Missouri’s education department launches survey on social-emotional learning standards

(Action News 5)
Published: Aug. 15, 2023 at 4:50 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KY3) - The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is asking the public for input regarding its standards for social-emotional learning.

The standards are called Competencies Of Relationship-building Education, or CORE, and the proposed updates direct the education to three focus areas: me, we, and others.

The work group describes each focus area in the following ways:

  • Me: A healthy sense of self. Students develop core integrity to act upon principles that provide a foundation for trustworthiness, dependability, and honesty.
  • We: Relationship-building skills that are critical to employment and life success. Students consider how their behavior influences those around them, enabling students to build healthy relationships with others.
  • Others: Prosocial skills that have a positive effect on those around them and improve their communities. Students build integrity and healthy relationships to treat others with kindness and respect.”

“The purpose of the CORE skills is to make sure that our Missouri students are equipped to become successful students and to be productive members of a global society,” Work Group Co-chair Jen Foster said.

Some board members voiced concern that certain parts of the proposed standards could be “weaponized” as a source of social pressure.

“We need to give people the freedom to have differing values, differing opinions, and teach people how to be okay with that, that you think different than I do, and that’s okay,” said board member Kim Bailey. “We’ve got to be really careful that people can’t use that and take a hammer and start beating people over the head with it.”

After collecting public input for 30 days, the work group will then work to present that input to the state board of education.

Any updates to CORE standards would be implemented starting in the 2024-2025 academic year.

The full presentation and more information about the plan can be viewed here.

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