New York City Council Header
File #: Res 1605-2017    Version: * Name: Creation of a pilot program to improve social and emotional learning in schools. (A.7063/ S.5563)
Type: Resolution Status: Filed (End of Session)
Committee: Committee on State and Federal Legislation
On agenda: 8/9/2017
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling on the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign A.7063/ S.5563, legislation regarding the creation of a pilot program to improve social and emotional learning in schools, and calling on the City's Department of Education to establish such a pilot program in every community school district.
Sponsors: Daniel Dromm , Vincent J. Gentile, Rosie Mendez, Paul A. Vallone, Alan N. Maisel, Karen Koslowitz, Carlos Menchaca, Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., Eric A. Ulrich
Council Member Sponsors: 9
Attachments: 1. A. 7063, 2. S. 5563, 3. August 9, 2017 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files

Res. No. 1605

 

Resolution calling on the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign A.7063/ S.5563, legislation regarding the creation of a pilot program to improve social and emotional learning in schools, and calling on the City’s Department of Education to establish such a pilot program in every community school district.

 

By Council Members Dromm, Gentile, Mendez, Vallone, Maisel, Koslowitz, Menchaca, Cornegy and Ulrich

 

Whereas, Social and emotional learning (“SEL”), also called whole-child education, is a systematic and evidence-based approach to teaching students integral skills, like understanding and managing emotions, setting and achieving goals, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and avoiding negative behaviors; and 

Whereas, SEL provides an all-hands framework inviting educators, family members, school leaders, and community partners to coordinate, value, and support students’ social, emotional, and academic learning, connecting students with their world outside of school; and

Whereas, Educational efforts focused on academic performance have for too long pushed SEL skills aside, but educators and researchers are beginning to understand that content knowledge alone is not sufficient to prepare students for life after high school whether students continue onto higher education or enter the workforce; and

Whereas, Passing standardized tests may not translate into future success, and studies spanning students’ entire education careers are showing results that when SEL is integrated into schools, students learn life skills that will help their personal development as well as their academic performance, such as stress management, fulfilling mental and emotional health needs, making responsible choices, and contributing constructively to society; and

Whereas, SEL is a specific approach to education that aims to help all students, and particularly those from more vulnerable communities, by teaching them how to empathize, collaborate, and resolve conflict; and

Whereas, SEL seeks to address risk factors that can create barriers to learning, such as poverty, racism, violence, drug use, absent or displaced parents, and behavioral or cognitive disorders; and

Whereas, Schools utilizing SEL can more readily confront issues and provide early intervention measures to promote healthy student development; and

Whereas, SEL is an adapted support system for students growing up in adverse environments and helps to cultivate conditions that are more conducive to learning, such as emotional and physical safety, meaningful and caring connections, high expectations, and civic participation and engagement; and

Whereas, Educators teaching SEL create a supportive and trusting school environment where students feel safe and have the opportunity to thrive, thereby developing a culture in which students and teachers exchange respectful, positive interactions that strengthen relationships and motivates students to do their best; and

Whereas, According to a data analysis of 213 studies involving more than 270,000 students, published in the journal Child Development in January 2011, those who participated in SEL programs showed an 11-percentile-point gain in academic achievement compared to those in their cohort who did not participate in SEL programs; and

Whereas, Participating SEL students also showed improved classroom behavior, better ability to cope with stress, and more positive attitudes about themselves, their classmates, and school generally; and

Whereas, While No Child Left Behind relied heavily on students’ scores on standardized math and reading tests to determine success in schools, under the Every Student Succeeds Act, federal legislation passed in December 2015 to replace No Child Left Behind, states are now required to incorporate broader and non-academic measures, such as social and emotional skills, along with standardized test scores into their accountability systems; and

Whereas, A.7063, sponsored by Assemblymember Vivian E. Cook, and its companion bill S.5563, sponsored by Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., would direct the New York State Commissioner of Education to establish in each school system or district in the state a pilot program aimed at improving SEL in at least one school within their system or district; and

Whereas, In furtherance of this state legislation in New York City, the Council strongly urges the City’s Department of Education to establish a pilot program in at least one school within each community school district; and

Whereas, The advantages of SEL in education are numerous, including improvements in grades and attendance, decreases in suspensions and bullying, and other benefits still emerging as research continues; and

Whereas, A pilot program such as the one proposed would help bring those benefits to students across the state; now, therefore, be it 

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign A.7063/ S.5563, legislation regarding the creation of a pilot program to improve social and emotional learning in schools, and calls on the City’s Department of Education to establish such a pilot program in every community school district.

 

 

LS# 10757

DS / JA

7/13/17