The Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development produced this report with input from educational leaders, engaged parents, concerned citizens, business leaders, military leaders, researchers and youth organizations, with the intent to spread the message that social and emotional learning plays an important part in helping a child succeed both academically and in life. An analysis of more than 200 studies of programs that teach students social and emotional skills found that these efforts significantly improved student behavior, feelings about school, and most importantly achievement, and made schools safer. The evidence also indicates that these efforts can be undertaken by schools at a reasonable cost relative to the benefits.
Collaboration between K–12 public school districts and higher education, as well as between education institutions, workforce groups, and community organizations, has the potential to improve college and labor market outcomes for individual students and for local communities. However, improvement efforts demand the use of longitudinal data to define the problem, set goals, and monitor progress. In the absence of a statewide systematic method for tracking students’ educational trajectories and employment outcomes, education institutions and community organizations are working in regional partnerships to effectively use data to improve student outcomes.