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Social and Emotional Development: The Next School Reform Frontier

Abstract

"As Congress wrestles with rewriting the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (currently better known as the No Child Left Behind law or NCLB), it is high time policymakers address a crucial aspect of K-12 school improvement that has long been given short shrift by legislators and educators-the social and emotional development of youngsters who chronically lag far behind academically. More than 30 years after the controversial A Nation at Risk report triggered successive waves of reform, Americas schools have unquestionably gained ground: achievement gaps along racial and ethnic lines have narrowed and high school graduation rates nationally are climbing. Yet progress in urban districts that largely serve low-income and minority students is still stalled."

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