As if the expansion of the Department of Education wasn’t enough, in case No Child Left Behind wasn’t enough of an embarrassment, and as if Common Core wasn’t enough of a massive failure, there is a new movement to introduce a conceptually flawed system into your student’s classroom with a program called “Social-Emotional Learning” (SEL).
According to Heartland Institute senior policy fellow Robert Holland, “the reality is that subjective judgments by government employees using predetermined guidelines will decide how children rate on their ideological views. SEL opens a pathway for encouraging collectivist groupthink—a socialistic mindset—in ways more stealthy than already practiced in government schools. This national commission which was led by the Aspen Institute aims to “set a clear vision that broadens the definition of student success to prioritize the whole child.”
Like previous systems where big corporations and big government colluded, this is another attempt to force collectivist ideas into the classroom with the ultimate aim of having it spread to influence the behavior of the family unit.
What was already seen during the hay day of Common Core was school officials punishing students who did not take part in intrusive and wasteful standardized testing. Common Core also took away control of the classroom from teachers and gave them to employees of companies like Pearson in order to grade the computerized tests, meaning teachers had no input or knowledge as to what was actually occurring. It wasn’t until parents and students from across the political spectrum and around the country started staging walkouts that states began to defund Common Core implementation in their states.
With SEL, students would be taught (what the government and Aspen thinks as proper) “skills, attitudes, character traits, and values to succeed in school, careers, and life.” Holland sums the case against SEL perfectly, stating “The whole child movement depends on the raw exercise of totalitarian power to erase parental rights. To thwart it, parents must gain the clout to select schools that respect family values and help children become well-rounded, independent-thinking individuals.”
Therefore the question remains: Would you feel comfortable with Donald Trump telling your kids how to properly live their lives? What about Barack Obama?
This system, if implemented, would take more power away from educators, families, and students, thus bringing in an insidious opportunity to indoctrinate your kids into believing certain beliefs, standards, or systems that go against your role as a parent and beliefs as an individual.