NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF STATE LEGISLATURES: Social and emotional learning (SEL) has become more widely embraced as part of a well-rounded education over the past 20 years, leading to increased discussions among state lawmakers about whether and how to incorporate SEL into school and after-school curriculum. In a recent public poll, 82 percent of respondents said it is highly important for schools to help students develop interpersonal skills, such as being cooperative, respectful of others and persistent at solving problems.
NATIONAL GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION: For too long, school policies presumed that providing for the safety and wellbeing of our kids begins and ends with the physical security of school grounds. Education in the 21st century necessitates that elected officials act to guarantee the holistic safety of every child, from physical safety to emotional safety. We must recognize that each day our children are balancing the demands of their academic workloads with their social and emotional maturation, while many face additional challenges at home and in their communities. At the same time, the rise of social media allows for bullying to continue outside of the school walls, away from educators’ watchful eyes. And we must recognize that society has stigmatized support services.
ASPEN INSTITUTE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL & ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT: Today’s youth must navigate a complex, economically competitive, and globally connected world. Yet the nation’s predominant approach to PreK-12 education fails to fully prepare students for this future. From the schoolhouse to the state house, we have emphasized the academic skills our students need. But overwhelming evidence demands that we complement the focus on academics with the development of the social and emotional skills and competencies that are equally essential for students to thrive in school, career, and life.