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

    Students with Disabilities Thrive with Personalization in Atlanta

    Tapestry Public Charter School, catering mainly to students with IEPs and/or 504 plans, achieved a 100% graduation rate for students with disabilities in 2020-2021, despite pandemic challenges. In 2018-2019, 90% of such students graduated, compared to 46.4% in the district, and in 2019-20, it was 80% compared to 54.6%.

    Impact and Academic Outcomes

    Personalization Leads to High Attendance Despite Pandemic

    The 2019-2020 attendance at Tapestry Public Charter School, which serves a majority of students receiving interventions and specialized supports in a personalized environment, was higher than district and state levels despite remote schooling. In 2020-21 middle school attendance rose to 97.46% (up 5%) and in high school it rose to 96% (up 7%).

    Policy and Advocacy

    States Support Personalization Through Assessment Policies

    A review of state policies found at least 25 states allow students to satisfy graduation requirements, and 39 states and D.C. let students receive course credit using student-centered assessment options.

    Policy and Advocacy

    More Schools Move from Traditional Transcripts to Learner Credentials

    This brief outlines work to support schools moving from traditional transcripts to competency-based learner credentials. The MTC Learning Record is now used in more than 400 partner schools, tripling participation from 2019 to 2021. International Big Picture Learning Credential now has 150 students in its second U.S. pilot year.

    Policy and Advocacy

    North Dakota Leads Shift to Digital Transcripts

    This brief notes trends in state policies moving towards digital high school transcripts which can better capture competency-based learning. North Dakota is the first state to commit to launch a next generation digital credential using a digital wallet for learners.

    Career and Technical Education

    Personalized Apprentice Opportunities Build Engagement

    Many students, especially those underrepresented in skilled trades, have pursued further learning in interest areas developed through apprenticeships provided by Harbor Freight Fellowship Initiative, a Big Picture Learning partner. In its first three years, 89 of 93 students completed the program and 40 pursued more training in their chosen trade.

    School and Classroom Culture

    Research Partnerships Finds Trust Biggest Lever for Change

    Through a research practice partnership, the Arcadia Unified School District in California found trust and relationship-building were the biggest levers for systems change. Improving students’ trust in educators led to a 15% increase in student perception of all other aspects of the school experience, such as belonging and voice and choice.

    School and Classroom Culture

    California Schools Build Systems Change Through Trust

    After identifying trust as a key lever for systems change, diverse stakeholders at Arcadia Unified School District worked to build it by creating a shared vision and co-designing solutions. On surveys, administrators reported trust in each other, teachers and parents all increased a statistically significant amount from 2019 to 2020.

    Impact and Academic Outcomes

    St. Louis Students Gain Two Years Growth

    In one year, the founding class at the Kairos Academies, a small network of St. Louis public charter schools supporting personalized learning and student agency, showed approximately 200% growth on the NWEA Map tests in reading, language and math.

    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    Differentiated Learning at California Microschool Boosts Growth

    Students at UP Academy, a K-8 private microschool in California offering differentiated learning, interdisciplinary project-based learning and collaboration in multi-age classrooms with full inclusion, showed more than double the growth in reading and math scores over a four-month period, compared to national averages on the NWEA 2021 tests.

    Impact and Academic Outcomes

    Learning Culture Results in High Growth in Rural North Carolina Elementary

    In 2021-2022, students at Lucama Elementary, a rural school in North Carolina leveraging master teachers to build a culture of learning, outperformed peers on all state tests. Notably 81.6% scored proficient in math, compared to 46.9% at the district-level and 49.8% at the state-level. The school’s performance grade on their state report card ros

    Social-Emotional Learning

    Whole-Child Approach Builds Social-Emotional Learning Skills

    In NYC, DREAM Charter Schools' whole-child approach of balancing social emotional development, athletics/wellness, and rigorous academics results in two-thirds of K-12 students increasing social-emotional competencies over the course of one school year.