Measuring Social-Emotional Skills for Students

    The CORE Districts are part of the national dialogue on including social emotional skills (SEL) in multiple measure approaches to school quality. 2016-17 data from CORE Districts about SEL is very revealing. Many educators, researchers and education policy makers have come to believe that positive social and emotional skills are critical to student success.

    The CORE Districts are the first in the nation to include the measurement of social and emotional factors in a system of school improvement and accountability – our School Quality Improvement Index. We have done so because we believe they offer schools and educators more and better information that furthers understanding of students and what they need to learn and succeed. This information can be used to inform and shape strategies to help students succeed in school and prepare them for success in college, careers and life.

    Beyond narrow measures of academic achievement, measurement of social and emotional well-being offers schools another way to assess their efforts to help students. For assistance with this groundbreaking work, the CORE Districts turned to experts from Transforming Education, a nonprofit specializing in helping schools assess and develop students’ social-emotional skills.

    In September 2016 Transforming Education published “Expanding the Definition of Student Success: A Case Study of the CORE Districts”—a case study of how social-emotional competencies were prioritized and assessed. The case study concludes with lessons learned about the CORE Districts’ innovative system that can inform other next-generation assessment and continuous improvement efforts, including those catalyzed by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

    CLICK HERE for more information about how SEL is being measured and what the data shows.

    CLICK HERE for an explanation of the four SEL competencies, growth mindset, self-efficacy, self-management, and social awareness, and how they are measured in the CORE Districts.

    CORE Districts Announce Social-Emotional Assessment Design Challenge

    The CORE Districts today announced a design challenge for new, state-of-the-art assessments of social-emotional skills. The goal is to identify next generation assessments that support effective instruction and positive student development.

    CASEL’s Practical Social-Emotional Competence Assessments Work Group (AWG) is leading this Assessment Design Challenge. The group seeks a broad range of assessments that measure students’ social-emotional competencies based on performance on challenging tasks or in response to particular situations. Selected proposals will receive a cash prize of up to $5,000. Winners will also receive public recognition (featured pieces in blogs, websites, and other media outlets) and inclusion in a professional network dedicated to advancing social-emotional assessment.
    Noah Bookman, Chief Strategy Officer for the CORE Districts said, “We anticipate submissions from educators, assessment development professionals, game designers, and others in fields of education or social-emotional learning. This is the first annual Design Challenge, and submissions will help shape the future of this competition and, by extension, the future of social emotional learning assessments.”

    CLICK HERE for the eligibility, application requirements and an explanation of the review and notification processes.
    CLICK HERE to access the submission form.

    A proposal narrative and assessment prototype are due by April 20, 2017.

    Members of the design challenge team include Noah Bookman, CORE Districts; Clark McKown, Rush University; Jim Pellegrino, University of Illinois at Chicago; Dave Calhoun, Fresno Unified School District; Ben Hayes, Washoe County School District; Robert Jagers, University of Michigan; Ray Pecheone, Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity); Jean Wing, Oakland Unified School District; Laura Davidson, Washoe County School District; and Brian Stecher, RAND.

    For more information, please contact Lindsay Read, Manager of Research, CASEL,, with any questions about the Call for Submissions or the submission process.