A Bay Area elementary school, Glassbrook Elementary, experienced a decline in student achievement after implementing “Woke Kindergarten,” a program focused on topics like white supremacy and oppression.
The school used federal funds to pay for the program, which introduces a “liberatory vocabulary” to students.
However, student performance in English and math has worsened, with less than 4% proficient in math and less than 12% proficient in English.
Some teachers have raised concerns about the program’s heavy focus on progressive activism, while the school superintendent defended the decision, emphasizing the importance of creating a safe and inclusive environment.
According to their website, Woke Kindergarten supports “children, families, educators and organizations in their commitment to abolitionist early education and pro-black and queer and trans liberation.”
A teacher said, “It slowly became very apparent if you were a dissenting voice that it’s not what they wanted to hear.”
“Our reading scores are low … That could have gotten us a reading interventionist,” they continued.
Despite the program’s cost, it coincided with an improvement in attendance, but other schools in the area have pursued different approaches to academic improvement.
Hayward Superintendent Jason Reimann said “helping students feel safe and whole is part and parcel of academic achievement.”
“We are in favor 100% of abolishing systems of oppression where they hold our students back. What I do believe is we should pick providers based on their work and how effective they are,” he continued.
“I get that it’s more money than we would have liked to have spent,” added Reimann.