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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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    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%).

    Career and Technical Education

    Internships Boost Students’ Confidence in Meta-Cognitive Skills

    In interviews at three student-centered schools, 10 of 17 students reported growth in meta-cognitive skills like time management and self-regulation, needed for college and career-readiness.

    Assessment and Accountability

    Charters Using Performance Assessments See Greater Student Growth

    Students attending Envision Schools, a network of California charter schools committed to performance assessment, college readiness and project-based learning, gained the equivalent of 66 additional days of learning in reading and 20 days of learning in math, compared to a matched group of students at traditional public schools.

    Impact and Academic Outcomes

    Project-Based Science Increases Scores in ELA

    A study of a middle school project-based science curriculum showed on average students performed higher than a matched comparison group on state English Language Arts (ELA) assessments by eight percentage points in year two and ten in year three.

    Impact and Academic Outcomes

    Project-Based Science Increases Scores in Math

    A study of a middle school project-based science curriculum showed on average students performed higher than a matched comparison group on state math assessments by 12 percentage points in year two and 18 percentage points in year three.

    Student Agency and Voice

    Student-centered Instruction Builds Feelings of College Readiness

    Students at three student-centered, career-focused schools reported development of personal and social skills needed for career and college-readiness. Of 17 students interviewed, 15 (88%) noted instructional practices like advisory, autobiography writing and presentations fostered the self-awareness, confidence and communication needed for college.

    Career and Technical Education

    Internships Boost Students’ Confidence in Interpersonal Skills

    In interviews at three student-centered schools, 14 of 17 students reported growth in interpersonal skills like communication and social networking, needed for college and career-readiness.

    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.

    Assessment and Accountability

    California Charters Decrease Disparities in Academic Growth

    A study of charter schools identified Envision Schools, a network of three CA schools committed to performance assessment, as 鈥渂usting the gap.鈥 Average student achievement exceeds state averages overall. Black, Hispanic, English language learners and students in poverty show yearly growth the same or stronger than peers at the same school.

    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.

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