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These California School Districts Joined Forces to Bolster Social-Emotional Development

As they progress through school, students are getting better at believing they can master challenging subjects, but they are getting worse at managing their behavior and empathizing with others.

Those are highlights of a recent study of nearly 400,000 California students in some of the state’s largest school districts, which have collaborated over the past several years to teach and measure a common set of social-emotional learning skills.

But the study, which looked at how social-emotional learning developed from fourth to 12th grade, found that not all students are learning these skills at the same pace. Girls’ self-confidence plummets as they enter middle school, and white students consistently report higher social-emotional learning than their non-white peers.