Whizz Education: Schools Tapping Technology to Make and Measure Math Gains

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Schools using Math-Whizz to deliver the complex requirements of Response to Intervention (RTI) initiatives that are taking hold in schools across the nation to improve the performance of at-risk students

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President Barack Obama is waiving the requirements of No Child Left Behind for many states, but he is still searching for ways to “develop, validate and scale up evidence-based approaches” to improve mathematics education. He wants $60 million for schools that can prove their programs will close student achievement gaps in math. Schools across the country are already tapping technology to meet this challenge through Response to Intervention (RTI) initiatives, according to Ben Keogh, CEO of Whizz Education, creator of the online-math tutor, Math-Whizz.

RTI is an instructional philosophy that is taking hold in schools across the nation to raise the performance levels of at-risk students. RTI requires personalized instruction, ongoing assessment of student performance and consistent involvement from teachers and parents. Elementary and middle schools in Hawaii, Washington, Maryland, Alaska and Kentucky are using Math-Whizz to deliver the complex requirements of RTI and to demonstrate that their RTI initiatives are working, according to Keogh.

Burns Elementary in Kentucky supplied 391 at-risk elementary school students with access to Math-Whizz through a grant. The whimsical gaming environment crawling with animated creatures captures the attention of students and adjusts in real-time based on how students are performing, reinforcing strengths and improving weaknesses. In addition to providing personalized instruction, the program alerts teachers and parents to the progress of students and guides them in how to provide students with support. Through the platform, teachers and parents can cheer students on with encouraging messages and certificates of achievement. Following is a snapshot of the results that Burns Elementary has experienced:

  •     Fifth graders: 25 percent at grade level in math before; 100 percent after
  •     Third graders: 30 percent at grade level in math before; 80 percent after
  •     Kindergarteners: 33 percent at grade level before; 58 percent after

“Teaching students the fundamental skills and concepts that they need at an early age, in a way that leads them to enjoy math, is key to solving the problems we are facing today,” said Keogh. “It has been tremendously exciting to witness first hand the progress schools across the country have been making over the last five years through the winning combination of RTI and Math-Whizz.”

About Whizz Education
Whizz Education, creator of the award-winning, online math tutoring program, Math-Whizz, is the leading provider of dynamic online math instruction and instructional resources for grades K-8. Whizz Education’s personalized, interactive and collaborative approach to teaching math is raising math achievement for thousands of students in over 40 countries. By engaging students in entertaining challenges, individualizing the curriculum for each student, and involving teachers and parents in the process, Math-Whizz is changing the math education equation. For more information about Whizz Education, Inc. and the Math-Whizz suite of services, visit http://www.whizz.us.

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Kate Vincent
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