Resources for Policymakers

For Policymakers 2017-05-19T01:18:01+00:00

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

    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.
  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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 Habits

    This 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.

3/30/17: 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.