Even as states and districts expand efforts to weave social-emotional learning into the curriculum, they are in no rush to hold schools accountable for teaching skills such as self-regulation and empathy, an Education Week analysis shows.
Most states are using data that their departments of education already collect and analyze, such as rates of chronic absenteeism or school climate surveys, as part of their accountability plans for the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Some districts now have grade-by-grade standards to help teachers incorporate social-emotional skills into their teaching, the article says.
ESSA’s reference to providing students a “well-rounded” education has created speculation over whether states will incorporate nonacademic measures into accountability systems for schools. At this point, however, educators appear to be in agreement that assessing students’ social-emotional skills should be for the purpose of guiding instruction and determining areas for improvement.
The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Leaning (CASEL) held a design challenge this year to encourage the development of measures that move beyond subjective reports of behavior and attitudes completed by students, teachers and sometimes parents. CASEL leaders stress, however, that while some of the designs are promising, they are not ready to be used for accountability purposes. And at a time when some states are reducing the time spent on assessments, school and district leaders should be careful not to jump in with another test to replace one that has been eliminated.
This article from Educational Leadership provides school leaders with insight into how educators are likely already incorporating social-emotional learning into academic instruction.