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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    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

    Student-Centered SEL Assessment Supports Skill Development

    In a qualitative study in California, when social-emotional learning (SEL) assessment was formative and authentically embedded in classroom learning activities, both students and teachers reported the assessment measures were accurate and valuable tools to build deeper learning, self-awareness and positive relationships.

    Social-Emotional Learning

    SEL Assessments Rated More Valuable When Done with Peers

    A qualitative study piloting social-emotional learning (SEL) assessments in six California schools found when SEL reflections had an authentic purpose and were completed with a peer, students were more likely to report the measure was authentic and meaningful, compared to reflections completed alone.

    Social-Emotional Learning

    Student-Centered Elements Boost Learning Value of Assessments

    Focus group and interview data from a study piloting social-emotional learning (SEL) measures in six California schools found when SEL assessment is designed in a way that empowers student voice and choice in evidence of learning or demonstration of learning, they are more likely to report the measures are meaningful and useful.

    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.

    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    Summer Sports and Academics Lead to Big Gains

    DREAM Charter Schools, a small network of schools in NYC balancing social emotional development, athletics/wellness and rigorous academics during a year-long program, has seen reading proficiency increase an average of 20 percentage points and math 10 percentage points during their summer program.

    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    Personalized Charters Get Results in St. Louis

    In only its 4th year of operation, Kairos, a small network of St. Louis public charter schools supporting personalized learning and student agency, was the fourth highest performing local education agency in St. Louis. Of other top performers, it was the only one serving more that 50% students receiving free and reduced lunch.