This is the first study to examine the measurement properties of a set of curated scales measuring students’ perceptions of their social-emotional competencies and of their school’s culture and climate. The surveys were administered to students in a unique and diverse sample of schools nationwide that are part of the NewSchools Invent portfolio.
In this study, we, along with our partners, NewSchools Venture Fund and EdAnalytics, examine how well the surveys were designed. Specifically, we explore the extent to which the items provide consistent and new information about the underlying constructs being assessed, the extent to which the items are interpreted comparably across student subgroups, and the extent to which the scales measure unique underlying constructs.
Our preliminary results suggest that the SEC and CC surveys are suitable for practitioners to use to inform specific classroom strategies or instructional practices. We recognize, however, that validation is an ongoing process in which multiple sources of evidence should be brought to bear. We therefore recommend further inquiry into whether particular items are truly interpreted differentially across subgroups (and if so, why), and the extent to which select SEC scales are measuring overlapping constructs. We will continue to explore both questions using qualitative and quantitative analyses based on additional years of data.