A Hill for Children to Die On

Virginia Education Secretary Qarni

by James C. Sherlock

I was asked by Dick Sizemore:

“As for social emotional learning (SEL), what specifically in that statement do you disagree with?”

A serious question from a serious man. The answer is quoted from Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL):

Find the definition of the “process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes.”

A process is a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.

The SEL “process” is defined by CASEL as:

There are four key elements that guide SEL implementation and sustainability, with different activities at each level:

1. Build foundational support and plan by establishing a collective vision and plan for SEL, and ensuring aligned resources and ongoing commitment.

2. Strengthen adult SEL competencies and capacity by cultivating a trusting community that enhances adults’ professional, social, emotional, and cultural competencies and their capacity to promote SEL for students.

3. Promote SEL for students by developing a coordinated approach across classrooms, schools, homes, and communities that ensures consistent, culturally responsive, and developmentally appropriate opportunities for all students to enhance and apply social and emotional competencies to daily tasks and challenges.

4. Reflect on data for continuous improvement by establishing an ongoing process to collect and use implementation and outcome data to inform decisions and drive improvements.

There is no intention on the part of the Left to confine SEL by objectively defining it, so absolutely anything will fit in that definition if you “feel” it strongly enough.

The “reflect on data” part means the advocates are winging it, and if 100,000 students fall through the voluminous cracks, they will try to adjust.

And there are never any objective metrics. Ever. Just feelings.

Never objectively measure anything, and nothing can fail.

Truly a hill for children to die on.