SALT LAKE CITY, March 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of ongoing efforts to improve student performance in the STEM subjects, Utah has designated McGraw-Hill's adaptive math program ALEKS® as a grant-eligible mathematics option for middle and high schools statewide, the digital learning company announced today. The selection, made by Utah's STEM Action Center following the completion of a semester-long pilot of ALEKS in Utah schools in fall 2013, makes Utah the first state in which the digitally adaptive, Common Core-aligned solution will be available statewide.
Utah's STEM Action Center, which focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines, was launched last year by the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development to help ensure that Utah's workforce is properly equipped to address the demands of the 21st century economy. In order to raise STEM proficiency across the state, the Center will make more than $8 million in grant funding available to middle and high schools throughout the state for the 2014-2015 school year. Those funds may be used to purchase any of the STEM solutions designated by the Center, of which ALEKS offers the only fully adaptive option for both middle and high school students.
"Proficiency in math is a precursor to some of the most exciting careers available to students after both high school and college," said Peter Cohen, president of McGraw-Hill School Education Group. "One of the biggest challenges, however, is making sure that the math curriculum is appropriate for the individual student—not too easy, not too challenging. ALEKS helps teachers efficiently pinpoint exactly what their students know now and what they are ready to tackle next, making class time more effective and engaging. We're proud that Utah has selected ALEKS for such an important initiative."
ALEKS uses research-based artificial intelligence to rapidly and precisely determine each student's level of knowledge, pinpointing exactly what a student knows and doesn't know. ALEKS then instructs students on the topics they're most ready to learn, constantly updating each student's knowledge state and adapting to the student's individualized learning needs. The solution is designed to be highly flexible for students and schools with varied technology capabilities, and can be used as either a core program or a targeted learning supplement.
McGraw-Hill, which has marketed and sold ALEKS for math in the higher education space for more than 10 years, in June 2013 signed an agreement to acquire ALEKS Corporation, the privately held developer of the ALEKS adaptive learning technology for the K-12 and higher education markets.