Welcome to Parsimony’s blog, where we help K-12 educators identify evidence based ways to maximize student outcomes.

This blog post is part of our What Works Clearinghouse review series. The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) is an initiative by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) which is the independent statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the United States Department of Education. WWC estimates the effectiveness of programs by evaluating the quality and quantity of evidence for that program.

This week’s blog post is about the evidence behind Cognitive Tutor® Algebra I’s impact on students. Here’s the short version:

Cognitive Tutor® Algebra I is a math curricula that combines textbooks and interactive software.

The evidence for Cognitive Tutor® Algebra I covers students in 8th grade through 12th grade.

The outcomes examined include: algebra, and general mathematics achievement. Here’s what the evidence suggests about Cognitive Tutor® Algebra I’s impact on each outcome:

  • Algebra: Positive impact (an average student would be expected to improve by 4 percentile points)
  • General Mathematics Achievement: No detectable impact

The studies looking into Cognitive Tutor® Algebra I had student samples that were in urban, suburban, and rural areas, and had students who were Asian, Black, Native American, Pacific Islander, Hispanic and White, were male and female, and were English language learners, and received free & reduced price lunch.

You can find the full report from the What Works Clearinghouse here:


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