California Elementary’s $250K Investment in ‘Woke Kindergarten’ Sparks Academic Concerns

A California elementary school facing academic challenges spent $250,000 on a program known as “Woke Kindergarten,” which promotes anti-police, anti-capitalism, anti-Israel, and anti-whiteness messages.

Glassbrook Elementary School in Hayward, considered one of the nation’s lowest-performing schools, allocated federal funds to engage “Woke Kindergarten” in hopes of improving test scores. The program describes itself as an “abolitionist early childhood ecosystem” aiming for pro-black and queer liberation in education.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the initiative seeks to confront white supremacy, dismantle racism, and address barriers to learning. While UC Berkeley education professor Zeus Leonardo defended the program as integrating politics into teaching, some Glassbrook teachers criticized its progressive activism.

One teacher, Tiger Craven-Neeley, labeled as a “gay moderate,” supported discussing racism but raised concerns about the program’s emphasis on “disrupting whiteness.” He was temporarily banned from sessions after questioning the concept.

The “Woke Kindergarten” curriculum, featured on its website, includes radical ideas like challenging the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, defunding police, and diverting aid from Israel to Palestine. Children are introduced to protest culture and encouraged to engage in activism through various guides and resources, like sections called “Lil Comrades Convos” and “Teach Palestine.”

Despite the program’s intentions, Glassbrook’s academic performance declined, with English and math scores hitting record lows. Superintendent Jason Reimann defended the investment, citing improved attendance, but acknowledged the high cost of the program.

In essence, while aiming to create a safe and inclusive environment, the “Woke Kindergarten” experiment has raised questions about its effectiveness in improving academic outcomes amidst a backdrop of ideological controversy.