- Gwinnett County Public Schools paid EL Education, the creator of a K-5 Language Arts curriculum focused on social emotional learning (SEL), nearly $5 million to provide new education materials and teacher trainings through the 2022-2023 school year, according to a public record request by No Left Turn In Education (NLTE).
- SEL, which teaches students different sets of social skills that focus on their emotional well-being, has been deemed by critics a tenant of Critical Race Theory (CRT).
- “Critical Race Theory tells you who you are and SEL cultivates the nature in the child to accept that to be true. Those parts of child’s mind are reserved for the home and for the parents and those are the parts where you’re creating a worldview for your child that might be through a cultural lens or a spiritual lens,” Holly Terei, NLTE national director of teacher coalition, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
A Georgia school district spent nearly $5 million to train teachers and provide a social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum, a new education model that has been criticized for laying the groundwork for Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the classroom, according to a public record request by No Left Turn In Education (NLTE), an organization focused on “radical indoctrination” in schools.
Gwinnett County Public Schools paid EL Education, the creator of a Language Arts curriculum grounded in SEL, to provide a K-5 curriculum and give teachers professional development training through the 2022-2023 school year, according to a NLTE public records request obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. SEL focuses on teaching students social skills for their emotional well-being and has been deemed by critics a tenant and euphemism for CRT. (RELATED: ‘Psychologically Abusive’: Some Back-To-School Programs Dividing Students By ‘Gender, Culture And Identity’)
“Social emotional learning definitely taps into the most formative, malleable parts of a child’s brain,” Holly Terei, NLTE national director of teacher coalition, told the DCNF. “It cultivates that willingness to accept those core tenets of Critical Race Theory. Critical Race Theory tells you who you are and SEL cultivates the nature in the child to accept that to be true. Those parts of a child’s mind are reserved for the home and for the parents and those are the parts where you’re creating a worldview for your child that might be through a cultural lens or a spiritual lens.”
CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.
The school district’s contract with EL Education, extended until June 2023, included planning sessions between the organization and the district leadership team as well as weekly phone calls to check on the implementation of the SEL curriculum, the documents showed. Each school in the district received individual coaching days to help grade level teachers implement the curriculum as well as gather feedback on the lessons.
The contract included El Education’s virtual summit, self-paced online professional learning courses and an EL National Conference which required all attendees to be fully vaccinated and show proof of a negative COVID-19 test from the past 24 hours, the documents showed. As a part of the agreement, EL Education received benchmark assessment data from the school district and conducted walkthroughs during lessons.
The fourth grade EL Education curriculum, “responding to inequality: ratifying the 19th amendment,” is meant to be a supplement for two weeks of students’ English language arts requirements, the student workbook, obtained by NLTE and provided to the DCNF, showed. The curriculum teaches students vocabulary, adverbs and relative pronouns through the teaching of gender and racial inequality.
“With this particular curriculum, the teachers I’ve spoken to are very frustrated that the beginning portion of every lesson is supposed to have a moment of reflection and mindfulness,” Terei told the DCNF. “What does that have to do with teaching kids how to read? And while they might be focusing on finding the adjective in a particular passage, that particular passage is very culturally relevant, and when they’re reading the passage, the children are more interested in discussing what in the world they just heard, then finding the adjective in the sentence.”Through the two week curriculum, fourth grade students read “Hope Chest,” a story about a girl who fights for gender and racial equality despite her parents disapproval, then research texts relating to inequality and write personal essays reflecting on the text, the student handbook showed. Students were asked to detail why it is important to “take action against inequality to cause social change” and to contact an adult who can help them complete a project to address “an issue in the community.”
To learn sentence structure, students use a “language dive guide” titled “gender equality is a human right,” the workbook stated. One example asks students to break down the sentence “gender equality is a precondition for making any serious shift towards a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world,” in an effort to learn pronunciation and adjectives.
“I talk to a lot of teachers and they share that there’s barely enough time for them to do academics now that social emotional learning has been implemented in schools and the time that they’re supposed to spend on it, it’s just increasing by the day,” Terei told the DCNF. “When you look at curriculum like EL Education, this is supposed to be our children’s language arts, this is how they’re supposed to be learning sentence structure and reading comprehension. It’s been completely hijacked.”
Gwinnett School District and EL Education did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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