The Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning, (CASEL) has been establishing Collaborating States Initiatives to create a community of practice for states across the nation whose shared goal is to, “connect education and workforce policy through an SEL lens.” Their definition of Social Emotional Learning has changed since 2020 and the new Transformative Social and Emotional Learning has centered around a racial and equity lens. CASEL believes that, “racialized oppression was foundational to the establishment of the United States.”

As such, the new goal of SEL programs that align to CASEL’s standards is to groom students into thinking that the systems of society are intentionally built to be oppressive toward certain groups of people, and that they need to become agents of change that overthrow those systems to make them more equitable.

SEL lessons, such as those found in the program Second Step, frame their K-5 program to define kindness as “doing something,” which by 8th grade becomes “choose a disruption strategy.” These strategies encourage students to come up with concrete plans to advocate for causes related to race, gender and sexuality. State Assessments which are aligned with CASEL’s standards are measuring compliance to and students’ adoption of these values, attitudes, and beliefs, which are scored and collected as data that reflects their emotional intelligence. (Source)

Homeschools that receive ESA funding will be required to teach SEL subjects in order for the students to take the required state assessments. These test scores will be added to the data system, in order to ensure that the 5-Core competencies are being taught. It took eight years for the Second Step curriculum to move from presenting redefinitions and ideas, to requiring political, gender and sexuality action. These subtle ideas are planted long before most parents recognize their influence.