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‘Deeper Learning’ Improves Student Outcomes. But What Is It?

The pressure is on teachers this year. Students are preparing to be tested on the new, tougher Common Core State Standards in over 40 states where, in many cases, teachers will be evaluated on the outcome. But a new report published by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) has identified a school reform with proven results in boosting student achievement, and not only on tests.

The report, supported by the Hewlett Foundation, found that “deeper learning” schools graduate high schoolers on time at rates 9 percent higher than other schools, a win for teachers and students alike. The study paired 13 “deeper learning” schools, all members of Hewlett’s Deeper Learning Network, with other schools that have comparable student demographics (including underserved student populations) and incoming achievement levels. Graduates of the “deeper learning” schools were over 4 percent more likely to enroll in four-year colleges, and they were slightly more likely to attend selective schools.