One struggling school district in California invested $250,000 in a for-profit organization that instructs teachers how to influence kindergarten children to be woke – as promised in its propaganda publications — in order “to disrupt whiteness.” How that assists children with literacy or numeracy concerns parents and teachers alike, as the three-year program has produced an all-new low in test scores. Assigning the philosophy of abolitionist education, Woke Kindergarten – the business – is not shy in proclaiming its overall mission:
“[W]oke kindergarten is a global, abolitionist early childhood ecosystem & visionary creative portal supporting children, families, educators and organizations in their commitment to abolitionist early education and pro-black and queer and trans liberation.”
That statement alone causes some heartburn.
How Far Will We Go?
Glassbrook Elementary, in the Hayward Unified School District in Northern California, invested a quarter of a million dollars to revive its curriculum to assist disadvantaged students. For two years, the program purported to teach the basics required for elementary schoolkids — but math and learning to read were not in the lesson plans. Instead, Glassbrook taught abolishing the police, anti-Israel doctrine, open borders, and getting rid of money. Classrooms steered away from traditional skills, opting instead to ensure the racist five- and six-year-old students understand their pronouns, know what to expect at a protest, and prioritize “black lives over white tears.”
Instead of history or current events, pupils are asked to consider, “If the United States defunded the Israeli military, how could this money be used to rebuild Palestine?”
Don’t forget the woke word of the day because — as the Woke Kindergarten website claims — little humans need to learn the “language of the resistance … to introduce children to liberatory vocabulary in a way that they can easily digest, understand and most importantly, use in their critiques of the system.”
So, the young revolutionaries are set on the path to societal upheaval and radical progressive politics, but not necessarily the road to graduating from high school. Glassbrook witnessed abject failure as numeracy among its 474 students fell to a new low of just 4% and literacy just 12%. Yet Hayward’s district superintendent is unconcerned. “We are in favor 100% of abolishing systems of oppression where they hold our students back,” said Jason Reimann, adding, “helping students feel safe and whole is part and parcel of academic achievement.”
He also insists the program was not implemented to get reading and math scores comparable to other schools. In that aspect, Woke Kindergarten is a spectacular success.
Are Woke Kindergarten Detractors Racist?
Is anyone amazed or even alarmed that this type of indoctrination is occurring in secular institutions? Brandy Shufutinsky, director of education and community engagement at the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values, has spoken frequently on the subject and is critical of Woke Kindergarten, warning:
“Elite scholar-activists have hijacked the school system in order to push their woke bureaucracy that replaced scholarship with activism, at a financial cost to taxpayers and social cost to students. Students who depend on public schools for education are left behind, while activism is preferred over hard work by those whose guilt encourages them to virtue signal and disrupt ‘systems of oppression.'”
Believe it or not, several teachers have had enough of this nonsense. Teacher Tiger Craven-Neeley, who describes himself as a gay white moderate, could not get behind the core policies of Woke Kindergarten. He questioned a trainer who used the phrase “so-called United States” and was alarmed at the organization’s “L’il Comrade Convos.”
Craven-Neely explained his concerns further, agreeing that Woke Kindergarten “had a lot of good things. I think race should be addressed. Children should be aware if they are being discriminated against,” he said. “But as a teacher of Hayward Unified, I shouldn’t have to get on the bandwagon of defunding police or insulting our country.”
“The recipe for helping students succeed in reading and math is one of the worst kept secrets in the history of schooling,” offered Shufutinsky. “Academic rigor and increased instruction time are the most effective methods to improve student learning.”
That makes a lot of sense, don’t you think?