Most impact investors know the holy grail of impact assessment is a scientific third-party outcomes study, but few investors and few entrepreneurs can afford the time and financial costs to conduct one. An outcomes study was completed of SJF portfolio company Think Through Learning in 2014. The company achieved phenomenal demonstrated results for its Think Through Math (TTM) product, a Web-based math instructional system for students studying from grades 3 through Algebra 1.
The Texas Education Agency commissioned the Gibson Consulting Group in partnership with Shore Research to conduct the study which employed a mixed-methods approach to evaluating the Texas SUCCESS program through a number of different sources, including online system usage and student growth data, interviews with district and campus academic intervention staff in local education agencies using the programs, and extensive analysis of student outcomes data related to the 2013-14 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) performance.
The evaluation reported, “advanced statistical modeling, accounting for other observable factors that may influence student outcomes—such as students’ prior STAAR-Mathematics performance—showed that students in Grades 3-8 who attempted 20 or more Think Through Math lessons had statistically significant higher STAAR-Mathematics scores than non-users.” On average, TTM users realized an average improvement of nearly 17 percentage points, with 3rd grade improvement highest at 26 percentage points. TTM users who attempted 20 or more lessons achieved an average 90% pass rate on the STAAR-Mathematics exam versus only a 74% pass rate for non-TTM users.
Other findings included:
SJF is proud of Think Through Learning’s demonstrated educational impacts and looks forward to helping the company leverage these validated results to further grow its school and student reach. Over 2.5 million students and 80,000 teachers now use Think Through Math in schools spanning 47 states across the country. In 2014, students on TTM completed approximately one billion complex math problems and received millions of live personalized “just-in-time teaching” sessions. TTM was awarded the SIIA CODiE Award for Best Mathematics Instructional Solution in 2012 and 2014.