About the Whole Child Policy Table

The National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (SEAD) generated a platform and momentum for a holistic approach to education practice, policy, and research. The SEAD Commission brought stakeholders together around a common whole child vision for education. At the same time, the Science of Learning and Development (SoLD) Alliance was established to synthesize the evidence base on how children learn and develop and to lay out a road map for transformational systemic change in education. These initiatives have brought stakeholders together around a common whole child vision for education, but after the sunset of the SEAD Commission, there was a need for coordination to carry forward this vision into practice and policy and to build continued coherence and alignment across the education ecosystem.

To meet this need, the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) established the Whole Child Policy Table (WCPT) to align and coordinate the efforts of state-facing membership organizations, researchers, and policy groups to advance a policy agenda based on supporting the full scope of children’s developmental needs. The WCPT partners work together to create the enabling conditions for state- and district-level innovation around the ways students learn, teachers are prepared and supported, and schools are designed and resourced.

In 2019, LPI convened four major state policy membership organizations—the Council of Chief State School Officers, National Association of State Boards of Education, National Conference of State Legislatures, and National Governors Association—which agreed to join together to support this work with their members, through their communications vehicles and conferences and other educative and policy advancement activities. LPI also brought together key partners in this work, including the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL); the Science of Learning and Development Alliance; the Education Commission of the States; the Forum for Youth Investment; Afterschool Alliance; the National Urban League; America’s Promise Alliance; CIVIC; and others.

The Whole Child Policy Table unifies and coordinates the work of a broad set of policy partners who aim to support policymakers interested in whole child development work in schools. The WCPT works to collectively educate and share equity-focused whole child policy options for states that want to accelerate their existing work, create the conditions necessary to enable equity-focused systems change grounded in the science of learning and development, and provide the resources that policymakers may need to implement whole child policy approaches.

Funding for the Whole Child Policy Table is provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Harmony and Inspire at National University, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Pure Edge, Inc., and the Wallace Foundation. Core operating support for the Learning Policy Institute is provided by the Heising-Simons Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Raikes Foundation, Sandler Foundation, and MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett. We are grateful to them for their generous support.

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