Does emphasizing social and emotional learning improve student performance?

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Larry Leverett (not verified)

The addition of social and

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The addition of social and emotional learning (SEL) to the state learning standards by the Illinois State Board of Education models the leadership vision for other state and local school boards across America. The evidence continues to mount that students benefit academically when they incorporate SEL competencies in their approach to standards based learning. It is often said that you can't expect, what you don't inspect. An NCLB "tough love" approach to SEL will not generate the buy-in needed to support the adaptive changes necessary to embrace a commitment to social emotional learning. The approach of the Illinois Board of Education sends the message that the state policymakers know and understand the linkage between the attributes of evidence based SEL competencies and the academic work. The Illinois framework, while clear on what is expected, provides schools and districts with sufficient flexibility to identify strategies and approaches that conform with the local context. This is a smart policy move that should be studied by the Chief State School Officers and others professional organizations with the capacity to influence the federal, state and local policy environment. It is time for SEL to become a center stage strategy for the preparation of today's students.
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