The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is attempting to institute “social-emotional learning” — which emphasizes the moral, ethical, and emotional development of students over academic content — into the state-wide curriculum.
According to a draft of VDOE’s new “social-emotional learning” proposal, middle and high schoolers state-wide must be able to recognize and describe a slew of social justice terms in order to graduate. For example, seventh and eighth graders must be able to “recognize and describe unfairness and injustice in many forms including attitudes, speech, behaviors, policies, practices, and laws.”
Other standards include explaining the difference between conscious and unconscious bias, understanding that “fair does not always mean that everyone gets the same thing,” and understanding that people “may face different barriers based on their identity and groups in society.”
Before graduation, students must also demonstrate an ability to “understand broader historical and social contexts’ impact on humanity” and “recognize, describe, and distinguish inequity and injustice.”
The VDOE’s “notice of intended regulatory action”