Critics of the public school system, myself included, often disparage government schools for failing to teach kids. Yes, it’s alarming U.S. students continue to lag academically behind their international peers (only about one-third of high school graduates are prepared for college), and it’s pathetic most students test very poorly in geography, civics, reading, and math. As bad as it is that schools aren’t teaching our kids important areas of learning, it’s what they are teaching that should really frighten us.
Increasingly, more schools are adopting an aggressively progressive curriculum. In Minnesota, “School leaders adopted the ‘All for All’ strategic plan—a sweeping initiative that reordered the district’s mission from academic excellence for all students to ‘racial equity,’” The Weekly Standard reported in February. Children in kindergarten are expected to become “racially conscious” and examine their “white privilege.” And leftists’ radical agenda is taking hold in a less blatant but no less toxic way in the rise of social and emotional learning (SEL), which presents just as much danger to parents, kids, and the education system as Common Core.
SEL is “a coordinating framework for how educators, families, and communities partner to promote students’ social, emotional, and academic learning,” the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) states on its website. CASEL is one of the masterminds behind the SEL movement. “A growing number of schools and districts” are “imbedding” SEL into “English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and general teaching approaches,” CASEL reports.
The way children “feel” about their skin color is likely a product of SEL making its way into Minnesota schools’ social studies curricula. But how do emotions come into play in a straight-forward subject such as math? For me, I suppose I could talk about how just thinking about math makes me sad, because I’m terrible at it and it’s difficult, but how is such a thing profitable, let alone appropriate, in the public school setting?