The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is a federal law that mandates that states may individually decide to account for the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) standards and happenings in their schools. Research shows that standards-based instruction helps guide the planning, implementation, and assessment of student learning (Wallace).
Educational standards can help streamline instruction, keep teaching focused on specific learning targets, and provide cohesiveness across classrooms (Wallace). This supports learners in higher-level skill acquisition and ensures that teaching and learning stay on track.
According to CASEL, The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, the United States has had tremendous growth in the number of states beginning to prioritize Social and Emotional Learning since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic (Bunting).
The state of Illinois has been a pioneer and leader in formalizing SEL instruction since 2003. In fact, Illinois was the very first state in the US to create statewide SEL learning standards and is one of the few states in the country to develop preschool and K-12 SEL learning standards (ISBE).
As a result of the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) adopted the Illinois Social and Emotional Learning Standards. The ISBE drafted these 10 SEL Standards, along with goals, age-appropriate benchmarks, and performance descriptors, in collaboration with the Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership, with technical support from the CASEL. (ISBE).
Everyday Speech’s Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum aligns with the Illinois State Board of Education Social and Emotional Learning Standards. Each Everyday Speech SEL lesson includes an Illinois State Learning Standard, Learning Benchmark, and Performance Descriptor. These are located in the Teaching Tool tab of each lesson and in all printable lesson plans. Educators can use these learning standards to plan lessons, write goals, monitor progress, and provide school-wide cohesion.
Bunting, Susan. “SEL Policy at the State Level.” CASEL, 23 June 2022, https://casel.org/systemic-implementation/sel-policy-at-the-state-level/#IL.
ISBE. “School Wellness Social And Emotional Learning .” Illinois State Board of Education, n.d. https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Social-Emotional-Learning.aspx.
Wallace, Ashley. “Social and Emotional Learning.” National Conference of State Legislators, 12 Apr. 2021, https://www.ncsl.org/research/education/social-emotional-learning.aspx.