State Scan Scorecard Project
The purpose of the CASEL State Scan is to assess the development of high-quality standards for social and emotional learning (SEL), preschool through high school in all 50 states (Dusenbury, Newman, Weissberg, Goren, Domitrovich & Mart, in press). We began by reviewing the research literature on learning standards and SEL to identify key components of high-quality standards. Based on the literature, we identified the following components, which we used to assess standards in each state:
- Free-standing and comprehensive standards for SEL are important because they establish social and emotional development as a clear priority in education. High-quality, free-standing SEL standards also include developmental benchmarks at different grade levels.
- Integration of SEL standards with standards in other subject areas promotes social and emotional development across all areas of instruction. In our previous review of state learning standards (2011), CASEL found that virtually all states have integrated at least some degree of social and emotional content into learning standards in other subject areas. However, this content is usually not comprehensive across all five SEL domains or is scattered and diffuse. Further, the content may not be consistent across subject areas or grade levels, and development of social-emotional skills is not systematically and strategically supported. To ensure that SEL standards are prioritized, CASEL recommends that there be free-standing standards.
- Standards are more likely to influence educational outcomes when they provide guidance on how adults can support students through teaching practices.
- Standards are strengthened when they provide guidance on how to create a positive learning environment and school climate essential to social and emotional development.
- Standards are enhanced when they provide guidance on how to make instruction culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate.
- SEL standards are more likely to have a positive impact on educational practice when they provide tools that support high-quality implementation.
To develop state-by-state scorecards, using documents available on the state’s department of education website, we reviewed standards for SEL at both the preschool and the K-12 levels to assess whether SEL standards documents and resources contained these key components of high-quality SEL. We determined that all states had at least some integration of SEL standards into other subject areas (component #2), although, as noted above, the level of integration was often weak and inconsistent. However, we were not able to assess systematically whether states provided tools to support high-quality implementation (component #6), because it was beyond the scope of this project.
When we had questions, we contacted individuals within the state for clarification. We also gave each state’s department of education an opportunity to review our findings. In the interest of keeping our findings up to date, we also requested that state personnel contact us if new sets of standards or relevant resources were developed. Our results are presented in the maps below, and in the tables in the accompanying downloadable documents.
Webinar on CASEL's Scan of State Standards for SEL
In this webinar CASEL Consulting Senior Research Scientist Linda Dusenbury reviews recently compiled findings from CASEL's scan of standards for social and emotional learning in all 50 states. Click here to view the webinar.