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Case Study

Elevating Social-Emotional Learning in CORE Districts

The CORE Districts—a collaborative of eight school districts in California serving more than 1 million students in total—serve as an exemplar for education agencies seeking to elevate the importance of social-emotional learning (SEL). In 2013, the CORE Districts were granted a No Child Left Behind waiver, permitting them to use a rigorous accountability system developed by the districts themselves rather than adhere to the state of California’s requirements. “Non-academic indicators,” including social-emotional indicators, were included as contributing elements. Since then, the data system developed by the CORE districts has attracted over 100 additional California school districts and charter schools, with the CORE Insights Dashboard providing a common data platform.

The four SEL competencies established provide meaningful, measurable, and malleable (that is, could be influenced by school systems) indicators of school success at developing skills in students. The selected competencies—growth mindset, self-efficacy, self-management, and social awareness—have been assessed annually via a CORE student survey since 2014. CORE districts and charters continue to measure SEL as a part of its comprehensive data system, providing members with the opportunity to query their systems for strengths and challenge areas in an effort to provide more equitable opportunities and outcomes for students. 

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