Press Release

New Study Shows Large Gains in Math Learning Among Nebraska Students



Anna O'Sullivan

OMAHA, Neb.,  Sept. 22, 2022
A newly released study shows that Nebraska elementary- and middle-school students who consistently utilized a top-rated math platform had large gains in their math learning. These results support the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE)’s “Framework for School Renewal & Acceleration.” The framework, which was developed alongside Nebraska educators, identifies learning acceleration in math as a key intervention strategy to address pandemic-era unfinished teaching and learning. 

Fueling these gains is Zearn, a nonprofit educational organization that developed the top-rated math learning platform Zearn Math.  In this study,  researchers found that students who consistently completed three Zearn Math digital lessons weekly had 2.5 times the growth in their Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS) math scores than students who did not use Zearn Math. Moreover, the study shows that students at the lowest level of math achievement who consistently used Zearn Math were two times more likely to improve their NSCAS achievement level when compared with students who didn’t use Zearn Math. 

“These results highlight the importance of ensuring that Nebraska students have access to high-quality instructional materials and grade-level instruction in mathematics. With access to Zearn and strong mathematics instruction, schools have shown that learning acceleration is a way to address unfinished teaching and learning in mathematics,” said Commissioner Matthew Blomstedt, Nebraska Department of Education.

Zearn Math, which fully aligns with Nebraska’s College and Career Ready Standards for Mathematics,  was offered to all public and non-public schools at no cost with support from Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER II) Fund. As a result, more than 110,000 elementary and middle school students and 9,000 educators in nearly 500 schools – from urban districts like Omaha to the more rural districts like Sidney –  used Zearn Math across core instruction, tutoring and summer learning. Teachers were also provided with comprehensive professional development by Zearn and Schoolkit. 

To support students, Zearn provides access to high-quality materials featuring a mix of hands-on problem-solving and immersive digital learning. To support teachers, Zearn provides ongoing progress monitoring and real-time reports with precise and actionable feedback to inform instruction, based on student needs.  

Zearn shows promising evidence to accelerate student learning at scale. In fact, in a recent Zearn study, students who consistently experienced learning acceleration completed twice as many grade-level lessons than those who were remediated. The study, “Catching Up and Moving Forward: Accelerating math learning for every student,” looked at 600,000 students nationwide and 5 million intervention decisions over the last two years. 

“We developed Zearn’s technology to complement the work of great classroom teachers, which is why we are honored that nearly 90% of Nebraska teachers who use Zearn would recommend it to another teacher,” Sharma said. “This new research shows the tremendous effect teachers are having statewide, and we look forward to supporting Nebraska teachers again this academic year.”


Zearn is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization behind Zearn Math, the top-rated math learning platform used by 1 in 4 elementary-school and more than 1 million middle-school  students nationwide. Everything we do is driven by the belief that every kid is a math kid. For more information about Zearn’s work in Nebraska  or across the nation, contact Anna O’Sullivan, director of communications, at