No State Will Measure Social-Emotional Learning Under ESSA. Will That Slow Its Momentum?
When the Every Student Succeeds Act was enacted, speculation swirled that states might use it as a launching pad to use measures of students’ social and emotional competencies to determine whether their schools are successful.
Nearly two years later, not a single state’s plan to comply with the federal education law—and its broader vision for judging school performance—calls for inclusion of such measures in its school accountability system.
That raises some new questions: Did backers of social-emotional learning miss a chance to encourage wider adoption of its strategies? Or did they avoid the concerns and pitfalls that would have come with attaching it to high-stakes accountability?
Schools that adopt social-emotional learning seek to nurture students’ development in areas like self-management and responsible decisionmaking alongside traditional academics. Doing so helps to deepen students’ learning experiences and prepares them for interpersonal situations they will later face in the workplace, educators say. …