Traditional approaches to education have done too little to address long-standing inequities in achievement and success after high school. Increasingly, district leaders and educators are attempting to recraft existing systems around student-centered learning (SCL) to promote equity for students by providing rigorous learning opportunities, supports, and pathways to college and career readiness.
EDC served as the evaluation partner of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation’s District-Level Systems Change initiative to support SCL in New England high schools. As an evaluator, EDC examined the implementation and effects of the four tenets of SCL:
1. Personalized learning
2. Student-owned learning
3. Competency-based learning
4. Anywhere, anytime learning
With support from EDC, the foundation and its grantee districts used findings from the evaluation to improve the implementation of SCL and to measure the influence of SCL on student outcomes.
To perform the evaluation, EDC conducted the following:
- Produced the Indicators for College and Career Readiness and the Indicators for Systems-Level Change, which have been used to monitor and measure change across all levels of local school systems
- Developed and published the EDC/NMEF SCL Questionnaire for Teachers and the EDC/NMEF SCL Questionnaire for Students, a set of publicly available questionnaires that provide rich data related to SCL school reform
- Collected data and analyzed and reported on SCL implementation and outcomes over seven years, working in a range of rural, suburban, and urban districts across New England
- Facilitated interactive sessions to support the use of evaluation findings by the foundation and districts involved in the initiative
- Based upon EDC’s evaluation findings, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation redesigned its strategy for grant making for SCL in New England and now focuses on advancing racial equity in public education.
- Over 3,000 teachers and over 13,000 students completed EDC/NMEF SCL questionnaires during the years of the evaluation.
- EDC evaluated the influence of SCL programs in 10 urban, suburban, and rural districts across New England that served a combined total of more than 15,000 high school students annually.