Harvard Graduate School of Education
This report used self-report surveys to gather information on a broad set of non-cognitive skills from 1,368 8th-grade students attending Boston public schools and linked this information to administrative data on their demographics and test scores. At the student level, scales measuring conscientiousness, self-control, grit, and growth mindset are positively correlated with attendance, behavior, and test-score gains between 4th- and 8th-grade.
Conscientiousness, self-control and grit are unrelated to test-score gains at the school level, however, and students attending over-subscribed charter schools with higher average test-score gains score lower on these scales than do students attending district schools. The results highlight the importance of improved measurement of non-cognitive skills in order to capitalize on their promise as a tool to inform education practice and policy.