Is it a wonder?

While third-graders in Anchorage schools have a hard time reading, you might be interested know the school district is working on how kids feel and interact.

Alaska Public Media reports the district for 20 years has been gradually, mostly informally introducing “Social-Emotional Learning,” which emphasizes social skills and emotional management, which educators say is critical for academic success.

But SEL is “notoriously abstract and hard to measure,” APM reports. “Even its champions lament that there are huge inconsistencies in basic terminology. What one set of guidelines label ‘empathy,’ might be indexed elsewhere as ‘self-awareness’ or ‘active listening.’ “

The report details a class exercise: “For about an hour, the students … label emotional reactions, and navigate hurtful feelings by enacting short skits: first the kids are purposefully mean to one another, then they have to apologize and move forward.

“ ‘Ha ha, you didn’t get thee quiz right, and I did!’ teased one little boy, very convincingly. Then, he course corrected.

“ ‘Oh, sorry, you did good on the quiz, sorry you didn’t get all the questions right.’ ”

The Anchorage School District now is working to further define exactly what SEL is and solidify terminology.

All that while third-graders in Anchorage schools have a hard time reading.

7 Responses to Is it a wonder?

  1. Fred Flintstone December 5, 2019 at 8:31 am

    A hearty thank-you to our liberal school board. Apparently how one “feels” about a word is more important than spelling it, or using it correctly in a sentence.

    I thought the “right to choose” was a fundamental right for all women, and by extension, all men as well. So why has choice been denied parents when it comes to schooling?

    This cries out for school vouchers and school choice. Introduce competition into the education industry and watch it get lean and productive. JUST LIKE THE PRIVATE SECTOR HAS TO DO.

  2. Elizabeth December 4, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    I’m stunned. Yet not surprised. Another responsibility that should be in the lap of parents but which government is now assuming. It used to be so simple. Paste the Golden Rule on the classroom wall, recite it daily and correct students as needed. Very inexpensive. Very simple. But no, can’t have that, as it smacks of, ‘gasp’, Christianity! Earth Mother forbid! We can’t have simple absolutes of treating others with kindness, we must create a complicated and expensive curriculum, based on vacuous studies, to try to simply ward off sociopathy as best as possible.

    • Fred Flintstone December 5, 2019 at 8:32 am

      Spectacularly well said. Will you please run for School Board? You have my vote.

  3. Marge December 4, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    It has been reported the smartest children now come from China.Do you think they know the term social-emotional learning??
    Lets get back to Basic Phonics and Math. I recommend every parent, grandparent read the book” Why Meadow Died,” The people and policies that created the Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students. It will turn you upside down. These are policies hidden in ASD. . I would recommend giving the discipline of students back to the teachers and when kids need to be expelled put them into the Military Academy . They will learn discipline and respect, which is no longer a value in this country.

  4. R-Dubya December 4, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Approximately 40-45% of property taxes in Anchorage go towards the School District and this is the best they can do?!?!
    How and why is this lack of performance acceptable?!?!

  5. Dave December 4, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    I guess I need remedial classes in the sophisticated classrooms of the anchorage school district. Why do I conclude that?
    We’ll their decision to emphasize emotions has had an immediate effect on me
    iT PISSeS Me OFF
    Maybe if I could go back and take the new classes I could react in a more acceptable way
    What do you think

    • Fred Flintstone December 5, 2019 at 8:35 am

      How about we introduce the same smarmy approach into athletics? From now on, scoring a big goal in a hockey game will result in everyone holding hands at center ice and discussing their feelings.

      Or we could let competition and hard work produce excellence. Like it always has.


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