Students at 24 elementary and middle schools benefit from program developed by the non-profit education researcher MIND Institute that improves performance on math tests and strengthens understanding of difficult math concepts

DALLAS, Nov. 10, 2006–At the National School Boards Association’s Technology + Learning Conference (NSBA T+L), the non-profit MIND Institute announced that top school districts throughout Texas have adopted its mathematics education program. The ST Math+ Music™ high-performance math education program includes MIND’s exclusive ST Math™ computer game suite, developed by its Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Matthew Peterson, along with a comprehensive instrumental music curriculum. It is designed for students in grades K to 5 to help them exceed state standards, including the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), as well as national learning objectives in mathematics and “No Child Left Behind” legislation requirements. Students are benefiting from the education researcher’s ST Math software and ST Math+Music program at a total of 24 elementary and middle schools in nine school districts. Twenty one public elementary schools, one middle school, as well as two private schools, within Texas have now adopted the program in just the last year, since MIND introduced the program to the state.

After using MIND’s ST Math program in pilot after-school settings last spring and during the summer to prepare students for tests, several major school districts expanded the high-performance mathematics education program to more elementary schools this fall: Fort Worth’s Crowley Independent School District, Houston’s Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, and the Houston Independent School District. Also, the Dallas Independent School District launched the program in seven of its elementary schools this fall. Along with the Texas Department of Education, other districts that either began the program in the fall or are continuing from last school year
are: Pasadena, Spring Branch, Cleveland, and Kennedale Independent School Districts. The districts are strategically working to identify academic areas where students are weakest and bring them up to proficiency before the annual Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS).

“Last spring the MIND Institute carefully analyzed the needs of our first six pilot schools in Texas and then helped them implement our ST Math+Music program to meet their individual goals,” said Andrew Coulson, MIND Institute Education Division President. “Feedback from those schools was excellent, and the results showed their administrators our program’s potential to raise students’ math test scores, regardless of academic or language proficiency. Several districts decided to expand the program to more schools. Most of the pilot schools renewed with us for another year and we increased the number of schools we serve in Texas this fall by 300%.”

The MIND Institute is working closely with schools in nine districts within Texas to help ensure that students understand difficult math concepts needed to achieve higher math scores, such as problem solving and mathematical reasoning. Its unique, award-winning math education process, ST Math+Music, has a consistent record of improving students’ math test scores in California an average of 15 to 20 percentile points.

When MIND consulted with administrators at the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, one of the district’s first priorities was to help its third graders who have struggled with the mathematics portion of the TAKS. So the district tried ST Math as a pilot program with third and fourth graders. At the two schools in the district that piloted the program in an after-school setting, all of the third-grade students who participated and completed at least half of the ST Math+Music curriculum scored proficient or better on the TAKS last spring. The results were significant enough for the district to add MIND to three more schools this fall during the regular school day.

ST Math+Music was launched in Texas last year, after the MIND Institute spent six years successfully testing and refining the program in California schools. The process uses music instruction along with computer math games to dramatically enhance students’ mathematical and problem-solving skills. It focuses on building the brain’s spatial temporal reasoning capability–the ability to think visually several steps ahead in patterns and pictures. ST Math+Music is based on 30 years of brain research and offers a new, engaging and more effective way to reach students who have historically struggled with math.

A key to the ST Math+Music program’s effectiveness is that it is language independent, enabling students to learn math skills regardless of their proficiency level in English. This research-based, fun-for-kids program has generated impressive improvements in students’ California Achievement Test, Form 6 (CAT6) math test scores, which were as much as 23 percentile points higher on 2003 test scores compared to non-participating students.

The ST Math+Music program includes music curriculum, the MIND Institute’s ST Math computer games, one day of professional development for teachers, and access to daily student status reports over the Internet. The program is offered to schools on either a per-student subscription basis or via a site license. For information about the ST Math+Music program, educators can call the MIND Institute toll free at
(888) 751-5443 or visit its website at www.mindinstitute.net.

MIND Institute Background

The MIND Institute is a community-based non-profit research organization formed in 1998 and based in Costa Mesa, CA. It is dedicated to brain research and to preparing students in grades K-12, regardless of cultural or socio-economic background, for success in school, work and society. The Institute has successfully integrated more than 30 years of breakthrough academic research on the brain at the University of California, Irvine, into applied education programs for elementary school students. Student test results at schools that use the Institute’s ST Math+Music program have increased consistently every year. There are currently more than 170 elementary schools in California, Illinois, Louisiana and Texas with more than 30,000 students in grades K to 5 participating in the Institute’s ST
Math+Music program.

About the Author:

eSchool News