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

    Personalized Public Charter in Indiana Boasts High Graduation Rates

    In 2022, the three campuses of Purdue Polytechnic, an individualized, project-based and career-oriented school in Indianapolis, Indiana, reported graduation rates of 83%, 86% and 100%, compared to rates closer to 79% in the rest of the district.

    Real-World and Career

    Dual Enrollment Increases Nationally

    A national data report showed dual enrollment in community colleges has increased by 11.5% from Fall 2021 to Fall 2022. Overall enrollment has only declined by .4%, due to the increase in dual enrollment.

    Real-World and Career

    Dual Enrollment Increases College Attendance for CTE

    In an Arkansas study, students taking Career and Technical Education courses in a specific career area saw a larger positive impact if they were also in a dual enrollment program. The impact of taking one more CTE course than the state average on future college enrollment went up by a factor of two for these students, from .4% to 1%.

    Real-World and Career

    CTE Courses Lead to Higher Employment and Salaries

    A large study in Arkansas showed students who took just one more Career and Technical Education course than the average of 4.9 increased their probability of employment the year after graduation by 1.5 percentage points and their expected quarterly wage by 3%. Of note, Arkansas college students also commonly work.

    Real-World and Career

    CTE Courses Lead to Higher Graduation and College Enrollment Rates

    Study of a large data set in Arkansas revealed students who took just one more Career Technical Education course than the average of 4.9 increased their probability of graduating from high school by 3.2 percentage points and of enrolling in a two-year college the next year by 0.6 percentage points.

    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.

    Real-World and Career

    Immersive MA Career and Technical Education Boosts Graduation Rates

    In a study of Massachusetts schools in which all students participate in an immersive Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, students with higher incomes were 7 to 10 percentage points more likely to graduate from high school on time than similar income peers receiving either more traditional or no CTE programming.

    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.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Tailoring Learning to Student Interest Increases Motivation

    In a study of differences in teacher practice and technology use in student-centered schools, high-performing schools more frequently included students’ career goals and interests in personalized learning plans, increasing student motivation. The difference was statistically significant.

    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.

    Curriculum and Instruction

    Teachers Across Grade-Levels and Subjects Value Project-Based Learning

    Feedback from over 11,000 teachers nationwide indicates 77% feel project-based learning would benefit their students. This high valuation is consistent across grade-levels taught as well as subjects, from science to history. 

    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.

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