CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia students will take part in a new digital math program next year, and an international nonprofit research group will study how it helps students learn.
The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded California-based SRI International $3.5 million to roll out the new math program in West Virginia elementary schools.
The program is fully digital and centered around an online curriculum that provides instant feedback for students and teachers.
SRI International will research student progress under the new curriculum in more than 50 second-grade and fifth-grade math classes across the state beginning in August 2014. Reasoning Mind, a nonprofit organization that focuses on "providing a first-rate mathematics education for every child," created the online program.
West Virginia high school students score among the lowest in the country on math assessments.
Only one third of West Virginia students who took the ACT in 2012 tested as ready for college-level coursework in mathematics, with fewer than half of all high school juniors scoring in the proficient range in math on the WESTEST.
The multi-year study will monitor the impact of computer-based learning and how it matches up against traditional classroom lessons.
Reasoning Mind CEO Alex Khachatryan said the system "is not just a technology wrapper on a traditional textbook."