Ivey Lane Elementary students achieve dramatic increases in math performance

The non-profit education researcher MIND Research Institute announced that third-grade students and their teachers at Ivey Lane Elementary School using MIND’s ST Math® visual math software program achieved a dramatic 26-point gain in grade-level math achievement on the 2011 FCAT 2.0. Ivey Lane also finished 2010/11 in MIND’s top 10% nationally in completion of the challenging, Web-based ST Math software, out of more than 1,000 schools in 24 states.

Ivey Lane was one of 23 schools in Orange County Public Schools to pilot the ST Math approach and software in 2010/11, which taps into students’ innate ability to reason their way through visual math puzzles covering Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State math standards. Schools implemented the program at grades 3, 4 or 5. The 23 schools participated in a philanthropically funded Orlando Math Initiative, receiving their software licenses at up to two grade levels free of charge in fall of 2010. Overall, the average results at these schools were also significant and positive, with an average 4-point increase in grade-level performance across all sites on the rigorous FCAT 2.0. The FCAT 2.0 is new, and by design in 2011 showed no net statewide gains.

Third graders at Ivey Lane achieved the most dramatic results. Grade-level math achievement went up by 26 points, from 59% in 2010 to 85% in 2011. And in 2011, the percentage of students at the lowest FCAT achievement level dropped from 9% to zero. These high gains, accompanied by record-high implementation of the new ST Math software program, are signs of outstanding dedication by the school staff to their students’ success with the assistance of the program.

“2010 was our first year piloting our unique program in Florida, and Orange County Public Schools, the pioneer district. So we were anxiously anticipating the results on Florida’s state-of-the-art Next Generation standards and FCAT 2.0 assessment. Thanks to the outstanding reception and implementation our Math Initiative received in Orlando, we are extremely pleased to report these increases in student math achievement,” said Andrew R. Coulson, Education Division President, MIND Research Institute.

“A total of 23 schools in the Orange County Public Schools began our math program last year with two grades enrolled. The Math Initiative continues to make licenses available to expand the program to all of grades K-5 at these sites, adding two grades per year,” continued Coulson. “Public/private partnerships with local schools and our corporate sponsors enabled us to get this pilot going, and great educator partners have shown what is possible in student math achievement gains.”

Funders for this pilot, as part of a scale-up across the United States, include PricewaterhouseCoopers, CISCO, Wells Fargo Foundation, and University of Phoenix Foundation.

“Wells Fargo is proud to support the communities we serve, including Orlando and the state of Florida. Investing in children’s education here is crucial to building a stronger tomorrow for everyone,” said Tim Hanlon, Wells Fargo’s head of philanthropy. “We commend the children and staff at Ivey Lane for their excellent accomplishments in math, as well as the MIND Research Institute for bringing innovative math programs to children across the nation.”

Math Initiative sites received MIND’s award-winning ST Math instructional software, teacher training, and real-time reports on student progress for teachers and principals. MIND Research proactively supports each school’s implementation throughout the year.