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personalized learning

Learn how these model districts implemented personalized learning


Reading, math show dramatic gains in annual analysis.

Personalized learning, competency-based learning and dynamic organizational design have shown promising results in school districts across the nation, according to a new report from Education Elements.

The third annual Impact Report, Building Capacity for Personalized Learning and More,” shares data from specific school districts and highlights the progress each district has made in several areas, with a special emphasis on those districts that have been implementing personalized learning for several years.

“As personalized learning grows in popularity, additional voices have emerged that point to the risks associated with it,” said Anthony Kim, Founder and CEO of Education Elements. “We are pleased to report that districts who are thoughtful about their implementations and focus on the needs of their communities see a positive impact year-after-year on not only student test scores, but also student engagement, teacher satisfaction, and overall district effectiveness.”

This year’s analysis reveals the cumulative benefits of shifting to student-centered learning environments. According to the report, on the NWEA MAP assessment, given 2-3 times per year, 36,000 students from five districts showed an average growth of 130 percent in reading and 122 percent in math, compared to national MAP growth targets. In one district, the number of students on target to be college and career ready as measured by the ACT Aspire exam more than doubled.

(Next page: Amazing growth from three districts)

The report shares data from specific districts, highlighting the significant gains each has made, with a special focus on districts that have been implementing personalized learning for several years.

In Middletown City School District, N.Y., 65 percent of all Middletown K-8 students hit their reading growth targets–an increase of 21 percent since 2013-2014; 67 percent hit their math growth targets–an increase of 23 percent.

In Horry County Schools, S.C. 57 percent of 6-8 students hit reading growth targets, an increase of 7 percent since 2013-2014; 64 percent hit math growth targets, an increase of 17 percent.

In Piedmont City School District, Ala., 72 percent of students in grades 3-8 tested on target in reading on the ACT compared to 28 percent in 2014-2015, and 55 percent tested on target in math compared to 35 percent in 2014-2015.

The report also measures the impact of personalized learning on districts across qualitative measures:

  • 92 percent of district leaders say that teachers are more effective
  • 90 percent of district leaders say that students are more engaged in their learning
  • 70 percent of teachers say they are confident that personalized learning has a positive effect on teaching and learning
  • 68 percent of teachers say that they feel more effective since they started personalized learning and 67 percent of teachers say that students are more engaged since they started personalized learning

The complete report, “Building Capacity for Personalized Learning and More,” provides additional information on other districts including Metropolitan School District of Warren Township (Ind.), Loudoun County Public Schools (Va.), Fairbanks North Star Borough School District (Alaska), Charleston County School District (S.C.), School District 197 (Minn.), Central Valley School District (N.Y.), Uinta County School District #1 (Wyo.), Racine Unified School District (Wis.), Fulton County Schools (Ga.), D.C. Public Schools (D.C.), Dundee Central Schools (N.Y.), Yuma Elementary School District One (Ariz.), Rochester School Department (N.H.), St. Louis Public School District (Mo.), Wake County Public School System (N.C.), and Greeley-Evans School District #6 (Colo.).

The report also profiles 12 teacher and leader “superheroes” from nine districts.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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