Making the Case: Compelling Data

This growing library features data points describing the impacts and outcomes of student-centered and competency-based teaching and learning. The data are sourced from research studies, evaluation reports and journal articles, as well as evidence collected directly by classroom, school, district and state leaders.

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    Competency-Based Learning

    Washington Teachers Feel Culturally Responsive Practices Improve Equity

    75% of Washington's Mastery-Based Learning Collaborative educators surveyed believe that implementing culturally responsive-sustaining education would improve their school’s ability to achieve equitable outcomes for students from historically marginalized yet resilient groups. 75% also thought it would improve school culture and climate.

    Competency-Based Learning

    Washington Educators See Mastery-based Learning as Key to Equity

    In evaluating Washington's Mastery-Based Learning (MBL) Collaborative, 67% of educators believe that implementing MBL deeply would improve their school’s ability to achieve equitable outcomes for students from historically marginalized yet resilient groups. 63% also agreed that MBL would improve school culture and climate.

    Competency-Based Learning

    Washington Educators Personalize Learning

    An evaluation of Mastery-Based Learning Collaborative schools across Washington showed many educators are providing personalization even in early stages of implementation. 70% report students often, most of the time or always receive personalized supports. 48% indicated students often can choose different ways to learn the same material.

    Curriculum and Instruction

    Learning-by-Teaching Improves Learning Across Content Areas

    A meta-analysis of learning-by-teaching, a student-centered strategy for learning content, found the creation of materials to teach peers improved learning outcomes. The positive effect of 0.17 was statistically significant and held across different educational levels and content areas.

    Curriculum and Instruction

    Creating Audio-Visual Materials for Peers Bolsters Learning

    A meta-analysis of 62 comparisons from 23 articles concluded that creating teaching materials for peers has a positive effect on student learning, compared to alternative or no interventions. This effect was largest when students created audio-visual versus text-based materials.

    Curriculum and Instruction

    NC Students from Early College High School Earn More Associate Degrees

    An experimental study analyzing data from 4,000 North Carolina students showed those randomly selected to attend early college high schools were three times more likely to earn an associate degree than those who did not attend (32.8% versus 11%). Higher numbers earning associate degrees did not decrease bachelor's degree attainment.

    Curriculum and Instruction

    Early College High Schools Lead to Higher Postsecondary Attainment

    A 14-year, experimental study found North Carolina students who attended early college high schools were more likely to have earned some kind of postsecondary credential after six years than those not in early college. 44.3% earned degrees, compared to 33.0% of the control group.

    Curriculum and Instruction

    Early College High Schools Benefit Economically Disadvantaged Students

    An experimental study in North Carolina found the impact of attending an early college high school was higher for economically disadvantaged students. While all students who attended early college high schools were 3.9 percentage points more likely to have obtained a bachelor's degree, economically disadvantaged students were 4.5 percentage points

    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.

    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.

    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.