the more than 1.7 million students currently using ST Math, more than 20% of those students have access to the program with the help of funding from our partners.


In addition to providing access to our program, many of our partners are also funding additional support for implementation, which can lead to more time on the program for students, more math content coverage, and greater math proficiency gains.

Donor-Supported Schools Get Off to a Stronger Start

MIND recently conducted a study of grades 3-5 of ST Math schools across the country that had used ST Math for 1-2 years. This treatment group of schools included ST Math schools that were donor-supported, and those that were not. The treatment group was compared to a control group of randomly selected non-ST Math schools with similar demographics and baseline math proficiency levels. For the two-year period studied, ST Math schools outperformed non-ST Math schools in terms of overall proficiency growth. The study additionally explored differences between donor and non-donor-supported ST Math schools.

The results showed that over the two-year period, donor-supported schools had a higher level of engagement with the ST Math program. For grade-level enrollment, there was a higher percentage of donor-supported schools in which at least 85% of students were using ST Math.

ST Math _ Grade-Level Student Enrollment (1)

When it came to program progress, donor-supported schools fared better as well. For the two-year period, donor-supported schools were more likely to reach at least 40% progress thorough grade-level content by April 15th of the school year.

ST Math _ Grade-Level Content Progress

The results of the study suggest that having donor support can get schools off to a stronger start with the ST Math program, and raises some interesting questions for future research about why that may be the case.

Increasing Impact for Legacy Schools

In Massachusetts, MIND has partnered with the One8 Foundation and their Mass STEM Hub team to not only provide access to our ST Math program, but also multiple layers of implementation support. The model has proven to be very effective, and has demonstrated the positive impact a partnership can have on schools that have already been using ST Math.

The Massachusetts schools that were using ST Math prior to the One8 partnership saw remarkable improvements in program usage when they began receiving additional implementation support. Average progress through the program went up 8% for legacy schools, and the impact was greater for schools completing 50% or more of the program content.Legacy School Progress Slide - One8So, even schools that already have access to ST Math can benefit from the additional implementation support that donor-funding can help provide. Donor support can help schools start strong, finish strong, and get more out of the program.

Contributing Factors to Success

There are multiple ways we see donor involvement helping increase engagement with the ST Math program:

  • Supporting the Entire Student Ecosystem—Philanthropic partners often have strong ties to the families and communities they serve. Many of our existing partnerships involve family and community math engagement initiatives, including math nights, and a library of ST Math parent resources to help families support their students’ learning at home. By working with partners that build strong community ties, we can help strengthen those ties, as well as improve education outcomes.
  • Informing and Supporting Teachers—MIND is not only focused on how students learn math, but on how math is taught. Through professional development, coaching, and collaboration, we seek to improve pedagogy and the culture around math, both in and out of school.

  • Strategic Alignment—MIND is proud to work with our partners as part of their larger CSR and sustainability plans. We are aligned in working to equip the STEM innovators of the future, provide equitable opportunities for academic and career success, for tackling the world’s most challenging problems.
  • Building a Culture of Continuous Program Improvement—Our partners support MIND’s approach as a research organization. All of our programs and initiatives involve testing, learning, and iterating, to not only enable better outcomes for students, but to make our partnerships as effective as they can be.

Partnering for Greater Impact

MIND Research Institute will continue to study the impact of donor-funded programs and implementation support, as we build partnerships in states and communities across the country. This research is helping us develop scalable models of educational programming and support that involve the entire student ecosystem of home, school, and community.

If you would like to talk with us about how we could have a greater impact in the communities you serve, you can reach out to our social impact team here.

Additional Reading

Podcast: From meeting the Moment to Foundational Change
How Union Hill School is Empowering Problem Solvers in Massachusetts
Podcast: The EdTech Genome Project: Talking Implementation with Elizabeth Birie

Brian LeTendre

About the Author

Brian LeTendre was the Director of Impact Advancement at MIND Research Institute. In addition to building thought leadership and brand awareness for MIND, Brian worked cross-functionally internally and externally to amplify MIND's social impact and accelerate our mission. He is an author, podcaster and avid gamer.


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