Research Snapshot

Nebraska students experience large gains in math learning with Zearn

At a Glance


Researchers looked at how elementary- and middle-school students across six large Nebraska districts performed on the 2022 Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS) math assessment. The research, which uses quasi-experimental matching techniques to isolate the impact of Zearn Math on student achievement, compares students who consistently completed three or more Zearn lessons each week with similarly matched students who did not consistently use Zearn. Unlike a standard correlational analysis, this method allows differences in outcomes to be more confidently attributed to Zearn Math and not to other variables.

Researchers found that when a student consistently used Zearn Math, they experienced significant growth on state assessment scores. Specifically, researchers found:

  • Elementary- and middle-school students who consistently used Zearn Math had 2.5 times the growth in their state assessment scores than students who did not use Zearn.
  • Consistent Zearn usage resulted in a double-digit increase in proficiency for Black and Latino students, students eligible for free/reduced lunch, and English learners, compared to declines in proficiency for matched students who did not use Zearn.
  • Across all starting NSCAS proficiency levels, students with consistent Zearn Math usage were more likely to improve their proficiency level.
  • Students at the lowest level of math proficiency were two times more likely to improve their NSCAS proficiency level when they consistently used Zearn Math compared to students who did not use Zearn.

While many factors influence student achievement, one factor is clear: consistent Zearn usage is strongly associated with statewide achievement gains—for students across subgroups and starting proficiency levels. As the nation works collectively to help all students catch up and move forward in math learning, this statewide research study, which meets ESSA Level 2 (Moderate) criteria, provides evidence that Zearn helps accelerate student learning at scale.

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