Over the past several years a tsunami called Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) has swept through the education landscape of the United States, and Nevada County is no exception. In the monthly county education newsletter, called “the Nugget” (https://nevco.org/the-nugget-newsletter/), SEL is prominently displayed and obviously practiced throughout our districts. The November Nugget devotes an entire page to “Social Emotional Learning Community of Practice” and describes a specific class called “Being Anti-Biased in Education”. Both the December and January Nuggets do the same. So what is this educational craze that has so thoroughly captivated our county?

Ten or more years ago SEL was a method used to help a troubled individual child with issues of character development—empathy, building relationships, managing emotions, etc.

Today it is a comprehensive system focusing on all children’s morals, values, and beliefs.

The largest and most influential company supporting this doctrine is CASEL (Collaborative for SEL), and it is highlighted in the December Nugget. Founded in 1994 as an organization devoted to helping a child manage their emotional and social development, CASEL, in 2019, changed their focus to Transformative SEL (TSEL). Their literature describes TSEL as follows:

1. The purpose of TSEL is “to promote equity” (equal outcomes); 

2. Further... “to promote justice oriented civic engagement and to dismantle and transform inequitable systems”.

The systems in the U.S. are oppressive and inequitable, and children must be trained to “dismantle” them. In other words, TSEL is the delivery system for Critical Race Theory and Critical Gender Theory.

In the meantime, test scores in the County: 48% proficient in reading; 28% proficient in math. It’s quite obvious that TSEL cares nothing about academic excellence. Its goal is to produce Social Justice Warriors.

Contributor: Judy Wood, January 2023


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