Making the Case: Compelling Data

This growing library features data points that describe the impacts and outcomes of student-centered and competency-based approaches to teaching and learning. The data is sourced from research studies, evaluation reports and journal articles, as well as evidence collected directly by classroom, school, district and state leaders using student-centered and personalized learning approaches.

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    Real-World and Career

    CTE Course Concentration Increases Graduation Rates

    A study of CTE in Arkansas showed students concentrating in a program of study (a sequence of three related classes) had a four-year graduation rate of 93%, compared to 51% for non-concentrators. College enrollment rates were 28% compared to 20% for non-concentrators, with low-income students showing the largest positive impact.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Student Do Not Feel Represented in School Decision-Making

    In a nationally representative sample of 1,000 8-12th grade students surveyed after the 2021-22 school year, only 28% felt student opinions are represented “a great deal” in major decisions and policy considerations at their school, with numbers much lower for district, state and federal decisions.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Teachers Report Student Choice Boosts Engagement

    In a national survey of 8,000 educators, 70% said students were both more engaged and retained information better during learning activities when the students chose the activities themselves based on interests.

    Real-World and Career

    Dual Enrollment Increases College Attendance for CTE Students

    An Arkansas study showed that dual enrollment increased the positive impact of taking one more Career and Technical Education course than the state average on future college enrollment by a factor of two, from .4 to 1 percent, for students with a career program concentration.

    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    Black and Latino Students Underrepresented in Dual Enrollment

    While overall participation in dual enrollment programs is up in California, a study revealed equity concerns. Compared with overall school enrollment, 59 of 72 districts had a lower percentage of Latino students, and 52 had a lower percentage of Black high school students in these programs.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Students Want Self-Directed Learning Post-Pandemic

    In a nationally representative sample of 1,000 8-12th grade students surveyed after the 2021-22 school year, 53% want self-paced student learning to continue after the pandemic.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Students Have Higher Attendance When Student Voice Valued

    An analysis of surveys from 12,000 Chicago ninth graders showed students who reported their school leaders and teachers were responsive to student voice had higher attendance rates. Students at schools ranked the most responsive missed 6.1% of school days compared to 7% at the least responsive.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Responsiveness to Student Voice Leads to Higher GPAs

    Survey data for 12,000 Chicago ninth graders was analyzed to rank schools on teachers’ and leaders’ responsiveness to student concerns. In schools ranked in the top 10 percent for responsiveness, students had higher GPAs: an average of 2.85 compared to 2.65 in schools with the lowest rankings.

    Competency-Based Learning

    Teacher Cooperation Leads to Reading Gains at NH Elementary

    Using a collaborative teaching approach to personalize reading supports, New Hampshire elementary school teachers in a competency-based school found 86% of kindergartners were reading at grade-level at the end of they year, compared with 56% at the start.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Small Changes Honor Student Voices Post-Covid in Connecticut

    By soliciting student input and following through on changes, even small ones, a Connecticut school is making student voice an integral part of their culture post-COVID. A survey of one ELA class showed that after the changes, 90% of students felt their voices were valued.

    Curriculum and Instruction

    Personalized Learning Bolsters Academic Confidence

    In a qualitative study of a new personalized learning charter school, teachers and students reported on the importance of building a culture of engagement and positive relationships to foster academic confidence.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Teachers Emphasize Relationships After Pandemic Schooling

    Interviews with 50 teachers and additional focus groups showed a desire to build deeper relationships with students and families post-COVID by continuing strategies like student office hours, assigning all staff to connect with specific students, virtual messaging and virtual family meetings.

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