Advancing the Gateway Cities vision for social-emotional learning

Joining together to develop a common education vision in 2013, Gateway City leaders made full build-out of community-wide social and emotional support systems a central pillar of their strategy. Two years on, the topic of social-emotional learning and support is gaining increasing traction in Massachusetts and beyond.

Transforming Education, a new nonprofit focused on social-emotional learning and assessment recently released a report summarizing the research base. Last month, the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy issued a paper summarizing the policy landscape for social-emotional learning in Massachusetts.

SEL+Policy+Forum+-+October+26,+2015This research, along with a MassINC study of efforts to build social-emotional learning systems in Gateway Cities, were the topics of an October forum co-hosted by MassINC, the Rennie Center, and Transforming Education. For those who were unable to join us, we have video from the event including a welcome from MassINC research director Ben Forman; presentations from Transforming Education co-founders Chris Gabrieli and Sara Bartolino Krachman and Harvard School of Education professor Marty West; Representative Peisch; and a panel of respondents from Massachusetts school districts.

All of this research and conversation should come into sharper focus in 2016, as Massachusetts and other states adjust to the added flexibility the reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides to incorporate measures of social-emotional learning into accountability frameworks. In the meantime, we welcome thoughts and reactions. Where are the holes in our understanding? What models do we need to highlight and disseminate? How can state policy support innovative new practice?

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