Fewer than 2 percent of the studies of software and other curriculum programs that have been evaluated for their effectiveness meet the federal government's standards for demonstrating clear scientific evidence of success, according to a recent announcement.

Though educators might conclude from this news that better math software is needed in the nation's classrooms, that's not necessarily the case: Some observers familiar with the evaluation process say the federal standard for "scientific" proof is too stringent, and what's worse, the way findings are presented could mislead educators into thinking that certain programs don't really work

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