ESSA’s Non-Academic Measure: What States Should Know About School Climate and SEL

Girls and boys talking over schoolwork

Success in school, career and life depends on academic abilities, but also a variety of other skills. Students would need to know how to communicate effectively, negotiate conflict, manage their emotions and behavior, and make responsible decisions. Acknowledging the importance of these skills, the Every Student Succeeds Act is letting states use at least one non-academic measure to monitor their schools’ performance. 

Now there is greater opportunity to create conditions for social, emotional and academic development through positive school climate. So what should states think about when coming up with these non-academic measures? The Education Policy Center at AIR convened social and emotional learning and school climate experts—from state education, research, and journalism—who offered suggestions, based on decades of research and field experience.

For additional reading, download When Districts Adopt Social and Emotional Learning: Findings from an Ongoing Evaluation of Districtwide Implementation of Social and Emotional Learning and Creating Healthy Schools: Ten Key Ideas for the SEL and School Climate Community. Continue the conversation by following the Education Policy Center on Twitter and Facebook.


Evie Blad
Reporter at Education Week, covering nonacademic issues that bear on students’ learning

Cynthia Cave
Assistant Superintendent for Policy and Communications, Virginia Department of Education

David Osher
Vice President and Institute Fellow, American Institutes for Research

Timothy Shriver
Board Chair, Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL)
Chairman, Special Olympics

Nick Yoder
Senior Technical Assistance Consultant, American Institutes for Research

Event Information

November 1, 2016
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM