Researchers say students who can grasp math concepts at an early age are more likely to experience future success: graduation from high school, acceptance to college, and advancement in today's technology-driven workplaces.
Yet many U.S. students fail to master basic math. The United States ranks 32 out of 65 developed countries in math proficiency. One-third of fourth grade students and one-fifth of eighth grade students are not proficient in math.
MIND Research Institute has developed software programs to help students master math concepts and boost scores, regardless of language or learning challenges.
MIND Research Institute studied the way children learn, and found many do extremely well when concepts are taught visually. MIND's web-based, self-paced Spatial Temporal (ST) Math software program uses animation to help students conquer key concepts.
MIND delivers the program, as well as professional development and educational support, to schools across the United States, particularly low-performing schools in large urban areas.
With Cisco support, MIND has moved to an online delivery platform for ST Math. Now, the software is being used by nearly 500,000 students and 16,000 teachers in 1375 schools in 26 states.
Cisco's information and communication technology (ICT) products and expertise have helped MIND deliver, administer, and track the progress and proficiency of students who use ST Math.
Cisco support has also helped MIND move to a web-based platform. Teachers can take part in live training webinars or log on to training modules at any time. They can also access student progress reports, which stay with students even if they change schools or teachers.
Cisco has also supported MIND's National Math Initiative, a program to bring ST Math to even more schools in underserved and struggling districts.
Since moving to the web-based version of ST Math with Cisco's support in 2007, MIND has expanded its reach from 55,000 students to 500,000—a 357 percent increase—and from 3500 teachers to 16,000—an 800 percent increase. Students using the program have, on average, doubled or tripled their growth in math proficiency on standardized tests.
Participating schools in California's Silicon Valley, for example, have tripled their growth in math proficiency, realizing a 7.1 point increase, as compared to 2.3 points at non-ST Math schools.
National Math Initiative results for 2010-2011 reveal that math proficiency scores at schools in 9 of the nation's largest urban districts doubled compared to non-ST Math schools in their area. For example, Los Angeles schools increased their proficiency rate by 11.7 percentile points, compared to 6.4 percent growth among similar schools without ST Math.
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