K-12 Education

National Commission March Newsletter

March 15, 2019  • National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

It’s Not Goodbye…

At the end of this week, the Commission officially sunsets. We could not be more grateful for the interest, passion, and commitment that all of you have displayed as members of the growing movement to educate children as whole people―with social, emotional, and academic needs.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Aspen Institute for hosting the Commission and supporting our collective efforts over these past two and a half years. The Institute’s commitment to advancing students’ social, emotional, and academic development will continue, especially through the work of its Education & SocietyCenter for Native American Youth, and Sports & Society programs.

Moving forward, many of our other partners will be leading efforts to advance the Commission’s recommendations.  This work includes the Learning Policy Institute’s coordination of a state policy coalition with numerous partners; the Forum for Youth Investment’s efforts with youth development partners; and the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)’s inaugural Social and Emotional Learning Exchange later this year, where many partners have submitted sessions to share their work.  We’d like to thank these and the many other partner organizations and individuals who have committed to bringing the Commission’s final recommendations to life in schools and communities across the country.

We’d also like to announce that our partner, America’s Promise Alliance, will build on the momentum of A Nation at Hope by leading communication and outreach efforts around how learning happens. As part of this work, the Alliance will continue to share social, emotional, and academic development news and updates with this newsletter list.

You will find more information about where to find Commission resources after March 15th in the newsletter below. But let this not be a good-bye…

Together, let’s translate our mounting knowledge about how people learn into real-world practices that benefit students. Let’s put an end to the era of false choices in education and put a focus on the whole student. And let’s continue to grow the movement that is at the heart of a Nation at Hope.

With deep appreciation,

Beyond March 15

  • NationAtHope.org will continue to host the final report and additional Commission resources, including videos, case studies and research briefs, and more. This spring, additional communication resources, developed by Learning Heroes, will be added to our communications tools page. See below to learn more about all the resources available on this site.
  • If you have Commission-related inquires or comments, please email howlearninghappens@americaspromise.org and find additional updates about this work @AmericasPromise.
  • If you would like to order hard copies of any Commission publication, you may do so through the following portal provided by Linemark Printing (based in Maryland): www.nationalcommissionresources.com. Please keep in mind there is a minimum order of 50 copies per document and that print orders are most cost-effective in bulk. All of our resources are also available for download and printing at home on NationAtHope.org.

Calling All Coaches: Supporting Athletes On and Off The Field

“When you have a chance to be part of a team and when you have a chance to have a coach who can guide you through the tough times… you get a very different sense of what’s possible, of what your potential is, of what your future is.”

Arne Duncan, Former U.S. Secretary of Education

What can coaches do to support their athletes’ social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development? The Aspen Institute Sports and Society Program and National Commission tackled this question in the Calls for Coaches brief and white paper released last Tuesday. The release event featured coaches and athletes with experience ranging from K-12 through the collegiate and professional levels.

The first panel, featuring Sasho Cirovski, head men’s soccer coach for the University of Maryland; Natasha Cloud, professional basketball player for the Washington Mystics; and Linda Flanagan, writer, runner, coach, and author of “How Effective Sports Coaches Help Students Feel Understood at School,” discussed the role coaches can play in supporting the whole person. During this session, panelists reflected on what they’ve learned from their own coaches and teachers and ways they approach supporting athletes’ socially and emotionally.

This panel was followed by a conversation with former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who reflected on his own experience playing basketball at Harvard University and professionally and discussed the vital role coaches can play in the lives of young people generally. Former Secretary Duncan then helped facilitate a conversation with youth football, baseball, and soccer players about the impact coaches have had in their lives and what they wished their coaches knew.

The event finished with a conversation with those athletes’ coaches, who discussed what they’ve learned from their athletes and how they strive to coach with an intentional focus on social and emotional skills. Commission Executive Director Jacqueline Jodl concluded the event reminding us that, for coaches: it’s not just about the game, it’s about teaching young people the skills to succeed in life.

Calls for Coaches: Coaching Social and Emotional Skills in Youth Sports outlines actionable calls for coaches to focus on developing social and emotional skills for children.Read the brief and accompanying white paper at :as.pn/CallsForCoaches

To learn more about the release event and to watch a recording of the event, go to: as.pn/Coaching


It Takes a Village: Schools & Communities Supporting the Whole Learner

At our Nation at Hope release event on January 15, we had the opportunity to sit down with a student, teacher, and youth development leader to discuss the themes of the report and what social, emotional, and academic development means to them. Check out the interviews led by Sahara Lake of the National Commission and featuring Fahren Johnson, programs manager for Expanded Learning Opportunities at the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation; Daniel McCutchen, a current student at Harvard University; and Kris Hinrichsen, an elementary school teacher in Alaska

Catching up with a #NationAtHope

  • Commissioner General McKinley discussed his experiences with social and emotional learning and the military and described the relevance of the Commission’s final report on Committee for Children’s Grow Kinder podcast.
  • Commission Co-Chair Linda Darling-Hammond and Honorary Co-Chair Dr. James Comer described the unprecedented opportunity policymakers have to unite around supporting young people’s social, emotional, and academic development, citing Nation At Hope as a key resource for this work in an op-ed for Governing magazine.
  • Commissioner and Council of Distinguished Educators member Meria Carstarphen discussed Atlanta Public Schools’ shift to a more intentional approach to social, emotional, and academic development and how the Commission’s recommendations relate to her work there in an op-ed for the 74 Million.
  • Parent Advisory Panel member Ilina Ewen reflected on conversations surrounding emotional intelligence over the last 25 years and their relationship to the message A Nation at Hope is sharing today on her blog, Dirt and Noise.
  • Parent Advisory Panel member Diana Limongi talked to Commission Co-Chair Tim Shriver about how his background as an educator led him to an interest in social and emotional development and how we’ve become a Nation at Hope  on the latest episode of her podcast, Parenting and Politics.

ICYMI: More Resources Available on NationAtHope.org

In addition to A Nation at Hope and accompanying recommendations in Research, Practice, and Policy, NationAtHope.org has a robust set of resources to support bringing this work to schools and communities. Here are a few highlights:

  • Videos: a collection of videos, produced by Edutopia in collaboration with the Commission, illustrate what schools and communities are doing to support their students’ social, emotional, and academic development and how the research about learning informs their work. Don’t miss the latest series of 21 videos focused on How Learning Happens!
  • Communications Tools: a suite of resources created by the National Commission and Learning Heroes provides strategies for communicating about supporting young people’s holistic development. These tools are particularly useful for educators, youth-development leaders, community partners, and parents and families.
  • More Resources: a collection of publications for researchers, educators, community leaders, and youth and families. Dive into evidence-based resources for supporting the whole learner developed throughout the Commission’s lifetime!
  • Join This Movement: resources on where to go if you are interested in joining this movement. Browse the concrete actions organizations have committed to in support of young people’s social, emotional, and academic learning, and find out more about the organizations that are implementing the recommendations outlined in a Nation at Hope.