• The Aspen Institute-sponsored National Commission on Social Emotional & Academic Development report, From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope, was published in January 2019.

    While we agree that the time has come to fully integrate SEL into our schools, the report calls for using SEL as a tool to make students achieve more academically. We see that as a form of child manipulation. The report falls short of what is needed to address mental health and well-being needs.

    What SEL in schools needs to be about

    Educators need a framework with a set of methods to be able to impact the emotional well-being of children in their classrooms and schools. In that regard, the authors take a step in the right direction by recommending that schools change instruction to intentionally teach students social, emotional, and cognitive skills, and infuse them in academic content and all aspects of the school setting, not just in stand-alone programs or lessons. Unfortunately, children’s emotional and psychological well-being is not the fundamental purpose for the report’s recommendations.

    Here is a link to the full story where we challenge all educators to think about the fundamental purpose of using social emotional learning (SEL) in their schools and classrooms: https://www.eschoolnews.com/2019/02/18/are-educators-using-sel-empower-or-to-manipulate/

    Bottom line, the Aspen report did not further our understanding of those SEL best practices that are available NOW to teachers to produce mental health and well-being outcomes. They and we can do better!

  • This morning, the Today Show reported that more and more parents are opting their kids out of state exams. The "opt out" movement is growing larger and across more states than ever before, putting districts at risk of losing funding and more.

    Where does your district stand on this widespread issue? What has your experience been during this "opt out" movement? Do you have any advice for school administrators dealing with the increasing number of parents who are opting their kids out of these tests?

    Please comment and share your experiences so we can create an ongoing resource for others. 

    Here's a link to the full story from the Today Show: http://www.today.com/parents/more-parents-joining-opt-out-movement-against-standardized-tests-t85906
    Last reply on April 12, 2016 by Deanna Atkins

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