Carnegie Learning Announces New 3rd Party Study Indicating That MATHia Leads to Better Performance in Algebra

New report by Student Achievement Partners shows that MATHia helps underperforming students catch up in Algebra

PITTSBURGH–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#artificialintelligence–Carnegie Learning, a leader in artificial intelligence for education and formative assessment, is proud to share the results of a new study by Student Achievement Partners called “Preparation for Success in Algebra: Exploring Math Education Relationships by Analyzing Large Data Sets” (EMERALDS). This study used anonymized student data from MATHia, the AI-driven 1-on-1 tutoring software from Carnegie Learning, to evaluate and measure predictors of success in Algebra I. The study found that completion of more workspaces in MATHia led to better performance in Algebra I in subsequent years. The effect was even stronger in students who had low test scores in middle school, indicating that MATHia helps to close the gap for students who need it the most.

Preparing Students for Success in Algebra

The EMERALDS Study was designed to explore ways to better support students who are Black, Latino, English learner-designated, experiencing poverty, and/or female to achieve better results in Algebra. It involved large-scale, four-year longitudinal student assessment data sets, as well as more detailed assessments of how middle school students’ engagement with pre-algebra material in MATHia related to their Algebra I End-of-Course (EOC) performance. The study—the largest longitudinal assessment of what mathematics prepares students for Algebra—looked at student data from more than a million students representing a broad range of racial/ethnic backgrounds, income levels, and geographic regions.

Results show the importance of investing in arithmetic in the elementary grades to get students ready for success in Algebra, and that these patterns of mathematical progress from arithmetic to Algebra seem to hold across student demographics and locations. In addition, skill at translating word problems into algebra equations and an understanding of the different ways in which functions can be represented (e.g., equation, graphically) was shown to be uniquely related to later Algebra I EOC performance.

Results also showed that “middle school students’ engagement and success with the MATHia system substantively improved their Algebra I EOC performance, above and beyond their end of elementary school mathematics competencies.” Researchers considered the potential effect of a school-level intervention that would result in the typical (or median) student successfully completing 30 more MATHia workspaces during their middle school classes. They concluded that such an intervention would be associated with a 16 percentile point improvement for the median student (a move from the 50th percentile to the 66th percentile) on the Algebra I EOC.

These powerful results show that “intensive engagement with computer adaptive tutoring during the middle school years results in important gains in later Algebra I performance and can help accelerate learning for historically marginalized students.” The report focused on success in Algebra because it is considered a gateway to postsecondary opportunities and the basis for everyday quantitative reasoning.

MATHia: a 1-on-1 Tutor for Every Student

MATHia uses artificial intelligence and cognitive science to mirror a human tutor with more complexity and precision than any other math software. It provides a simple-to-use, truly personalized learning experience for every student, supporting students who are struggling while challenging those who are ready for more, all at the same time.

Other software looks at the problem-by-problem path, adapting as it goes, but MATHia dives much deeper, at a very granular level, looking skill-by-skill. It uses artificial intelligence to understand how a student might, for example, use valid math concepts, but do so incorrectly. The result is that for students to move on, they need to first understand why they got something right and show mastery at the skill level.

Steve Ritter, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist at Carnegie Learning, says, “This report reflects our commitment to continuous improvement. We’re proud to have supported this work that helps us better understand ways that we can help students succeed in Algebra and in life.”

Barry Malkin, CEO, says, “Carnegie Learning was founded on rigorous research about how students learn, and we continue to work with leading learning scientists to ensure that the solutions we offer are effective in improving learning outcomes. We’re thrilled to see the efficacy of MATHia validated through this work, particularly for lower-performing students who need the right support to close the gap. We will continue to push for equity in education by giving every student a personalized learning experience so they can be successful, in their math classes and in their lives.”


Carnegie Learning is shaping the future of education. Born from more than 30 years of learning science research at Carnegie Mellon University, the company has become a recognized leader in the ed tech space, using artificial intelligence, formative assessment, and adaptive learning to deliver groundbreaking solutions to education’s toughest challenges. With the highest quality offerings for K-12 math, ELA, literacy, world languages, professional learning and more, Carnegie Learning is changing the way we think about education and creating powerful results for teachers and students alike. For more information, please visit:


April Boland

Carnegie Learning


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