HELP Math - Proven Effectiveness

Grades 3-8 | Math and Dual Language | Cloud-based

Pilot Study

Colorado Roaring Fork RE-1 School District commissioned a study to investigate the effects of HELP Math on student academic performance. The pilot evaluation was overseen by an independent, renowned statistician, Dr. Zung Tran, who has worked extensively with the National Institutes of Health and other scientific and educational organizations. The pilot evaluation was generously funded by the Colorado Department Education.

In order to measure the effects of HELP Math, matching pre- and post-tests were given to both control and treatment students before and after the two- to three-month period of the study. Only the treatment group used HELP lessons during this period. The pre- and post-tests were developed based on NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) standards, aligned to HELP Math lesson content, and validated by mathematics curriculum experts.

Results indicate that 92% of students that had the HELP treatment increased their scores on the NCTM standards-aligned post-test. Furthermore, treatment students using HELP lessons improved their scores on the standards-aligned post-test by 42%. This compares with only a 4.6% increase by control students. The net improvement (treatment over control group) of the HELP treatment students was 37.5%. HELP was especially effective for sixth and seventh grade students, who had the greatest gains in post-test scores with average increases of 75% and 71% respectively.

Read a detailed report here.

U.S. Department of Education Findings

Under the U.S. Department of Education's Ready to Teach grant, the University of Colorado conducted a multi-year, randomized experimental study which, before attrition, involved more than 1,000 students nationwide. Over 800 students were Spanish-speaking ELL students, over 400 English-speakers, and 35 other ELL students.

Researchers created a pre/post-test for both the control and treatment groups which covered Numbers and Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, and a Basic Skills module.

Though HELP was still in development during the study, HELP Math nevertheless indicated a significant growth between pre- and post-test. It was found that the control group received an average of two more hours of instruction than the HELP Math group. Despite this, HELP Math intervention corresponded to higher mean post-test scores than those of the control group. Other benefits found included:

  • An increase of 18% in the AYP (adequate yearly progress) in math for LEP/ELL students at the participating schools
  • All ELL students who used HELP Math showed increases in their state English language proficiency test from the previous year in the research schools in which data were available
  • In year two of the experimental study, researchers asked special education teachers to randomly assign students into control and treatment groups. The final database included 69 students with disabilities. Pre-post mathematics scores of Special Ed students showed 15% gains with HELP
  • For three consecutive years, HELP Math was reviewed and “deemed to be of high quality” by the U.S. Department of Education’s Government Performance and Results (GPRA) Act (2007, 2008, 2009). The Independent Review Panel of qualified experts, chosen by the US DOE’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, gave HELP Math a score of 92.33 out of a possible 100; receiving the highest rating available
  • HELP Math received extremely positive teacher feedback on the program and training (from surveys and focus groups). Quantitative and qualitative information from field studies informed program modifications, with a strong focus on the needs of teachers, the factors involved in successful implementation, and sustainable use of a technology-based math intervention

Read a detailed report here.

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