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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    Student Agency and Voice

    Relevance with Rigor Boosts Learning

    In a large survey, 97% of students who reported positive experiences with relevance, rigor, customization and high expectations also indicated they learned a lot in school. In comparison, of the students who did not have positive experiences in all four areas, only 58% reported high levels of learning.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Fostering Student Voice Leads to Academic Growth

    A network of 16 NYC schools working to better support Black and Latino youth reported academic gains after working to solicit student input and foster a culture of belonging. In 2021-22, 62% of students in the network met their growth goals on either iReady or NWEA’s Map Growth assessment, compared with a 50% national average.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Educators Link Social-Emotional Learning to Academic Outcomes

    According to a nationally representative sample, most teachers believe social emotional learning improves learning. 83% of the educators surveyed by Education Week said they feel social-emotional-learning has a positive impact on academic outcomes.

    Policy and Advocacy

    Denver Policy Reform Leads to Academic Gains

    A study of Denver's reform strategy from 2008-2019, shows the move to a portfolio model of governance resulted in student gains. Before reforms, the district ranked in the bottom 5th percentile of Colorado districts on standardized state assessments in ELA and math. In 2019 performance rose to 60th and 63rd percentile in ELA and math, respectively.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Educators Feel Engagement Best Indicator of Success

    A 2022 national survey of changing educator and parent views showed 94% of educators think student engagement is the most important metric of student success, following a similar trend of 92% for the 2021 survey.

    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.

    Real-World and Career

    Real-World Learning Leads to Higher Graduation Rates

    Arizona Maricopa High School principal credits student-centered practices like real-word application and post-secondary planning for higher graduation rates of students with a CTE concentration: 91% compared to 71.9% for students in traditional courses and the 81% state average.

    Competency-Based Learning

    Students with IEPs See Gains from Self-Paced Unit

    Middle-grades English language arts students in a Texas classroom showed an average of 16% growth, from pre- to post-test, after a self-paced, mastery-based unit. Students with IEPs saw more gains, with an average of 59% pre and 94% post-test.

    Impact and Academic Outcomes

    Content Mastery Increases with Project-Based Learning PD

    A district study showed a significant number of students in each grade met local learning goals one or two of four content areas after their teachers participated in project-based learning training, compared to peers whose teachers did not.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Higher Performing Schools Feature Close Teacher-Student Relationships

    Teachers at higher performing student-centered schools stayed with the same cohort of students for an average of 2.5 years, compared to lower-performing schools at 1.5 years and reported forming close relationships with 75% of students versus 50-75%.

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