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WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS?
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING
But in most public and some private schools, more and more time is being redirected from academic instruction to “social-emotional learning” (SEL)—the cultivation not of knowledge but of the “correct” attitudes, beliefs, opinions, and behaviors.
With SEL, students would be taught (what the government thinks as proper) “skills, attitudes, character traits, and values to succeed in school, careers, and life.” Would you feel comfortable with Donald Trump telling your kids how to properly live their lives? What about Barack Obama? Why have our schools taken over this responsibility of the family?
Social-emotional learning principles promote racial equity. (Is this what we want our schools to be focused on?) CASEL’s “Transformative SEL” framework includes “academic content that integrates issues of race, class and culture,” and helps students develop skills “such as reflecting on personal and social identities, examining prejudices and biases, interrogating social norms, disrupting and resisting inequities.” Such reflection is part of the self-awareness that SEL methods aim to foster.
The problem is, since these plans mention equity, who determines what that means and who should get special treatment? When you treat everyone equally it works, but when you introduce equity, who can be trusted to decide who gets special treatment? We’ve already seen different treatment depending on what you believe, depending on who is in charge.
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