Carnegie Learning and CAST Awarded $2 Million from US Department of Education to Develop Support for Reading in Mathematics

Research team will build an adaptive system with embedded reading supports for middle school students completing math problems

PITTSBURGH–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#artificialintelligence–Carnegie Learning, a leader in artificial intelligence for education and formative assessment, is proud to announce a new project to develop a Math and Reading Acquisition Co-Adaptive System with CAST, a nonprofit education research and development organization that created the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework to make learning more inclusive. This system will design and test a set of individualized reading supports for students within MATHia, Carnegie Learning’s AI-powered math tutoring software.

Teachers face significant barriers in supporting the needs of middle school students with reading difficulties as they work on mathematics problems. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 27% of U.S. 8th graders score below basic in reading.1 In addition, 10% of public school students (5 million students) are English language learners. That number grows to 19.4% in California.2 For these students, reading ability can be a significant barrier to excelling in mathematics. This project is unique in recognizing that different students need different kinds of assistance. For example, struggling readers whose native language is English may benefit from different approaches than students whose primary language is not English.

This project, funded by the US Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences, will focus on designing adaptive supports for struggling readers within MATHia and testing them in middle schools across urban and suburban settings in California, Florida, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. This work is especially important given recent findings in a study published by Student Achievement Partners that use of MATHia in middle school leads to better Algebra I outcomes, particularly for lower performing students.3

Dr. Steve Ritter, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist at Carnegie Learning, says, “Research has shown that struggling readers thrive when using our math curricula, which presents them with a significant amount of text. This study will allow us to do what we do best – reveal the cognitive mechanisms that support students’ use of language in math class and use this understanding to improve our products’ effectiveness.”

Barry Malkin, CEO of Carnegie Learning, says, “Our goal is to give every student the adaptive, just-in-time support they need to be successful, and this new project will expand MATHia’s capabilities to include both math and reading support. Students will have an encouraging, supportive tutor by their side as they work, and teachers will have crucial data on student learning to help guide instructional decisions. It’s a win-win.”

Built on Research

Founded by cognitive and computer scientists from Carnegie Mellon University, Carnegie Learning has been deeply immersed in research from the start. Its Research Team collaborates with the world’s leading learning scientists to understand what works best for teachers and students, and to translate that research into practical and effective classroom practices. Learn more at


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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