Social and Emotional Learning Standards Under Development

photoEight states are now on track to develop new statewide social and emotional learning (SEL) standards and policies – thanks to a new partnership with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). That two-year partnership is being funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

On April 11, 2016 CASEL released a Request for Proposals to launch the initiative. The project will establish a community of practice of collaborating states to support deeper learning and educational practice related to SEL. A total of 26 states were represented in a bidder’s call on May 3, and by the proposal due date of June 1, 40 states had expressed interest in participating. On July 8 CASEL notified eight states that they had been selected to participate. These states include California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington, A larger group of 11 additional states and one territory will also have access to resources emerging from the CSI and eventually will be invited to participate in a broader community of practice for state teams.

As part of the CSI, and in collaboration with an advisory group of national experts, CASEL will develop the following set of tools to help states working on the development of SEL standards:

(1) a comprehensive set of free-standing standards for SEL with developmental benchmarks for preschool through high school;

(2) model policies, including consistent language and terminology, that can be used to help embed SEL standards throughout the education system; and

(3) practice guidelines and other tools to support implementation for preschool through high school.

The Every Student Succeeds Act helped put social and emotional learning on the map this year. Some states will be looking to measure SEL in their new accountability systems. But just how to do that – and how to do it well in a way that produces meaningful information – has become a hot topic in the education policy world. CASEL intends to provide guidance and clarity around this issue.

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