ESSA’s Non-Academic Measure: What States Should Know About School Climate and SEL

The American Institutes for Research (AIR) convened a panel of social and emotional learning (SEL) and school climate experts to discuss the opportunities and issues around ESSA allowing states to use at least one non-academic measure to monitor their schools’ performance. This resource contains a recorded webinar, slide presentations, and additional readings on the topic of SEL and school climate.

Content Comments 

This webinar is a helpful introduction into ESSA and its allowance for the non-academic measures of SEL and school climate for state accountability. The well-composed panel of experts from research, state education, and journalism provides different perspectives focused on issues of implementing SEL and school climate measures in schools and districts. The panel offers helpful suggestions based on their field experience and research, especially during the moderated portion of the webinar. Issues raised include the need for common definitions for SEL skills and competencies in order to measure them; reliability and validity of proxy measures/indicators, such as attendance, for SEL and school climate; and collaborative efforts, not mandates, needed to create these measures.