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Imagine Learning Illustrative Mathematics

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

Imagine Learning Illustrative Mathematics (IL Illustrative Math) is a problem-based core curriculum for K–12 students. It is designed to be used in face-to-face, student-led, whole group instruction. It provides conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic competence, and adaptive reasoning. Students learn by doing, working their way through problems in both mathematical and real-world contexts and constructing arguments using precise language.

Program Outcomes

A matched study involving over 3,000 students across 16 elementary schools in a large suburban school district in Missouri examined the efficacy of Imagine Learning Illustrative Mathematics.  Grade-level teachers were given the option of implementing Imagine Learning Illustrative Math in the 2022-2023 school year, resulting in 149 classrooms in the intervention group and 147 in the comparison (business-as-usual) group. The student sample was largely White (85%), 16% SPED, and 20% FRPL. Student achievement was measured with the Galileo Comprehensive Assessment System (GCAS) and Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) assessments.

While there were no differences found on the GCAS for Grades 3–5, significant positive Imagine Learning Illustrative Math impacts were found on the MAP (effect size = +0.38), earning Imagine Learning Illustrative Math a “Moderate” ESSA rating. Subgroup impacts were also explored and both special education and FRPL students using Imagine Learning Illustrative Math significantly outgained their comparison counterparts on the MAP mathematics assessment from spring 2022 to spring 2023.

Staffing Requirements

Each implementing classroom needs one instructional teacher. No additional staffing is required.

Professional Development/Training

In addition to support from the Customer Success team, Imagine Learning offers various virtual and on-site professional learning for teachers and administrators. Sessions for teachers and administrators include learning  how to use the Imagine Learning platform training and Illustrative Mathematics curriculum training (the latter varies by grade level and district needs).


The curriculum requires networked computers with mice or tablets and access to the digital platform (though not required as print materials can be purchased by the district).