CSI Resources: Assessment

  • The CSI does not yet recommend SEL measures for accountability purposes. However, as the field of social and emotional learning has evolved, a variety of helpful and important ways to assess students’ social-emotional competence have emerged, including strategies for how teachers can monitor their students’ progress on social and emotional development in the classroom, and how schools can assess quality of implementation. These strategies can be used to monitor student progress, to continually improve teaching practices, and to support schoolwide and districtwide social and emotional learning generally.


    Feel free to download, customize, and use with attribution, e.g., “Developed by Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning and used with permission.”

    The SEL Assessment Guide. The Guide provides several resources for leaders and implementation teams in PreK-12th grade settings who are making decisions about selecting and using measures of student SEL. This includes guidance on how to select an assessment and use student SEL competency data. This web-based resource is the work of the Establishing Practical Social-Emotional Competence Assessments of Preschool to High School Students project, a multidisciplinary collaborative of leading researchers and practitioners in the fields of PreK-12 education, assessment, social and emotional learning, and related fields. This Assessment Work Group is managed and staffed by CASEL, in close partnership with leaders from the RAND Corporation, Harvard University, the California CORE Districts, Transforming Education, xSEL Labs, and several universities, nonprofit organizations, and school districts across the country.

Encouraging Social and Emotional Learning: Next Steps for States. Developed by the Learning Policy Institute in collaboration with CASEL, this brief is designed specifically for state policymakers. It provides actionable steps for states looking to measure and promote SEL, including recommendations for how to begin to monitor SEL. Use this resource if you are interested in assessing SEL in appropriate ways.

Compendium of Preschool Through Elementary School SEL and Associated Assessment Measures. Provides descriptions and ratings of multiple widely available SEL assessment measures. Use this if you want to know about specific SEL assessment tools for preschool or elementary school.

ESSA, SEL, and Accountability Webinar. This webinar features Hanna Melnick from Learning Policy Institute and Jeremy Taylor and Linda Dusenbury from CASEL discussing approaches and recommendations for measuring and monitoring student SEL, including SEL in the connect of ESSA plans. Use it if you are interested in learning how best to approach the measurement of SEL.


AIR: Are You Ready to Assess Social and Emotional Development? Information on multiple SEL assessment tools in four developmental areas (early childhood, elementary school, middle and high school, and the workforce). The tool details the format, cost, and setting of various SEL assessments. Use it if you are interested in selecting an SEL assessment tool for a specific population or SEL outcome.

Learning Policy Institute: Encouraging Social and Emotional Learning in the Context of New Accountability. Describes the opportunities and challenges of expanding SEL under ESSA and offers guidance on SEL assessment. Use this if you are interested in understanding SEL in the context of ESSA.

Raikes Foundation: Social-Emotional Learning Assessment Measures for Middle School Youth. This report reviews the strengths and weaknesses of 73 SEL measures specific to middle school students. It includes information on 10 measures with details about rating type and core competencies.


California: Using Surveys of Students’ Social-Emotional Learning and School Climate for Accountability and Continuous Improvement. This survey from Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) assessed SEL and school climate/culture in California’s CORE districts to understand how the constructs are related to school improvement. Use this resource to learn more if you are considering measures of SEL and school climate for school improvement purposes.

Minnesota: SEL Assessment Guidance. Provides a comprehensive discussion of SEL assessment for teachers, school leaders, and districts. Grounded in data-informed decision-making, this report encourages continuous improvement and distinguishes between outcome and process measures.


A framework is simply a tool that helps organize ideas in order to provide a foundation for thinking, communicating, and acting. Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is a field with a growing number of different frameworks. However, having so many frameworks can be confusing, and selecting a framework or combining frameworks can be difficult. Finding a useful framework can help provide a foundation for SEL assessment and improvement efforts.