- Why It Matters
- In Schools
- Collaborating Districts Initiative
- Policy & Advocacy
- 2013 CASEL Guide
The overarching goal of the CDI evaluation, which is being conducted by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) with support from NoVo Foundation, is to develop and analyze evidence that it is not only possible but desirable for districts to prioritize social and emotional learning across their operations. There is already a compelling evidence base demonstrating that academic, social and emotional learning are inextricably linked and emotions and relationships affect how and what we learn. However, the larger, more challenging frontier of social and emotional learning involves how all of the elements of evidence-based programs fit together in the context of districtwide efforts, and how to ensure that coordinated, multiyear programs will be implemented effectively.
The evaluation incorporates intensive study of the eight districts participating in the CDI. It examines how CASEL and NoVo Foundation contribute to progress in the districts, and it determines the activities that districts can most productively undertake to integrate a focus on social and emotional learning throughout their work. As much as possible, it links those activities to outcomes for districts, schools and students. It also includes cross-district analyses to develop an overarching explanation of the inputs, implementation processes and outcomes across the initiative, with lessons learned and recommendations for policymakers and practitioners. An important goal of the CDI is to see a dramatic increase in the number of students benefiting from social and emotional learning by virtue of its being incorporated into their educational experience. The CDI evaluation is an important step toward documenting links between districtwide implementation of social and emotional learning and positive student outcomes.