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.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Relevance Increases Engagement and Focus in New England Schools

    In interviews, educators at several New England high schools implementing student-centered learning practices reported students were more engaged and focused on their work when learning felt relevant because they had a say in the choice of content and methods of learning.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Most Students Do Not Feel Their Learning is Relevant

    Analysis of surveys focused on student experience showed most do not feel their learning is relevant. Of the over 20,000 students surveyed, only 31% reported feeling their learning is connected to the world outside of school, and only 29% said they were learning about topics of interest to them.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Most Students Feel Little Control Over Their Learning

    A broad array of learning communities surveyed over 20,000 students about their experiences and found most do not feel they have control over their education. Only 29% reported feeling they have a say in what happens to them at school and only 31% said they can choose how they do their work.

    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

    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.

    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.

    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.

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