Educational Institutions

Reasoning Mind, Inc.

  • Houston, TX
  • www.reasoningmind.org

Mission Statement

Reasoning Mind is a nonprofit with the mission to provide a first-rate math education for every child. The organization partners with schools to deliver its web-based program, which uses advanced technology to model the instructional practices of the world's best math classrooms. Using this program, even students at traditionally underserved schools can receive a world-class math education. The importance of a strong math education cannot be overstated; research shows that a student's performance in mathematics is one of the best predictors of how successful they will be in college and their career. While students across the country have traditionally struggled with mathematics, those using Reasoning Mind are achieving enormous success, advancing as many as three grade levels in a single year of program use. Reasoning Mind currently has programming for students in grades 2-7, and is working to develop a full PK-8th grade curriculum to reach even more students. Support from local donors helps to ensure that Reasoning Mind can provide a first-rate math education to more students each year, and prepare them to excel in the 21st century STEM-based economy.

Main Programs

  1. Texas Mission to MARS (Making Algebra-Ready Students)
  2. Student Instruction
  3. Teacher Training Program
  4. Tutoring
  5. RM Curriculum Development
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

Based out of Texas, the Reasoning Mind program is currently implemented across the U.S., serving 120,000 students and 3,000 teachers across 15 states. Enrollment continues to grow each year.

ruling year

2001

President & CEO

Self-reported

Dr. Alexander R. Khachatryan

Keywords

Self-reported

Technology Curriculum Professional development Blended learning Math education

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EIN

76-0662298

 Number

4550600054

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Mathematics (U34)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Reasoning Mind currently has programming for students in grades 2-6, and is working to develop a full PK-8th grade curriculum to reach even more students. Replicating the learning environment of the world's best math classrooms, the program is distinguished by three main components: 1) a rigorous curriculum focused on depth and understanding, 2) adaptive, individualized instruction with real-time data, and 3) in-person support and year-round professional development for teachers. Since the original launch of the program in Houston ISD, Reasoning Mind's student enrollment has doubled on average nearly every year, increasing from 1,500 students in 2005 to over 120,000 in 15 states today.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Texas Mission to MARS (Making Algebra-Ready Students)

The current education system is not producing enough qualified STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workers to meet demand. Math education is critical to the STEM pipeline, as success in math – particularly Algebra I – is indicative of success in higher education and employment. The U.S. currently ranks 36th in the world in math proficiency, and math scores have remained stagnant for years. In 2014, nearly 1 in 5 Texas students failed their Algebra I exit exam – a test which required answering only 37% of the questions correctly in order to pass. Reasoning Mind’s Texas Mission to M.A.R.S. is a campaign to complete a full algebra readiness curriculum for elementary and middle schools to address this crisis. Currently, the organization has proven courses available for grades 2-7. Funding from this campaign will enable Reasoning Mind to develop the final portions of its world-class algebra readiness suite: PK-1st and 8th grade.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

$15,000,000.00

Program 2

Student Instruction

Reasoning Mind’s approach focuses on building a strong, foundational understanding in mathematics so that students can advance to more complicated subjects without the need for remediation. New concepts are introduced in the context of previously learned objectives, creating a network of mathematical knowledge from which the student can draw. As students solve problems and gain understanding, the Reasoning Mind system adjusts the level of difficulty, creating a customized path of learning for each student. Detailed reports are generated for the teacher, diagnosing each student’s strengths and weaknesses and incorporating real-time data, which teachers use to provide targeted instruction to individual students. Lastly, students love Reasoning Mind’s interactive content. External and internal evaluations of the program have found Reasoning Mind students’ time on task in classrooms to be 89% and higher, compared with only 71% in conventional classrooms.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

$224,070.00

Program 3

Teacher Training Program

Research clearly demonstrates that a teacher’s understanding of mathematics directly correlates with his or her students’ achievement in the subject (NMAP, 2008). Yet numerous studies show that U.S. elementary school teachers are not prepared to effectively teach mathematics (Ball, Hill, & Bass, 2005; Hill, Rowan, & Ball, 2005). In fact, the National Council on Teacher Quality recently found that only 7% of Texas colleges adequately prepare teachers to teach elementary mathematics, and similar results were found across the country (NCTQ, 2010). With up to 60 hours of year-round training annually, Reasoning Mind’s professional development offerings give teachers an in-depth understanding of the curriculum and an arsenal of effective teaching strategies. In addition, Reasoning Mind provides regular support from Implementation Coordinators, who visit schools and monitor classroom implementations, providing timely feedback and partnering with teachers to help them use the program.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

$808,710.00

Program 4

Tutoring

Reasoning Mind launched an on-demand tutoring service to provide students with additional support during class. This state-of-the-art system and interface allows tutors to work remotely with students, providing one-on-one enrichment, remediation, and inspiration for problem solving. Tutors engage students through a voice and chat system within the Reasoning Mind software to provide individual interventions and enrichment lessons on objectives and topics in the Reasoning Mind curriculum. Tutoring sessions generally last about 20-30 minutes and tutors provide plans outlining the students they will work with and objectives they will cover. Tutors have access to metrics and reports on student progress to help plan interventions. Tutoring is a pilot program with plans for expansion in the coming years. It is currently principally used by students in West Virginia at schools participating in the Mathematics Curriculum Impact Study, a joint federal research study with SRI International.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$66,000.00

Program 5

RM Curriculum Development

RM is continually working to improve its program. By the end of the 2012-2013 school year, RM plans to have completed its improvement of the 6th grade curriculum and to have transferred all 5th grade students to its new, upgraded system, for the purpose of expanding enrollment to higher grades in future years. Once enrollment surpasses 100,000 students, non-philanthropic revenue will exceed program delivery costs for the organization. School fees will then cover the vast majority of operating expenses. At this point, philanthropic support will be sought to expand RM's 2nd-6th grade curricula to later grades,eventually forming a full k-12 curriculum. With a RM k-12 curriculum suite, students would have access to fully individualized, world-class learning that would follow them throughout their schooling, enabling students to pick up where they left off from grade to grade, and even from one school to another.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$4,200,000.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    In order to maximize student outcomes, algebra should be taken by 8th grade, placing American students on a track similar to that of their international peers (NCES, 2009). Policy-makers and researchers have found that taking algebra in 8th grade—an advanced track in many American curricula—better prepares students for college mathematical studies and math-related careers.

    The goal of the Reasoning Mind program is to provide a first-rate math education to every student in order to ensure each one is algebra-ready by high school. Researchers and educational experts agree that algebra is a “gatekeeper" course to success in higher education (NCES, 2010; ACT, 2005). In fact, studies have found that “finishing a course beyond the level of Algebra II...more than doubles the odds that a student who enters postsecondary education will complete a bachelor's degree," (ACT, 2005). Algebra-readiness has also demonstrated connections to success in the workforce, including competitive STEM careers (NCES, 2010).

    Unfortunately, U.S. students are not algebra-ready by 8th grade. The percentage of students at or above the basic level on the 2009 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) decreases by nearly 10% from 4th to 8th grade, with 22% percent of students having fallen below the minimum standards by 8th grade, when algebra makes up the largest portion of any topic tested on the assessment.

    The effects of delayed algebra-readiness are compounded each year. Numerous studies have shown that the more advanced math courses a student takes, the better prepared that student will be for college and a career. However, due to the sequential nature of math curricula, every year a student does not complete Algebra I or II, he or she loses the opportunity to take another advanced math course. This fact is highlighted by the results of the 2008 NAEP assessment, in which only 6% of U.S. 17 year olds met the most advanced algebra standard. This number has remained stagnant since 1978 (NCES, 2009).

    Algebra-readiness indicators appear early in a student's education. The likelihood of early algebra enrollment can be determined as early as 5th grade, with students who have more positive opinions of math and higher scores on assessments more likely to enter algebra in 8th grade or earlier (ACT, 2005). However, just 40% of students in a 2006 study enrolled in 8th grade algebra, indicating a lack of algebra-preparation in elementary and middle school. In order to ensure that students have access to the advanced math courses they need to be successful, they must be prepared for algebra by the time they reach 8th grade, and this preparation must begin even earlier.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Reasoning Mind partners with innovative local schools to provide a first-rate math education to students. Through these partnerships, students work on the Reasoning Mind system during school as part of their regular mathematics instruction. Lower grade-levels generally spend two hours per week using the program, while higher grade-levels use it for up to an hour per day, in many cases as their main source of math instruction. The main program components detailed below work together to transform the American math classroom into one in which students take ownership over their learning, the teacher provides individualized instruction, and the lessons are engaging for students of all ability levels.

    1. Exceptional Curriculum – Reasoning Mind's approach focuses on building a strong, foundational understanding in mathematics so that students can advance to more complicated subjects without the need for remediation. New concepts are introduced in the context of previously learned objectives, creating a network of mathematical knowledge from which students can draw.

    2. Student Engagement – Students love Reasoning Mind's interactive content, animated characters, mathematical games and riddles, and the opportunity to work at a level that challenges them appropriately. External and internal evaluations of the program have found students' time on task in Reasoning Mind classrooms to be 89% and higher, compared with only 71% in conventional classrooms. This difference is equivalent to adding a full summer (two months) of math instruction into the school year.

    3. Individualized Instruction – Reasoning Mind's system adjusts the level of problem difficulty in correspondence with student performance, creating a customized path of learning for each student. The program generates detailed reports for the teacher, diagnosing each student's strengths and weaknesses and incorporating real-time data. With Reasoning Mind, each student gets more than five times the amount of personal instruction than he or she would get in a conventional classroom.

    4. Teacher Support – Through Reasoning Mind's professional development program, teachers receive up to 60 hours of year-round training that deepens their understanding and ability to teach math concepts effectively. In addition, Reasoning Mind provides regular support from Implementation Coordinators, who regularly visit schools and provide feedback to help teachers maximize their use of the program.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Under Dr. Khachatryan's leadership, the Reasoning Mind team includes talent from top universities like the University of Chicago, Cornell, Georgetown, Rice, and Vanderbilt, among others. With mathematics PhDs, Teach for America corps members, and education researchers, Reasoning Mind's staff is composed of diverse individuals who effectively collaborate to maximize the impact of a high-quality math education.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Reasoning Mind's progress and success are measured by curriculum quality and effectiveness; number of course offerings; and student enrollment.

    The effectiveness of Reasoning Mind's new offerings will be evaluated through pilot projects after the development of each course is complete. Evaluations of each pilot project will include relevant measures such as standardized math test scores, growth in students' algebra-readiness, student time on task, and anonymous surveys (student-level data is received through data-sharing agreements with districts). Necessary adjustments and improvements will be made to strengthen each course before it is finalized and offered broadly to schools.

    Reasoning Mind's careful method of development, evaluation, and launch of its programming is a major factor in the success of the program thus far, and will continue to ensure the delivery of the highest quality programming as the organization expands its curriculum offerings. As the number of curriculum offerings expands, Reasoning Mind's program also grows in its potential to reach and enroll even more students in Texas and across the U.S.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Today, Reasoning Mind's enrollment has increased to over 120,000 students and 3,000 teachers across 15 states. More than 400 visionary philanthropists have supported the organization including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ExxonMobil Foundation, The Hoglund Foundation, the Lyda Hill Foundation, and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, among others. The state of Texas has also been a substantial supporter, committing funding over each of the last four biennia to help Reasoning Mind expand to new school districts across the state.

    Reasoning Mind's efficacy has been extensively studied, with over 10 high-quality research studies—including many independent evaluations—conducted to date. Moreover, the organization has been endorsed by the Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas, Change the Equation, The Philanthropy Roundtable, and The National Council on Teacher Quality, among others. Moreover, over 400 visionary philanthropists have supported the organization, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ExxonMobil Foundation, the Lyda Hill Foundation, and the United Way. In 2015, Reasoning Mind was selected as the winner of Deloitte's RightStep Innovation Prize, a national competition designed to recognize the next “cutting edge solution in education."
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

Based out of Texas, the Reasoning Mind program is currently implemented across the U.S., serving 120,000 students and 3,000 teachers across 15 states. Enrollment continues to grow each year.

Social Media

Funding Needs

To use Reasoning Mind's innovative program, schools pay a per-student tuition fee, which is approximately half of Reasoning Mind's full cost to deliver the program. Generous donors provide funding to subsidize the remaining cost, ensuring tuition remains affordable for schools and allowing Reasoning Mind to continue expanding the program. Since 2008, the cost of the program has decreased by 75%, from $600 to approximately $150 today.

Accreditations

Texas Education Agency

Texas State Board for Educator Certification Continuing Profesional Education

Texas State Board for Educator Certification

Videos

External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

REASONING MIND INC
Fiscal year: Sep 01-Aug 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Reasoning Mind, Inc.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2014
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

President & CEO

Dr. Alexander R. Khachatryan

BIO

Alex Khachatryan leads the Reasoning Mind team as its President, Co-Founder and CEO. Alex began his career as a researcher in artificial intelligence and expert systems, first at the Institute for Control Sciences (the former Soviet Union's top computer science research center) and then as the Project Leader of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Petroleum Engineering Department of Texas A&M University. Alex holds a bachelor's and a master's degree in applied mathematics from the Moscow Oil and Gas Institute and a doctorate in physics and mathematics from Moscow State University, Russia's leading research university.

STATEMENT FROM THE President & CEO

"Over the past decade, thousands of students in Houston and across the country have benefited from Reasoning Mind. Teachers have excelled in their instructional effectiveness, while students have learned that they actually enjoy math thanks to the program's interactive, individualized instruction. Even better, they have seen their mathematical understanding soar while advancing through the program's world-class curriculum. Thanks in large part to the generous support of Houston donors, what was once a visionary idea is now a reality, and has proven its effectiveness year after year. In addition to bringing the program to over 120,000 students across the country, we have taken the program's impact to the next level by launching the Texas Mission to M.A.R.S. (Making Algebra-Ready Students) campaign, a project to complete our remaining algebra-readiness courses by 2017. The successful completion of this project will make Reasoning Mind the only proven provider with a suite of world-class PK-8th grade content designed to prepare students for algebra - the "gatekeeper" to college success. We invite your support as we embark on this critical project."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Bruce Bilger

Lazard Frerès & Co. LLC

Term: Jan 2016 -

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
Sexual Orientation

We do not display sexual orientation information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies
No
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
No
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
No
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
No
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan
No
We use other methods to support diversity