Accelerated Math, a popular middle school mathematics software program, was found to have “no discernible effect” on student achievement in a review by the federal What Works Clearinghouse.
The clearinghouse, located within the Institute of Education Sciences, favors programs that have been reviewed through what it considers rigorously conducted experiments. Many widely used education programs have not received positive reviews under its standards. Clearinghouse officials found that three studies of Accelerated Math met their review standards, with reservations, but concluded that those studies did not show statistically significant gains, when put through the federal entity’s analysis.
Officials with the Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.-based Renaissance Learning, which publishes Accelerated Math, disputed the findings, saying the three studies showed gains in student learning, prior to the clearinghouse analysis. They also noted the software program’s popularity among teachers, particularly as a tool for practicing math problems.
A version of this article appeared in the October 08, 2008 edition of Education Week