As states develop new accountability and improvement systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act, a new report by Hanna Melnick, Channa M. Cook-Harvey, and Linda Darling-Hammond from the Learning Policy Institute examines the importance of social and emotional learning (SEL) and school climate in student success — especially in schools that are home to traditionally underserved students — and the ways that SEL and school climate can be included in state plans. The report, Encouraging Social-Emotional Learning in the Context of New Accountability, outlines measures and tools that can generate data to help educators foster social, emotional, and academic learning. Among the key recommendations:
1. States should not use measures of students’ social and emotional competence for accountability purposes, at least for now. They can, however, support the use of these measures at the local level, to inform teaching, learning, and program investments.
2. States could consider including measures of school climate, supports for social-emotional learning, and related outcomes in their accountability and statewide reporting systems.
3. Even if not incorporated into accountability systems, states can provide districts with well-validated tools for measuring social-emotional learning and school climate.
4. State agencies and districts should provide schools with resources and technical assistance as they seek to advance social-emotional learning and supports.
The report is one of a series of reports on accountability LPI has released this year to help states as they develop systems to advance equity and improve outcomes for all students. To see related reports, please visit this link.