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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    Student Agency and Voice

    Students Want Self-Directed Learning Post-Pandemic

    In a nationally representative sample of 1,000 8-12th grade students surveyed after the 2021-22 school year, 53% want self-paced student learning to continue after the pandemic.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Students Have Higher Attendance When Student Voice Valued

    An analysis of surveys from 12,000 Chicago ninth graders showed students who reported their school leaders and teachers were responsive to student voice had higher attendance rates. Students at schools ranked the most responsive missed 6.1% of school days compared to 7% at the least responsive.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Responsiveness to Student Voice Leads to Higher GPAs

    Survey data for 12,000 Chicago ninth graders was analyzed to rank schools on teachers’ and leaders’ responsiveness to student concerns. In schools ranked in the top 10 percent for responsiveness, students had higher GPAs: an average of 2.85 compared to 2.65 in schools with the lowest rankings.

    Impact and Academic Outcomes

    Teacher Cooperation Leads to Reading Gains at NH Elementary

    Using a collaborative teaching approach to personalize reading supports, New Hampshire elementary school teachers in a competency-based school found 86% of kindergartners were reading at grade-level at the end of they year, compared with 56% at the start.

    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.

    Curriculum and Instruction

    Personalized Learning Bolsters Academic Confidence

    In a qualitative study of a new personalized learning charter school, teachers and students reported on the importance of building a culture of engagement and positive relationships to foster academic confidence.

    Social-Emotional Learning

    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.

    Flexible Learning

    Integrated Technology Systems One Factor in Success of Personalized Learning

    In a study of student-centered schools, those with higher-performance had technology systems that were better integrated to support learning with an average of 2.60 versus 1.83 functions including record keeping, planning, instruction and assessment.

    Career and Technical Education

    Real-World Learning Leads to Higher Graduation Rates

    Arizona Maricopa High School principal credits student-centered practices like real-word application and post-secondary planning for higher graduation rates of students with a CTE concentration: 91% compared to 71.9% for students in traditional courses and the 81% state average.

    Curriculum and Instruction

    Post-COVID, Teachers Value Schedule that Supports Deeper Learning

    In feedback sessions, middle and high school teachers indicated they wished to continue COVID-related schedule changes in which students took only three courses at a time. They reported this change led to more depth of coverage and reduced workload for both students and teachers.

    Curriculum and Instruction

    Student Choice Increases Engagement and Ownership

    During interviews at a new personalized learning charter school, both teachers and students noted that student choice led to increased engagement and ownership over learning.

    Flexible Learning

    Virtual Schools Here to Stay

    A national survey of school districts in June 2021 indicated that 50% of urban, and 25% of all districts, planned to offer a virtual school option, an increase of nine times pre-pandemic offerings.