From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope

The Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, & Academic Development was formed in 2017 “with the simple intention of listening—really listening—to young people, parents, teachers, school and district leaders, community leaders, and other experts.”

After two years of conversations, the commission published their findings: From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope. The report “seeks to accelerate and strengthen efforts to support the whole learner in local communities through recommendations for researchers, educators, and policymakers.” To realize a transformed future for our youngest generations and our communities at-large, they identified six recommendations as guideposts for all education stakeholders:

  1. Set a clear vision that broadens the definition of student success to prioritize the whole child.
  2. Transform learning settings so they are safe and supportive for all young people.
  3. Change instruction to teach social, emotional, and cognitive skills; embed these skills in academics and in school-wide practices.
  4. Build adult expertise in child development.
  5. Align resources and leverage partners in the community to address the whole child.
  6. Forge closer connections between research and practice.

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We recently announced a new R&D acceleration initiative to connect and support local communities ready to bring public, equitable, learner-centered ecosystems to life.