Featured Resources from the Field

By Jordan Trejo, CASEL     Exciting progress is happening in the SE competence assessment field, including the recent release of several great resources. Here’s five to check out:


This month’s issue of ASCD’s Educational Leadership is dedicated to all things assessment. Articles span topics from thinking about what really matters in contemporary education and assessment, to teacher-created performance assessments, to a standardized approach called ‘goal attainment scaling’. Half of the articles are currently available free to read for a limited time.


While you’re there, make sure you also read “Accounting for the Whole Child” from our collaborators at Transforming Education. They make a strong case for the importance of SEL and why measuring student SE competencies goes hand-in-hand with building student SE competencies. The article also features recommendations for supporting a data-informed approach to SEL and examples of how districts are accomplishing this.


Education Northwest has released a brief guide to selecting a measure for social and emotional learning. The guide breaks down the process of selecting a measure into 3 steps with guiding questions to help educators think through the process. Steps include determining the purpose for using the assessment data, clarifying what you want to measure specifically, and identifying the features that you need in the assessment.


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Penn State have together produced a brief on the link between school climate and social and emotional learning. They outline the research on how school climate and SEL are intertwined and mutually reinforce each other: a healthy school climate creates the conditions for SEL, while strong SE competence enables members of the school community to build and maintain a healthy school climate. They recommend that educators should recognize this connection by taking a holistic approach to instruction, policies, and initiatives. This includes the integration of assessment plans for measuring school climate and social and emotional competence.


From Illuminate Education, a comprehensive guide to understanding and developing a balanced assessment system for measuring and improving student learning. The Guide makes the case that a balanced assessment system is important because it addresses varied stakeholder data needs at all levels of the school system using a comprehensive and integrated approach to assessment. These needs can span from formative assessments used by teachers to adjust their daily instructional practices, to district administrators who need data for targeting resources where they’re needed in the district.


The Guide first breaks down the different types of assessments and how they should be used in relation to each other, including how assessments can fit into an MTSS framework. The Guide next describes how practitioners can create an effective balanced assessment system. The process includes building a representative team of stakeholders, assessing resources and needs related to assessment, and creating a plan for implementation based on the varied needs of stakeholders. Finally, the Guide briefly addresses considerations when choosing an assessment and data reporting platform.


The National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development have released a new interim report, “How Learning Happens: Supporting Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development”. Importantly, the report notes the growing interest and commitment to SEL, making it more important than ever to take action. The report also describes the Commission’s work to date, including the activities of their members, key takeaways from the Commission’s work thus far, and questions for the field. The report closes with a call for educators to share with the Commission their activities, needs, and perspectives on effective SEL implementation.


Please leave a comment below to let us know how these resources are useful and what else would be helpful in your journey to use data to improve SEL.

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