According to a report released by the RAND Corporation, customizing instruction for every student can generate improvements in math and reading scores. Results from the study show that schools using a variety of practices that focus on individualized learning needs of students relate to positive effects on achievement – though this requires confirmation by further research. Recommendations for policymakers include incorporating flexibility into policies related to course progressions, allowing staff to have some autonomy to design school schedules that support PL, and incorporating grading policies to incorporate competency-based approaches, and clearly communicate these approaches to students, families, employers, and postsecondary education institutions. Recommendations for implementers at the district and school levels include providing teachers with the resources and time to pilot new instructional approaches and gather evidence of how well they work, providing teachers with time and resources to collaborate on developing curriculum and on reviewing and scoring student work, and providing resources and support for school staff to help them choose the most-appropriate digital or nondigital curriculum materials.
Pane, J. F., Steiner, E. D., Baird, M. D., Hamilton, L. S., & Pane, J. D. (2017). Informing progress – Insights on personalized learning implementation and effects. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.