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

    Partnership in Meaningful Research Bolsters Student Agency

    A Vermont high school teacher’s dissertation showed students exhibited higher levels of agency after participation in a Youth Action Research Project. They reported they felt heard, effectively represented other students and contributed to meaningful change. They could  describe the impact of growing adult-student partnerships on their agency.

    Impact and Academic Outcomes

    California Personalized Learning Charters Thrive in Pandemic

    A CA public charter network focused on personalized learning pivoted quickly, supporting student growth through the pandemic. The number of network students meeting state standards increased from 47% in 2018-19 to 49% in 2021-22 in ELA and from 29% to 31% in math. Meanwhile, district students meeting standards decreased 4% in ELA and 6% in math.

    School and Classroom Culture

    Collective Educator Agency Decreases Academic Gaps

    In the AVID program a collective sense of efficacy leads teachers to insist on rigor, remove barriers, align work and advocate for students; improving learning; and decreasing academic gaps between groups. 2020 college enrollment of AVID students varies by only 1% for black, Hispanic and white students, compared to a 10% difference nation-wide.

    Real-World and Career

    Rural School Delivers Most Industry Credentials in State

    A rural school in Kansas offers courses leading to recognized professional credentials for students in fields key to revitalizing the community's economy. In 2019 students earned the most web design and web and mobile application industry certifications of all schools in Kansas regardless of their location.

    Competency-Based Learning

    Mastery-Based Texas Charter Closes Learning Gaps

    When a public charter school in Austin, Texas, moved to competency-based, personalized learning they saw improved results for all students. The school earned 96 out of 100 points for student achievement and 100 out of 100 for closing achievement gaps on the 2018-2019 Texas state report card.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Teachers Rank Relationships Biggest Lever for Student Engagement

    In a nationally representative survey, fourth to twelfth grade teachers ranked relationship-building as the most effective way to build student engagement. Seventy-eight percent of the 400 people surveyed selected it as a “highly effective” strategy.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Teachers See Self-Direction as Key to Student Engagement

    In a recent poll of fourth to twelfth  grade teachers across the country, a lack of skills to self-direct the learning process was ranked second of all the reasons students may not be engaged, with 63% of teachers selecting it.

    Real-World and Career

    Teachers Say Relevance is Key to Student Engagement

    Surveyed teachers ranked several student-centered strategies among the top five ways to improve student engagement. Strategies marked "highly effective" included: connecting learning to real-world skills (72%); leveraging students’ personal interests and passions within learning (65%); and incorporating active, hands-on learning experiences (64%)

    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.

    Family and Community Engagement

    Parents Want More Flexible Learning Post-Pandemic

    In a survey of 6,000 parents about post-pandemic teaching and learning, 40% wanted their children learning at multiple sites, compared to 37% who preferred learning in a traditional classroom exclusively.

    Family and Community Engagement

    Parents Look For Small Learning Environments Post-COVID-19 Pandemic

    In a survey of 6,000 parents about post-pandemic teaching and learning, 59% wanted their kids learning in groups of 10 or fewer, compared to only 20% who preferred traditional large group instruction.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Innovative Schools Integrate Social-Emotional Learning

    According to a survey of over 250 schools known for innovative approaches, almost 75% are prioritizing relationships and wellness. Sixty-one percent reported the use of advisories, just under 50% offer one-to-one mentoring and approximately 70% offer mental health services.