Agile Mind programs are grounded in years of research and experience from the Charles A. Dana Center. Our work builds on Dana Center studies of high-performing, high-poverty schools and districts, including schools with exemplary high-enrollment AP calculus programs for traditionally underserved students. The products of the Center’s work, which include the Advanced Placement Program® Mathematics Vertical Teams Toolkit and the Advanced Placement Capacity Assessment Tool (both developed for the College Board), have set the standard of excellence for supporting successful AP programs.

logo-charles-dana-centerThe Dana Center serves as lead author of the instructional content in our middle school, high school, AP®, and Academic Youth Development services in mathematics. The design of the Agile Mind AP support system builds on the work of Philip Uri Treisman, professor of mathematics and public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and executive director of the Charles A. Dana Center. In particular, it draws on his early research at the University of California at Berkeley, where he investigated the factors that support minority students’ high achievement in calculus.

BSCS-Logo-Color-LargeThe Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) center serves as lead author of the instructional content in our high school biology services. BSCS, nationally recognized for its excellence in science education, is a nonprofit corporation that endeavors to improve all students’ understanding of science and technology by developing exemplary curricular materials, supporting their widespread and effective use, and providing professional development. The BSCS Center for Research and Evaluation designs and conducts studies that contribute to the knowledge base of curriculum reform and provide evidence of the effectiveness of instructional materials, science teaching, and professional development programs.

The Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative and the First in Math Consortium, both centered on high performance expectations, ongoing professional development, examining student work, and improved math instruction, are major research-based initiatives that include formative and summative assessment systems, pedagogical content coaching, and leadership training and networks. David Foster, the executive director of these programs, is coauthor of our middle school mathematics services and an advisor to our work on formative assessment.

In addition, Agile Mind research and development benefit directly from the support of:

  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • The Brown Foundation
  • The California State University at Dominguez Hills Foundation
  • The Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • The Chicago Community Trust
  • The Small Business Innovation Research Program of The Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education
  • The James Irvine Foundation
  • The National Science Foundation
  • The Small Business Innovation Research Program of the National Science Foundation
  • The Noyce Foundation
  • The Sid W. Richardson Foundation
  • The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation
  • The Texas Education Agency
  • The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Our Research Base

All Agile Mind services are built upon research, practice, and empirical data, including:

  • Intensive research-based professional development institutes developed by the Dana Center that have provided professional support for more than 100,000 mathematics and science teachers and 20,000 administrators over the past decade.
  • The Dana Center’s work with more than 30,000 K-12 mathematics and science teachers and more than 10,000 school administrators in Texas and around the nation on improving their instructional programs, and in particular on strengthening student achievement in mathematics and science.
  • Exhaustive study of the K-12 mathematics and science standards for the states of California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington, along with the national standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (Principles and Standards for School Mathematics) and the National Research Council (the National Science Education Standards).
  • Empirical data from more than 900,000 student users and more than 15,000 educator users of our online services.
  • Collaborative input and feedback on the Agile Mind instructional design from more than 1,000 teachers of mathematics and science.
  • The exceptional contributions of many expert researchers and practitioners whose work has directly affected or inspired our efforts.

Ongoing Research and Development

Agile Mind uses ongoing research to support continuous improvement of our Internet-delivered services. We work with our research partners and with a community of scholars and educators nationwide to apply qualitative and quantitative research to the systematic improvement of the services’ curriculum content, student support, and teacher professional development. Our ultimate goal is to enhance the capacity of schools to offer advanced mathematics and science courses to all students.

Evidence for Users

Our Internet-delivered programs enable teachers and students to know very specifically how learning is progressing. The system provides aggregate data so that educators can evaluate at a glance—in real time—the performance of individual students and groups of students. This feature  reduces administrative work for teachers and makes student performance, rather than tracking student work, the central information a teacher receives. Students, too, can take responsibility for the success of their learning because they receive detailed, up-to-the-moment data about how they are doing.


*Note: AP is a registered trademark of the College Board