VDOE’s Plan to Impose Social Reconstructionist Dogma on School Children

OK, kids, raise your hand if you can spell  i-n-d-o-c-t-r-i-n-a-t-i-o-n.

by James C. Sherlock

The 2020 General Assembly required the Virginia Department of Education to develop and publish standards for Social Emotional Learning (SEL) that start in Kindergarten and go through 12th grade.

VDOE has done so, disregarding entirely hundreds of comments on Virginia Town Hall on the draft of those standards that had a 10-to-one negative-to-positive ratio.

Town Hall in theory allows citizens to influence regulations. VDOE changed not one word from the draft.

Good news:  Virginia school divisions are not required to adopt the standards — yet. Bad news: Some will.

Some goals are good ones.  

But some are not. This report pursues the overt and unapologetic thread of SEL that is designed to sideline parents and to train their children to be social justice warriors on the model of the progressive left. 

The SEL approach is called in the literature “social reconstructionism.” Social reconstructionists believe schools should equip students to transform society. It is the educational goal of radical progressives.

Some parents will find that appropriate. Most will not. None were asked.

Parents consciously ignored

The Code of Virginia uses the terms “parents” and “parental rights” in 416 different statutes. No such terms or their underlying concepts found their way into these standards. Neither “parent(s),” “parental rights,” nor “family” is used even once in the Background, Introduction or the text of the 21-page document.

With the evidence below no one will be able to deny in good faith:

  1. that the conversion of children into progressives is a goal of SEL in Virginia schools, or
  2. that the core values, views, roles, rights and obligations of parents in such matters are consciously ignored.  

The progressive social warrior thread of SEL. This thread focuses on training kids to view themselves

  • primarily as members of “groups,” not a family;
  • as “global citizens,” not Americans;
  • as fighters against “unfairness,” “injustice,” “social problems,” and “conscious and unconscious bias” that will be defined for them by teachers trained in ed schools on the meanings of those words.   

You will note that the authors, directing that children learn to “recognize and describe unfairness and injustice in … laws” in the 7th grade, allow them to wait until 9th grade to learn the importance of “intersectionality.

As you read this standards thread, try to figure out what the lesson plans will look like.

Grade Band 1-2 .

SeA2: 1-2d, I can develop an awareness of multiple groups in society.

Grade Band 3-4

SeA2: 3-4d, I can describe the multiple groups in society that help create my identity.

SoA2: 3-4a, I can understand that people may face different barriers based on their identity and groups in society and that this is not fair.

DeM2: 3-4a, I can develop an awareness of and comfort with my membership in multiple groups in society.

Grade Band 5-6

SeA2: 5-6d, (a repeat – two years is apparently not enough) I can develop an awareness of and comfort with my membership in multiple groups in society

SoA2: 5-6a, I can identify when people are treated unfairly.

SoA2: 5-6b, I can explain how stereotypes can create bias.

ReS1: 5-6d, I can demonstrate how I will navigate situations when I might feel pressured to go along with injustice.

DeM1: 5-6b, I can show curiosity about a social problem by asking questions and gathering evidence to identify potential solutions.

DeM2: 5-6a, I can describe my beliefs, values, and the multiple groups in society that help create my identity and inform my decision making process.

Grade Band 7-8

SeA2: 7-8d, I can comfortably talk about myself and positively describe my various group identities.

SoA2: 7-8a, I can recognize and describe unfairness and injustice in many forms including attitudes, speech, behaviors, policies, practices, and laws. (personal note – the teacher will pick which speech, laws, etc. are “unjust”)

SoA2: 7-8b, I can explain the difference between conscious bias and unconscious bias.

ReS1: 7-8d, I can identify causes that matter to me and how I can advocate or take action for change.

DeM2: 7-8a, I can evaluate how my membership in multiple groups combine to make me who I am and that none of my individual groups on their own fully defines me.

Grade Band 9-10

SoA2: 9-10a, I can recognize that all people (including myself) have certain advantages and disadvantages in society based on who they are and where they were born.

SoA2: 9-10b, I can recognize that my conscious and unconscious biases affect my interactions with others.

ReS1: 9-10d, I can discuss how to stand up to exclusion, prejudice and discrimination, even when it is not popular or easy or when no one else does.

DeM2: 9-10a, I can understand that all my group identities and the intersection of those identities create unique aspects of who I am and influence my decisions.

Grade Band 11-12

SoA2: 11-12a, I can recognize, describe and distinguish inequity and injustice at different levels of society.

SoA2: 11-12b, I can identify and work to address my own conscious and unconscious biases.

ReS1: 11-12d, I can make ethical decisions about when and how to take a stand against bias and injustice in my everyday life or community and will do so despite negative peer or group pressure.

DeM2: 11-12a, I can evaluate my post-secondary goals based on my own personal identity, ethical standards, and as a global citizen.

Blending race, SEL and academics in K-12 education. If you don’t think this is about race, you will be persuaded otherwise by going to VDOE’s SEL web page and browsing the “resources” offered.

Among them:

Pursuing Social and Emotional Development Through a Racial Equity Lens: A Call to Action – Aspen Institute

“Both equity and social, emotional, and academic development are currently receiving much-needed attention, but neither can fully succeed without recognizing strengths and addressing gaps in these complementary priorities.”

“Rather than being pursued as two separate bodies of work, the field needs to identify ways in which equity and social, emotional, and academic development can be mutually reinforcing. To accomplish this requires examining issues of race directly; this can be difficult and uncomfortable, but we cannot avoid race and let the challenges go unacknowledged and, therefore, inadequately addressed.”

Bottom line. Thus is social reconstructionist dogma rendered by the government of Virginia as “standards” in which our children are to be trained in school starting at the age of five.

My friends on the left are welcome to defend it, but they cannot in good conscience deny it.


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22 responses to “VDOE’s Plan to Impose Social Reconstructionist Dogma on School Children”

  1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    “…but they cannot in good conscience deny it.”

    That they developed standards? What is there to deny? After all you yourself wrote:

    “The 2020 General Assembly required the VDOE to develop and publish standards for Social Emotional Learning (SEL) that start in Kindergarten and go through 12th grade.”

    As you say:

    “VDOE has done so…”

    1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      The law said nothing about the reconstruction of America on a progressive blueprint.

      1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
        Eric the half a troll

        I think we can, in good conscience, deny that, however.,.

        1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
          James C. Sherlock

          You got me. I have no idea what you mean. Deny what exactly?

          1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            That this is all designed to reconstruct America. Bit over the top don’t you think…?

          2. James C. Sherlock Avatar
            James C. Sherlock

            Why do you think it’s adherents call it social reconstructionism?

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            “… in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,…”

            Social reconstructionism? Or, did you prefer the Crown? If you don’t like the lab coats, stay out of the laboratory.

          4. James C. Sherlock Avatar
            James C. Sherlock

            Never said that elections don’t have consequences. It’s your crowd that named it. I’m simply pointing out exactly what they have done.

            Not a single word about parents or families – its all about the power of the state over children in loco parentis. If you are OK with that, and you clearly are, be happy.

            BTW Mengele wore a lab coat. And I’m glad I don’t have twins in Virginia public schools.

          5. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            That’s it? That’s your bitch? Hell, Cap’n, we grew up when corporal punishment was a school prerogative. Parental permission not required. Shop teacher had a paddle and the whole class got it one day because half dozen kids picked up his VW and wedged it between two lampposts.

          6. Real scientists will abandon ideas which have been shown again and again to lead to failure and bad outcomes.

          7. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            I think their objectives are well stated and are not what you say. Are you saying that systemic racism, bias and injustice must remain for America to remain America?

          8. No, we’re saying the exact opposite. But the social reengineering proposed by the DOE will result in systemic racism, bias and injustice.

          9. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            People often forget that we have a living breathing example of racism swinging both directions in the world today. South Africa is a prime example of what happens, oppressing your former oppressors won’t make your world better.

    2. Yup. They were “just following orders”…

  2. At least the standards are not demanding competency in mastering racist mathematical equations! Or the proper grammatical use of pronouns when addressing individuals! All that stuff is sooooooooooooooooooo 1950ish!

  3. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    I don’t see any mention of how to take a beach head in the Socialist Emotional Learning cookbook.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Yeti Tundra with 4 Blue Ice packs, and a case of Corona with a knife and half dozen Key limes; umbrella optional with SPF 55.

      1. Now that’s how to organize an amphibious landing…

  4. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    “…the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.”

    Heaven forbid….

    1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      Written by Woke and Woker LLC – the advertising folks. What else are they going to say?

    2. Questions:

      1) Who defines the scope of “knowledge, skills, and attitudes which develop healthy identities”.

      2) Who decides which “collective goals” need to be achieved?

      3) Who determines what constitutes “responsible and caring decisions”?

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        As long as I don’t have to, should I care? There is nothing that the school can do to a kid that the parent cannot undo, as is evident by the number of online televangelists and churches on every corner.

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