A group of parents wants OPSB to remove controversial concepts from the curriculum

The School Board explains the content of the newly adopted courses
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 6:16 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Some parents in the Ouachita Parish School System are raising questions about a new program the School Board has adopted for elementary school students. They believe the program is based on the concept of social-emotional learning and they believe it will change students’ attitudes, values, and beliefs but educators say that’s not true.

The Ouachita Parish Director of Elementary Schools Curtis Pate says, the newly adopted program is called Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) and he says it’s not Social Emotional Learning (SEL).

“Core Knowledge Language Arts is a Pre-K through 5th-grade language arts curriculum that’s uniquely designed to help students of all backgrounds to become confident readers, and build a shared cultural understanding of the U.S. and the world,” he said.

Pate says some parents were concerned that social-emotional learning is part of the program, but he says it’s not.

“We have adopted a curriculum that includes a very strong foundation in phonics and it’s based on the latest research that involves the science of reading,” he said.

Pate says the board reviewed the curriculum and voted to approve it in May and he explained the courses to the community so everyone will know exactly what they are teaching in schools. The Founder of the Ouachita Parent Choice LA Tiffany Hatten says, she found a researcher who believes social-emotional learning is embedded in these courses.

“Classes are no longer academic they are revolved around social-emotional learning. Social-emotional learning is psychological manipulation and this is per Dr. Haynes. Psychological manipulation is found in the self-awareness core competence, awareness of beliefs, biases, and how they implement one’s behaviors,” she said.

Hatten says, she wants the board to reconsider the new programs and get rid of any courses that might include what she considers offensive concepts.

“Nothing these programs brought into the classrooms has improved our student’s education, in fact, it has caused more mass chaos and confusion and we’re seeing those effects from the previous generations now,” she said.

“They are not in there discussing social-emotional learning. I don’t know how many classrooms Ms. Hatten has been in lately because from what I understand, her own children don’t attend our schools,” said Pate.

He says the new language arts curriculum will be introduced into Ouachita Parish classrooms this Fall.

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