Holding Ourselves to a Higher Standard


Every year, we evaluate the impact of ST Math usage at school, district and state levels all across the country, based on state and third party assessments. We believe that programs promising significant learning improvements in the real world require continuous real-world evaluation. These ongoing quasi-experimental study methods are verified by SRI to meet What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) quality evidence standards. Plus, as part of our robust efficacy portfolio, we have published research at all four levels of ESSA – including the gold standard RCT Tier 1, as well as quasi-experimental, correlational, and supporting research studies.

ESSA Tier 1 - Full Experimental RCT Studies

Considered the “gold standard” of education research, experimental studies are costly and take years to generate findings – often meaning the tests, software version, and classroom implementation models are outdated by the time they are published. (More on that from EdSurge here.)

However random assignment should reveal the effect of an efficacious program. A large-scale randomized control trial (RCT) study of ST Math was federally funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, and analysis followed strict IES and What Works Clearinghouse specifications. Even on our Gen3 version of ST Math (now Gen6), the published results showed ST Math caused statistically significant efficacy.

stmath-icon_students stmath-icon_school stmath-icon_district

14,116 students
grades 3-5*

52 schools

10 districts

*12,018 Hispanic/Latino (776 Asian, 734 White, 228 Pacific Islander, 226 Black/African American, 29 Other race, 24 Native American)


Read the Tier 1 Study


ESSA Tier 2 - Quasi-experimental studies

Compared to RCT studies, quasi-experimental design (QED) studies are more affordable, repeatable and generalizable. These studies look at outcomes in schools and districts that used the edtech program “in the wild,” and then compare them to similar schools that did not use the program.

Multiple quasi-experimental studies of ST Math’s impact are conducted every year and on every new cohort of schools that adopt ST Math.

An innovative 2022 QED study deepened Tier 2 rigor, and found that, on average, study schools using ST Math recovered their COVID “learning loss” by the 2021-22 academic year, compared to longitudinally matched peers.



WestEd Infographic

A quasi-experimental WestEd study of ST Math, which was verified by SRI to meet the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Tier 2 quality evidence standards was conducted in 2013-16.

Read the WestEd Summary

ESSA Tier 3 - Correlational studies

In correlational studies, we look at the amount of ST Math content students cover in relation to their growth on standardized tests. This “impact rate” of “scale score points per ST Math puzzle” shows how usage correlates to growth in test scores.  

We’ve produced dozens of correlational studies with ST Math to help districts understand how program usage impacts student math outcomes. If you’d like us to produce a correlational study of ST Math’s impact in your district, just let us know!

ESSA Tier 4 - Demonstrated rationale

ESSA’s lowest-level tier for new products is nonetheless valuable for fully mature programs as it requires a demonstrated rationale and explanation for how the program generates outcomes results. ST Math includes:

Merely checking whether an edtech product ‘works or not’ fails to capture nuances of different educational scenarios, different amounts of usage, and the range of outcomes for different learners. 
—Andrew Coulson, Chief Data Scientist, MIND Education, Read “More Than a Checkmark


ST Math & Your Implementation

Program implementations vary across classrooms, schools and districts. But this holds true: students who complete more of their ST Math journey are more likely to meet or exceed standards compared to peers who invested less time in ST Math. 



A study from Proving Ground, a part of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University found that just 10 more minutes of ST Math per week increased students’ test scores. 

ST Math provides schools and districts multiple tools and resources which have proven effective at fostering consistent and high usage for students. A proof-of-concept program has demonstrated high fidelity usage on a full statewide basis: 59 districts and 245 schools in Massachusetts reaching 80-100% completion of their ST Math journey in a single year.

Read the Study

Learn more about ST Math Results




Ebook EdTech Evals

Ebook: Demanding More from Edtech Evaluations

Resources from vetting, adopting and supporting edtech solutions

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