How Did Social Emotional Learning Get a Foothold in Kansas Schools?

by Linda Highland

Many people attended the Kansas State Board of Education meeting last Tuesday, November 14, to encourage the board to end their adoption of the social emotional learning, SEL, curriculum in Kansas schools.

Ahead of this event, on September 30 the Kansas Republican Party adopted a resolution calling for the end of SEL in Kansas schools. To support this cause, I will begin today with a series of articles, all of which were delivered to the ten members of the Kansas State Board of Education.

It will be a very thankful day when teachers are allowed to return to academics being the focus of Kansas education.

At the Kansas State Board of Education on November 14, 2023

A growing number of Kansans hold deep concerns about your social emotional learning comprehensive curriculum. Additionally, 172 elected Delegates at the Kansas Republican Party September meeting voted to send you a Resolution Calling for the End of SEL in Kansas schools. You brag on your website of being the first state to fully adopt SEL in 2012. Do you know the forces behind SEL? Is it helping Kansas students?

First let’s look at who is behind this latest scheme, SEL, that the KSBE has put Kansas school children under. The journey begins with one of the wealthiest men in America, the late John Fetzer, whose wealth allowed him to institutionalize his spiritual vision into a thriving foundation, the Fetzer Institute, designed to carry his insights into the future, in hopes that it would help catalyze a global new age and occult spiritual transformation.

In 1994, the so called, “missing piece” in education, the term “social and emotional learning,” and CASEL, then called Collaborative to Advance Social and Emotional Learning, were born. The Fetzer Institute along with a reported 15 additional wealthy foundations pulled together the funding and a seven-member board, some from the Fetzer Institute. In 1995 Dan Goldman, then a reporter for the New York Times and now also a CASEL board member, conveniently wrote a book to introduce a new term, emotional intelligence, or EQ. SEL would be used to develop EQ, which CASEL touts as being more important than your IQ This theory was discredited by many psychologists.

Nevertheless, with millions to spend, CASEL was off to the races selling their fraudulent wears to state boards of education, federal agencies, NGOs like the National Governors Association, and the UN Education Sustainability Goal 4, SDG4, where along with the World Economic Forum, they wish to “promote public-private partnerships to address global reskilling.” Did you seek other opinions on SEL?
All schools are forced into measuring SEL because it is a requirement for accreditation. “Social Emotional Factors Measured Locally” is first on the list of “Results” needed for accreditation in Kansas schools. Shouldn’t the Legislature ask what is the cost and return on investment of the SEL curriculum to Kansas students, parents, teachers, and taxpayers? It appears you come up with very costly endeavors without caring what the costs will be for the legislature to fund them.

The KSDE has hired the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP), established in 2016, to set standards for teacher training in Kansas. It appears from reports by university students that this accrediting agency also has a ‘transformative” agenda with teacher training. Their 2022 Initial Level Standards #1 on Content and Pedagogical Knowledge states, “The provider (university) . . . facilitates candidates’ reflection of their personal biases to increase their understanding and practice of equity, diversity, and inclusion.” Why are you not doing your own teacher accreditation, instead of bringing this DC group into Kansas with their radical agenda?

Do you recall when President Ronald Reagan went to the Berlin Wall and stated emphatically, “Tear down this wall!” and the wall came down? I came here today to make a similar declaration. The evidence shows that your comprehensive SEL curriculum has built a wall of destruction in the form of dangerous ideologies getting in the way of academic learning. Which of the two paths set before you will you take? Are you staying with all of education being taken over by SEL? Or will you begin again to allow the most valuable asset in education, your well-trained teachers, to fully teach academics and let the students thrive again? I say, TEAR DOWN THE SEL WALL!

For more information, listen to the Lawrence Beat Podcast regarding SEL with Linda Highland

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