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.

Help make the case

Support the growing field of student-centered learning. Submit your own data from your research study, district or school.

Search Data

    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%.

    Impact and Academic Outcomes

    Personalized Learning Increases Achievement Measured by Standardized Tests

    A study of high and low performing student-centered schools showed when personalized learning is implemented thoroughly, higher test scores result. 

    School and Classroom Culture

    Principals Report Project-Based Learning Helps Students Meet Academic Standards

    In a large national survey, 80% of principals implementing schoolwide project-based learning feel it helps students meet academic standards. 90% report students can extend their learning from projects to other disciplines.

    Impact and Academic Outcomes

    Standardized Test Scores Improve After PD on Project-Based Learning

    At Lindsay Unified School District, students scored higher on the Diagnostic Reading Assessments® (DRA), Scholastic Reading Inventory® (SRI), and California’s Smarter Balanced Assessment system (SBAC) after teachers received PD on project-based learning.

    Curriculum and Instruction

    Project-Based Learning Promises Gains in Social Studies and Science

    Looking at 20 studies on project-based learning, researchers found a positive effect on student learning in Social Studies and Science, and to a smaller degree, math and literacy. 

    Student Agency and Voice

    Comprehensive Student Advising Shows Promising Evidence

    This research brief examines the research base for comprehensive student advising, looking at the ways it fosters relationships, social capital and student agency. It concludes there is promising evidence of impact (as defined by the US Department of Education).

Skip to content