Education Success Stories
No Two Brains Train the Same.
Orange County Department of Education
Like many high schools in California, Orange County was faced with a daunting challenge to support students who needed extra help to pass the high school exit exam for graduation. Many of these students are Special Education and English Learners who need additional services to pass the exam.
The BrainX Solution
Create pre-assessment tests and tutorials for Vocabulary, English Language Arts and Math so that each student’s weaknesses can be addressed with the right coursework. Orange County co-authored the coursework and BrainX optimized it into the BrainX system, so every student in the OCDE has access to these valuable materials via the Internet. The BrainX system customizes to each student’s unique study needs by using patented algorithms to configure the right study material. This content is so successful that Orange County licenses the BrainX solution to other school districts with the same problem.
Desert Mirage High School, CA
The High School had 200 10th graders who were operating at a 5th grade Math level. Desert Mirage desperately needed to help these far below grade level students to catch up and succeed at grade level work.
The BrainX Solution
The BrainX Digital Tutor did a complete assessment of each student. The digital tutor used the assessment results to pull lessons from a large database of lessons that are aligned to state standards and then organized the lessons into individual coursework for each student. The digital tutor molded the way the lessons were delivered to optimize learning for each student. After the material was learned the digital tutor reinforced the learned material on different days until each student demonstrated mastery.
This group also struggled with self-defeating mindset issues like “I can’t do Math” or “I am a naturally bad test taker”. The Tutor implemented a strategy to improve each student’s belief in their ability to learn any subject and to be expert test takers.
The ResultsThe following data was reported by the program director at Desert Mirage High School and verified by BrainX:
The students started the course work in October of 2008. In April of 2009, 70 percent of the students increased their competency level up to where they had mastered all the concepts for the first half of Algebra 1. To reach this level, the students had to complete a course in probability with a post test score of 85% or higher. The remaining 30 percent are on track to complete their remaining coursework including probability by the end of May 2009.
Mar Vista High School, CA
Mar Vista needed to dramatically increase the number of English Learners who passed the High School Exit Exam. The pass rate for English Learners at the start of the study was only 29%.
The BrainX Solution
The BrainX Digital Tutor did a complete assessment of each student against the state standards covered on the California High School Exit Exam. The tutor used this information to build a standards aligned set of coursework for each student. Even though Academic Vocabulary was not in any of the tested state standards, the assessment revealed that a lack of mastery of key academic vocabulary words was one or the root causes for the poor test results for these students. As a result the tutor also taught the students to mastery 200 of the most important academic vocabulary words.
The digital tutor molded the way the lessons were delivered to optimize learning for each student. For example, lessons were first delivered in Spanish with audio so the student could listen to the lesson being read in Spanish while they read along. Then the identical lesson was provided in English with English narration. Immediately after the lesson, students had to practice using the information in English. The following data was reported by the Principal of Mar Vista High School:
The Study Conditions
- 270 Struggling Students
- Control Group 100 Students received classroom instruction
- BrainX Group 170 Student in an afternoon program
- Control Group - Pass Rate: 29%
- BrainX Group 1: Used BrainX 1 to 2 hours a week for 10 weeks - Pass Rate: 69%
- BrainX Group 2: Used BrainX 3 to 5 hours a week for 10 weeks - Pass Rate: 89%
Orange County Department of Education– Teacher Certification
Background: To earn the Special Site Highly Qualified Teacher Certification, teachers needed to master coursework in the fields of lesson plan development and effective methods for providing classroom instruction at special sites. In these sites, teachers are often called upon to teach subjects they don’t normally teach. For example, English teachers sometime teach Math classes. To earn Highly Qualified Status, the teachers have to demonstrate subject matter expertise in both Mathematics and English Language Arts.
The tutor assessed each adult learner and found that while they could often do higher level work, there were large gaps in basic math and ELA concepts. The tutor built a set of personal coursework to fill in the gaps for each teacher. In addition, the course work on building effective lessons plans and strategies for teaching special needs children was taught in a blended way where an instructor delivered the lesson and the digital tutor reinforced the learned information on different days until the material was locked in long term memory and mastered.
Testimony: Burney High School, CA
The High School had a high first time fail rate for students taking the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE). In September 2009, sophomores were given the CAHSEE pre-test to determine which students would fail the test. The students who failed the pre-test were placed into a CAHSEE prep class where they used BrainX to fill in their knowledge gaps and prepare for the exam. All the students took the CAHSEE in March 2010. The vast majority of the students, who would have failed, ended up passing due to the use of BrainX.
Just wanted to let you know we are ecstatic about our test scores this year. 90% of sophomores in my CAHSEE Prep class passed math and 84% passed ELA. There was much higher class average than our school has seen. Even our special education students did better than anyone expected on the courses they worked on.
Thanks for all of your support throughout the year.
Theresa Robbins, Math Dept. Chair