Last week I wrote about parental rights in education. Like religion, partisan politics has no place in grade school classrooms. That becomes complicated when everything from health to climatology gets politicized. Is anything still nonpartisan enough to teach?
Take, for example, the ability to refrain from temper tantrums and play well with others. Parents lambaste school boards about Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) and its five core elements:
Controversial? Really? Though specific SEL programs are up for debate, school involvement in character development is as old as the hills. My grade school report cards rated citizenship as E (excellent), S (satisfactory), or U (unsatisfactory). My ninth grade English teacher stressed moral lessons in every story or poem. High school science labs demanded effective teamwork. If teachers were barred from influencing behavior, classroom management would be impossible, and academics would fall apart.
I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.