We are committed to sharing what we’re learning in order to help educators act on what is known today about MESH assessment and development. To do this, we translate findings from our day-to-day work on multiple projects with an extensive network of partners into scalable tools and resources that can help school systems improve outcomes for all students.
A Data-Informed Approach to Social-Emotional Learning: Policy Recommendations for State and Local LeadersThis policy brief provides recommendations for state and local leaders seeking to take a data-informed approach to SEL. TransformEd focuses our recommendations on gathering input on learning environments, piloting social-emotional competency measures, and using data to build local capacity. This paper follows our 2016 policy brief on expanding the definition of student success under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
- TransformEd conducted a nationally representative survey of teachers, principals, and district leaders to ascertain the amount of time spent in classrooms on social-emotional learning (SEL), the amount of money spent on products and resources related to SEL, and the motivations of various stakeholders for investing in students’ social-emotional skills. We found that, as a nation, schools are devoting a total of approximately $21–47 billion per year to SEL in terms of: (1) expenditure on SEL-related products and programs and (2) teacher time focused on SEL.
- This paper summarizes a large body of research showing that MESH competencies, such as self-control and social competence, are well-established predictors of success in academics, career, and life.
- This resource offers access to a set of survey-based MESH measures – curated by TransformEd in partnership with California’s CORE Districts – that were originally developed by leading researchers and later field tested with nearly half a million students.
- In our latest case study, TransformEd describes how California's CORE Districts created a groundbreaking data system that sees students as whole people, not just test scores. The case study provides an in-depth discussion of how social-emotional competencies—a key component of the CORE Districts—were prioritized and assessed.
- These select tools, which accompany our case study on the CORE Districts, help states and districts to learn from, adapt, or replicate components of the CORE Districts’ approach. With these simple tools, we seek to provide insight into individual pieces of the complex, multi-year undertaking of the CORE Districts and to highlight key elements of their work that may translate to other education systems.
- This paper is the first in a series that will share lessons learned from the Boston Charter Research Collaborative. In it, we provide recommendations on laying a foundation for a successful collaboration between researchers and practitioners who want to work closely with each other to better understand and support growth and success for all students.
Patterns in Student Self-Report and Teacher Report Measures of Social-Emotional Mindsets, Skills, and HabitsThis paper – the second in a series on our work with the Boston Charter Research Collaborative – investigates a variety of issues related to the measurement of students’ MESH that are of particular interest to school practitioners. With our partners at Harvard University’s Center for Education Policy Research, we focus on the first year of data collected on student MESH and present initial findings on a) how these competencies change over the course of the school year, and b) the relationship between student self-reports and teacher reports of students’ MESH competencies.
3/22/18: Promising Practices for Promoting Student Agency
This 75-minute webinar builds on last year’s agency webinar series and features panelists from Henry Country Schools in Georgia as they discuss their approach to promoting agency in the classroom. We also hear from a high school student as she shares some student perspectives on useful and empowering ways to discuss data with students.
2/7/18: A Data-Informed Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
This webinar, created for the American Educational Research Association (AERA), provides an overview of how to support students’ social-emotional (SE) competency development through a data-informed approach. We begin with a discussion of the rationale behind measuring SE competency, the research supporting this claim, and an examination of different types of assessments that are intended to measure students’ SE competency. We also discuss policy levers currently available to support a locally-created, systematic, and data-informed approach to social-emotional learning. Finally, the webinar provides an overview of ways to use resulting data from SE competency measures (at the classroom-, school-, and system-level) to identify areas of need and strength, gauge the effect of practices that aim to develop students’ SE competencies, and address issues of equity by asking whether those practices are working equally well for all students.
3/30/17: A Data-Informed Approach to Supporting Student Agency
This webinar identifies the measures of skills and environmental factors that undergird agency, and a discusses how to develop an individualized approach to assessing contextual and individual factors of agency for formative purposes.
3/9/17: Supporting the Whole Child: Advancing Social-Emotional Learning in Massachusetts
Transforming Education and the Rennie Center for Education Policy and Research co-sponsored a webinar on the state of social-emotional learning in Massachusetts. The webinar features brief presentations on SEL research and policy opportunities, and a panel discussion with educators from Massachusetts districts and the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Discussion topics include DESE’s plans to prioritize SEL, the role state and district leadership can play in furthering SEL, and the creation of exSEL, a collaboration of several statewide organizations.
1/5/17: Supporting the Whole Student through Policy and Practice
Sponsored by TransformEd, this webinar features a discussion on MESH research and measurement and the CORE Districts, updates from Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, and insights from SEL practitioners in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
11/15/16: Advancing Social-Emotional Learning Under ESSA: How the Work of the CORE Districts Can Inform State Policy
This webinar discuss the CORE Districts’ efforts to expand the definition of student success in California through SEL measurement, and how those continued practices can inform state policy during ESSA implementation. Featured panelists include Rick Miller and Noah Bookman of the CORE Districts, and Heather Hough of PACE (Policy Analysis for California Education). Bob LaRocca of TransformEd moderated the discussion.
*The measures cited in our resources may evolve over time and, as a result, we may issue periodic updates on new measures. Please sign up for our newsletter to receive updates, as well as news and recent research, on MESH.*
Hear a student’s perspective on why MESH matters:
“Rigorous longitudinal research has demonstrated that specific competencies—such as self-management, social competence, and growth mindset—have significant impacts on students’ academic performance, career success, and lifelong well-being.”
– Sara Krachman, Co-Founder and Executive Director
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