The Solution For The ‘Other 95 Percent’ To Learn Math
May 2024

The Solution For The ‘Other 95 Percent’ To Learn Math

In a striking piece in Education Next, Laurence Holt dives into a series of research studies that show strong results for edtech math products Khan Academy, DreamBox Learning, i-Ready, and IXL—when the programs are used as recommended.

The results across the studies are great—0.26 standard deviations (equivalent to several months of additional learning), 0.20 SD, 0.22 SD, and 0.14 SD, respectively.

The problem? As Holt shows, in each of the studies, roughly 5% of students used each program at the minimum level prescribed. That’s a stunning—and depressing—convergence. To give an idea of what that signifies, just 4.7% of the students in the research study on Khan Academy, for example, use it a minimum of 30 minutes per week. Not a lot of time.

The other 95% of students not properly using the programs see minimal gains at best. Which helps explain why, despite the rapid adoption of digital math programs in the United States, we don’t see the growth in math achievement that you might expect based on the research.

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Photo by Farah Nosh/Getty Images


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