The ‘New’ Fad Corrupting Our Schoolchildren Is Not So New
By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. November 11, 2021 Published by American Thinker
As they learn more about social and emotional learning (SEL) with its data mining, parents are in an uproar. They’re demanding an opt out and deletion of all stored data. Some believe that if we can stop the leftward lurch of America, we can “turn our schools around” and use SEL as it was “initially intended.”
But was the initial purpose of SEL really to teach appropriate social behavior and support “mental wellness” and “management of emotions” or is there a sinister underside?
SEL’s Occult Connections
The term "social and emotional learning was coined in 1994 at a meeting hosted by the Fetzer Institute, founded by New Age guru John Fetzer. Fetzer was obsessed with Alice Bailey, the controversial occultist and organizer of the Lucis Trust. Robert Muller, former assistant secretary-general of the U.N., authored the World Core Curriculum that introduces students worldwide to occult thought. A member of the Lucis Trust, his underlying philosophy was based on the teachings of Alice Bailey.
The Origins of SEL
The public assumes SEL is just the latest education fad. However, psychologists in the early 20th century were tinkering around with children’s minds, trying to figure out how to condition them for specific behaviors. Colleges of education are especially fond of teaching about Pavlov’s dogs to show how children can be “trained” like animals to obey commands.
John Dewey, dean of American progressive education, believed the classroom should be used for social and political change at the expense of academic learning. A fan of Soviet education, Dewey introduced similar techniques in American education to train students for the workforce instead of providing a broad academic foundation.
SEL was key in Marc Tucker’s German-based plan to centralize education and change it from academic to workforce training for a nationally managed economy. His master plan, laid out in the 1992 infamous “Dear Hillary letter,” was implemented by Goals 2000, School-to-Work Act, and Workforce Investment Act.
After decades of this socialist-style education and psychological conditioning, the American workforce has gone from being the best educated in the industrialized world to the worst.
SEL / Mental Health In Federal and State Programs
SEL first gained a foothold in federal law with Clinton’s Goals 2000 designed to change student attitudes, values, and beliefs. States had to adopt the statute’s National Education Goals to get federal funding through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The ESEA’s reauthorization as Goals 2000 mandated state curriculum standards and standardized tests, circumventing local control.
This led to more federalized control with No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top/Common Core, and Every Student Succeeds Act. SEL was key in all of these.
Goals 2000 was reauthorized under Bush as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) with heavy handed federal intrusion and mental health grants for young children. The Obama administration allocated more than $150 million in mental health grants to test and collect personal data of K-12 students. Under Texas’ Governor Abbott, mental health clinics have been added to public school campuses. Now we’re seeing government taking more control with vaccination clinics on campuses.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaced No Child Left Behind, provides many opportunities for SEL funding through Titles I, II, IV, VI, and VIII.
State pre-K standards are frequently aligned to Head Start and the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s that uses Critical Race Theory terminology. Through these, SEL with Critical Race Theory is key in most American early childhood programs.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is now testing for social-emotional characteristics, a violation of federal law and the Fourth Amendment right to privacy.
Common Core Déjà Vu
Despite a public firestorm when student academic performance spiraled downward with Common Core, the curriculum standards were not abolished at the local or state level. Instead, they were codified at the federal level in ESSA. Instead of ending NCLB and returning educational control to the states, ESSA actually cemented federal control.
Not only did ESSA codify Common Core, it changed the primary purpose of education from academic to social and emotional learning (SEL).
Vehicle for CRT
Various provisions of ESSA either encourage or even require the inclusion of SEL in schools. All SEL programs include sexuality, gender, race, racism, class, and the nuclear family.
The teacher union’s NEA Global Learning Fellow and teacher, Wendy Turner, is quoted, “SEL is the foundation, the heartbeat of the classroom.” Does this indicate that CRT is the “foundation, the heartbeat of the classroom?”
The federal government is pushing SEL and Critical Race Theory into public schools through the American Rescue Plan 2021. To receive federal grants, the school is required to spend at least 20% on SEL and “free, antiracist therapy for White educators” to get the grant.
The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), a leading SEL provider, lists several Critical Race Theory terms in its five core “Competencies with Equity Focus,” including cultural competency, diversity, inequity, equity, racial equity, and inclusive. Psychological manipulation is found in the “Self Awareness” core competency -- “awareness of beliefs, mindsets, and biases” and “how they influence one’s behavior.”
More Billions for Billionaires
CASEL is funded by the usual left wing billionaires: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Robert Wood Johnson.
For vendors, CRT programs mean new sales. At the district and school levels, these programs are supported by a top heavy staff earning six-figure salaries. For investors, SEL is a golden goose.
Can Parents Opt Out of SEL Assignments?
Opting one’s child out of SEL assignments sounds simple enough. In reality, it’s virtually impossible. The U.S. Education Department’s handbook, “Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs,” states that not only is SEL taught explicitly but “social and emotional skills, habits, and mindsets” are “integrated” broadly within the learning process.
With the vast entanglement of SEL at all levels, how can parents access, much less get deleted, all of the data collected in numerous settings over the years?
School boards and educators -- even parents -- have naively bought the Marxist bill of goods that SEL is vital to deal with student mental problems. The fact is that public education has created the mental health crisis through its radical sex curriculum. Youth have become violent, murderers, sociopaths, sex predators, and God-haters.
SEL is doing what it was initially intended to do – instill a new value system including socialism, population control, radical environmentalism, and LBGTQ+. With socialist workforce training and radical sex instead of academic learning, America now has a crazed youth and the dumbest workforce in the industrialized world. This is a catastrophic threat to our national economy.
Unless SEL is abolished entirely, it will continue as has Common Core and create irreversible damage. Since the purpose of public education is to educate youth for a Marxist society, abolishing SEL is merely a pipe dream. The only solution is mass exodus of public education before it’s too late.