Giving Compass' Take:

• Jeremy Taylor and Laura Hamilton discuss how schools can assess students' social-emotional learning to implement SEL systemically and sustainably.

• What role can funders play in supporting schools that want to implement SEL assessment? How do COVID-19 and related education changes impact SEL?

• Learn more about evaluating students with alternative assessments.

Many educators have questions ... about how to measure social and emotional learning (SEL) topics like relationship skills and self-awareness, even when they believe such skills should be addressed.

As the desire to improve SEL for all students grows, it is increasingly important to measure its effectiveness. But the field has lacked an organized method of identifying, choosing and using the best assessments to measure students’  competencies. Two newly developed tools can help.

The SEL Assessment Guide, created by CASEL and the SEL Assessment Work Group, is an online resource that helps educators select and effectively use the most popular SEL student assessments. The guide offers detailed information about the specific SEL competencies measured by widely used assessments, as well as reporting features, training and other implementation supports that are offered by the developers. It is intended to help educators decide which measures are good options for their specific circumstances.

The second tool is the RAND Education Assessment Finder, which lists more than 200 assessments of interpersonal, intrapersonal and higher-order cognitive competencies. This repository of information allows educators and researchers to search different types of assessments to learn what each tool is designed to measure, which demands each assessment places on students and teachers, and what validity and reliability evidence is available.

The data [from SEL assessments] may be used to identify schools in which especially strong improvement in SEL is occurring; district teams can then learn from these schools about how gains have been achieved. By enabling school and district leaders to learn from local stakeholders about what’s been effective ... SEL assessment data becomes an essential element of successfully implementing SEL in a systemic and sustainable manner.

Read the full article about social-emotional learning by Jeremy Taylor and Laura Hamilton at The Hechinger Report.