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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    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    Least Advantaged Students Benefit Most from Social-Emotional Learning

    A large study of Chicago Public Schools data showed attending an effective high school (focused on social-emotional learning and behavior, in addition to academics) had the largest impact on the least academically advantaged students. College-going increased by 19% for those least advantaged, compared to a 2% increase for the most advantaged.

    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    SEL Increases Graduation Rates for Least Advantaged

    A study of Chicago student data indicated attending an effective high school (focused on social-emotional learning and behavior, in addition to academics) had a bigger impact on the least academically advantaged students the most. High school graduation rates increased by 9% for those least advantaged, compared to a .6% increase for the most advant

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Schools Featuring Social-Emotional Learning and Academics Boast Better Outcomes

    A study of 150 Chicago Public Schools' students showed a statistically significant impact of attending a high school which emphasized social and emotional learning in addition to increasing test scores. Attending an effective high school increased the likelihood of high school graduation by 2.4 and college-going by 2.57 percentage points.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Educators Link Social-Emotional Learning to Academic Outcomes

    According to a nationally representative sample, most teachers believe social emotional learning improves learning. 83% of the educators surveyed by Education Week said they feel social-emotional-learning has a positive impact on academic outcomes.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Educators and Parents Agree Relationships are Critical to Success

    In a 2022 national survey of changing educator and parent views, 97% of administrators, 98% of teachers and 90% of parents felt relationships were the most critical social emotional component of student success.

    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.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Teachers Emphasize Relationships After Pandemic Schooling

    Interviews with 50 teachers and additional focus groups showed a desire to build deeper relationships with students and families post-COVID by continuing strategies like student office hours, assigning all staff to connect with specific students, virtual messaging and virtual family meetings.

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    Social-Emotional Learning Benefits Vulnerable Students

    A study of Chicago students showed the most vulnerable students benefit the most from attending schools that focus both on academics and social-emotional learning. SEL increases graduation rates for high and low-income students, with low-income students seeing the biggest impact. 

    Whole Child and Relationship Building

    District Leaders Rate Social-Emotional as Important as Academic Skills

    In a national survey of school counselors and district staff, 72.5 percent of district leaders indicated that building students’ social-emotional skills is as important as academic knowledge. Counselors have a critical role in delivering social-emotional learning.