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ST Math Meets ESSA Tier 2 and WWC Standards

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 15, 2019—An independent review validating nonprofit research center WestEd’s study of ST Math® to federal evaluation research standards was published by nonprofit, research center SRI International this week. MIND Research Institute - creator of ST Math - is pleased to announce that the review determined that the 2018 WestEd study on ST Math meets Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Tier 2, moderate evidence of effectiveness, based on a review using the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) standards as well as additional requirements needed to meet ESSA evidence levels.

The nationwide study, entitled "A Cross-State Evaluation of MIND Research Institute’s ST Math Program and Math Performance" was the largest of its kind (cross-state school-wide performance gains) to evaluate an education technology math program. 

“We believe that ESSA Tier claims about program effectiveness should be based on rigorous and transparent evidence and on independent review,” said MIND’s Chief Data Science Officer, Andrew Coulson. “That’s why we developed a scalable, repeatable, high volume evaluation methodology; asked WestEd to perform and validate the method and report results; and asked SRI to formally review WestEd’s study to specific requirements.” Added Coulson, “We have long championed the need for standardized, repeatable program evaluations. It is our vision that this model will become a well-exercised and highly valuable standard for the edtech industry.”

Created by MIND Research Institute, ST Math is a PreK-8 visual instructional program that leverages the brain's innate spatial-temporal reasoning ability to solve mathematical problems. Its learning model is built upon a unique and patented approach that uses challenging puzzles, non-routine problem solving, and informative feedback to provide students with more equitable access to deep conceptual learning. The program is used by more than 1.2 million students across 48 states.

SRI completed a review of the 2018 WestEd study against the WWC v4.0 Group Design Standards & Procedures. SRI concluded that the WestEd ST Math study design “meets the design, analytic, and technical requirements” for the ‘Meets Evidence Standards with Reservations’ level of the WWC standards. 

SRI also reviewed the WestEd study design against ESSA levels of evidence provided by the U.S. Department of Education. SRI concluded the study design meets ESSA Tier 2, as it “fulfills the requirements of moderate evidence of significant favorable effects of ST Math on student mathematics achievement.” 

“The 2018 nationwide WestEd study was a breakthrough in effectiveness evidence for ST Math, as the size was at last sufficient to earn all the significance asterisks for our novel studies. What’s novel is we’re reporting out results on the highest stakes metric in the education market: school-wide performance improvement from year to year,” said Coulson. “SRI’s third-party evaluation of the WestEd study to federal specifications provides an extra layer of scrutiny and accountability. There is currently no requirement for edtech ESSA evidence claims to be third-party validated, but MIND has put that requirement on ourselves because we believe full transparency to be so vital to improving the health of the education market.”

In addition to the SRI review there are more than 100 studies on the efficacy of ST Math, including third-party studies, MIND's own quasi-experimental studies across states and years, and MIND's own subgroup studies. The SRI review joins an earlier study published on the IES What Works Clearinghouse, which also provides evidence to meet ESSA Tier 2 as well as the ‘Meets Evidence Standards with Reservations’ level of the WWC standards. More information is available at www.stmath.com/impact

1 Interventions that meet moderate levels of evidence demonstrate a statistically significant effect on improving relevant outcomes based on at least one well-designed and well-implemented quasi-experimental study.

About SRI International
SRI International is an independent, nonprofit research center that works with clients to take the most advanced R&D from the laboratory to the marketplace. SRI is headquartered at Menlo Park, California, USA. Serving government and industry, they collaborate across technical and scientific disciplines to generate real innovation and create high value for clients. They invent solutions that solve the most challenging problems today and look ahead to the needs of the future. For more than 70 years, SRI has led the discovery and design of ground-breaking products, technologies, and industries – from Siri and online banking to medical ultrasound, cancer treatments, and much more.

About MIND Research Institute
MIND Research Institute is a neuroscience and education social impact organization, dedicated to ensuring that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems. MIND is the creator of ST Math®, a PreK-8 visual instructional program that builds a deep conceptual understanding of math through rigorous learning and creative problem solving. MIND has also developed programs under MathMINDs to provide students, teachers and families dynamic ways to actively engage with math, and to close the experience gap for all learners. MathMINDs includes Family Game Nights, the national K-12 Game-a-thon and MathMINDs Games. For more information, visit mindresearch.org.

For more information contact:
Kelsey Skaggs
MIND Research Institute 
949-345-8722
kskaggs@mindresearch.org

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SRI_report_snapshot
A snapshot from "ST Math: Nonregulatory ESSA Standards Evidence Review & What Works Clearinghouse Standards Review" full report. View here.

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