Brooklyn, NY (March 24, 2023) – A new study from WestEd, an education research nonprofit organization, found that schools using the Desmos Math curriculum for 6th, 7th, and/or 8th grade math instruction had significantly higher math achievement compared to similar schools that did not use Desmos Math. The Desmos Math 6–8 curriculum became part of the Amplify suite of high-quality instructional programs last spring, along with the Desmos Classroom teaching and learning platform. With a focus on helping teachers celebrate student brilliance, build flexible mathematical understanding and create the conditions for every student to be successful, the Desmos Math 6-8 lessons are standards-aligned, easy-to-use, and fully customizable by educators.
The WestEd retrospective study looked at data from the 2021-2022 school year and used a matched comparison design of almost 900 schools (~150 experimental sites and ~750 control sites) in nine focal states–California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina and Texas. The study found that use of the Desmos Math 6-8 curriculum correlated with increased average math achievement. These results show that there is a positive effect with even a basic usage of Desmos Math 6-8 in increasing middle-grade-wide math achievement.
“We are thrilled with the results of this study, which validate the power of teachers putting student ideas at the center of instruction in order to build strong math proficiency,” said Dan Meyer, dean of research, Desmos Classroom, at Amplify. “We believe that all students – and teachers – deserve to experience engagement, challenge, and success in their math classrooms every day, and we are excited to build out a comprehensive K-12 curriculum to make that vision a reality in more and more classrooms.”
The schools in this study were from nine states with a concentration of Desmos Math 6-8 usage, and the schools used it with varying levels of fidelity. As such, the WestEd researchers believe the full impact of Desmos Math 6-8 may be higher than the effect reported in this study.
“The results are encouraging for educators in search of curricular materials designed to help students meet more rigorous math content standards,” says Kirk Walters, senior managing director, WestEd. “Most state standards and assessments emphasize conceptual understanding and application, which are key features of the Desmos Math Curriculum. Further research could determine the causal effects of the program, which may be even larger if the program is implemented under ideal conditions.”
About Amplify and Desmos Classroom
A pioneer in K–12 education since 2000, Amplify is leading the way in next-generation curriculum and assessment. In June 2022, Desmos split into two entities: “Desmos Studio,” a Public Benefit Corporation that builds and supports the Desmos Calculators, and “Desmos Classroom,” the team and technology behind Desmos Math 6-A1. Together Amplify and Desmos Classroom are building a comprehensive core math curriculum called Amplify Desmos Math that will build off of Desmos Math 6–A1 and be available for pilot and review in Fall 2024. Today, Amplify and Desmos Classroom serve more than 18 million students in all 50 states. For more information about Desmos Math 6-A1, visit amplify.com/desmosmath. For more information about the in-development Amplify Desmos Math, visit amplify.com/math.
WestEd is a nonpartisan, nonprofit agency that conducts and applies research, develops evidence-based solutions, and provides services and resources in the realms of education, human development, and related fields, with the end goal of improving outcomes and ensuring equity for individuals from infancy through adulthood. For more information, visit WestEd.org.
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