Current academic assessments focus only on traditional content areas, such as math, English, and language arts. These assessments do not measure noncognitive skills, which are needed to thrive in the 21st century workplace.
If we expand assessments to include broader social and emotional competencies—such as the ability to self-regulate and interact effectively with others—then we can continually improve interventions focused on teaching these important skills and developing future-ready students.
California’s CORE districts deployed noncognitive skills assessment among 1,500 schools serving more than 1 million children. The districts also conducted field tests on four measures of social-emotional skills with 450,000 students grades 3 through 12: self-management, growth mindset, self-efficacy, and social awareness.
Evidence from field tests confirmed that student skills not directly captured by tests have the ability to predict academic outcomes. Noncognitive measures were positively correlated with English language arts scores, math scores, and student GPAs. The measures were also negatively correlated with suspensions and absenteeism in middle school.