Resources for Policymakers

For Policymakers2017-05-19T01:18:01-04:00

As part of our effort to catalyze policymaking that supports students’ MESH development, we inform policymakers about opportunities to advance MESH in their state or school system. We draw on compelling research and promising practices about how to measure and develop MESH, and we provide practical recommendations for national, state, and local leaders. We embrace a data-informed approach to MESH and seek policies that support that approach.

  • Introduction to SEL

    Introduction to SEL
    Success in school and in life depends on more than academic ability alone. Rigorous longitudinal research has demonstrated that specific competencies—such as growth mindset, self-efficacy, self-management, and social awareness—have a significant impact on students’ academic performance and persistence in school as well as their broader life success, as measured by a variety of health, wealth, and well-being indicators in adulthood.
  • A Data-Informed Approach to Social-Emotional Learning: Policy Recommendations for State and Local Leaders

    A Data-Informed Approach to Social-Emotional Learning: Policy Recommendations for State and Local Leaders
    This 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).
  • The Scale of Our Investment in Social-Emotional Learning

    The Scale of Our Investment in Social-Emotional Learning
    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.
  • Innovative Approaches and Measurement Considerations for the Selection of the School Quality and Student Success Indicator under ESSA

    Innovative Approaches and Measurement Considerations for the Selection of the School Quality and Student Success Indicator under ESSA
    This paper, written in collaboration with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), provides a deep and nuanced examination of how states might respond to the student success or school quality indicator accountability provision (i.e., the so-called “5th indicator”) under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
  • Expanding the Definition of Student Success Under ESSA

    Expanding the Definition of Student Success Under ESSA
    This policy brief on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides recommendations to states and Local Education Authorities (LEAs) on how to leverage the flexibility of the new federal law to support students’ development of MESH.

    To read the executive summary, please visit this page.
  • Ready to Be Counted

    Ready to Be Counted
    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.
  • Measuring MESH

    Measuring MESH
    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.
  • CORE Case Study

    CORE Case Study
    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.
  • Launching a Multi-Year Research-Practice Collaborative

    Launching a Multi-Year Research-Practice Collaborative
    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.

7/8/20: SEL in a Virtual World

This 30-minute informational video walks you through how to support the social-emotional development of both students and staff while they are physically apart. It highlights SEL best practices and resources that can be leveraged for distance learning.

3/19/20: Trauma-Informed SEL

In this webinar, child development specialist, Akira Gutierrez and Director of Social and Emotional Learning for North Andover Public Schools, Nicole Murphy introduce our Trauma-Informed SEL toolkit while sharing lessons learned at the district and classroom level. We also hear about ways to help students process feelings as they navigate the uncertain period of Coronavirus as well as during their transition back into the classroom. Participants will leave the webinar with resources and strategies to better establish a trauma-informed environment.

9/13/18: Looking at the Intersection of Student Agency and School Discipline Practices

In this webinar, Peter Brunn of Center for the Collaborative Classroom and Akira Gutierrez of Transforming Education discuss how critical student agency is to student success in school and how a school’s discipline practice can support and cultivate agency in students. Participants will leave the webinar with practical tools and strategies to begin this work in their own classrooms and schools.

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.

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*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.*

“[The Every Student Succeeds Act] creates a number of pathways through which data may be used to support students’ MESH development.”

– Expanding the Definition of Student Success under ESSA (Nov. 2016)

Learn how the CORE Districts are expanding the definition of student success through SEL measurement, and how those continued practices can inform state policy during ESSA implementation.

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