Cognitive Tutor - Algebra 1

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can help address educational disparities. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program overview

  • Secondary school math curriculum focuses on how students approach mathematics
  • Teaching emphasizes connections between verbal, numeric, graphic, and algebraic representations of problems
  • Curriculum includes a textbook, adaptive software, and collaborative activities
  • Three periods per week are spent using the textbook for classroom activities, and two periods per week are spent using computer software
Issue Areas
K-12 education
Target Population
High school-aged children
Cost per Participant
Not available

Evidence and impacts


Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by the U.S. Department of Education What Works Clearinghouse

  • Mixed effect on algebra
  • No discernable effect on general mathematics achievement
  • Improved algebra scores by an average of 4 percentile points

Best practices in implementation

  • Note: this content is under review
  • Provide teachers with at least four days of training with program materials.
  • Work with teachers to identify how software can supplement their lessons and be integrated into the classroom.