There has been plenty of talk about the U.S. education system going ‘woke’ the last few years, but a program implemented in a San Francisco Bay-area elementary school actually branded itself as such.
Glassbrook Elementary in Hayward, California, spent $250,000 in federal funds to hire a for-profit company called “Woke Kindergarten” to train teachers in an “abolitionist early education” model that is “pro-black and queer and trans liberation” only to see test scores plummet.
On Tuesday’s show, Megyn was joined by Sage Steele to discuss the program and how schools are increasingly failing students.
According to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle, less than 12 percent of students at Glassbrook Elementary School are reading at grade level and under 4 percent are proficient in math.
The figures are problematic in and of themselves, but they are made worse by the fact that the school dropped some $250,000 in federal funds that was meant to boost test scores in some of the country’s lowest-performing institutions on the Woke Kindergarten program that has had the opposite effect thus far.
Hayward Unified School District Superintendent Jason Reimann admitted to the Chronicle that bringing in Woke Kindergarten on a three-year contract was more about getting kids to come to school than making sure they learned anything. He said attendance rates are up 20 percent and suspension rates dropped in the first two years of the program.
The Chronicle reported that district officials also claimed the school was no longer on the California state watch list of failing schools, but the outlet found that Glassbrook Elementary is in fact still on the list and had actually fallen even further.
On its website, Woke Kindergarten describes itself as “supporting children, families, educators and organizations in their commitment to abolitionist early education and pro-black and queer and trans liberation.”
The group offers “Woke Words of the Day” like ‘ceasefire,’ ‘strike,’ and ‘anti-racist’ to discuss with students, in addition to “Woke Wonderings” that include topics such as:
- “If we challenge the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, how might we transfer power back to the people?”
- “If we eradicate borders, how might we build our communities to include and support neighbors from all over the world?”
- “If the United States defunded the Israeli military, how could this money be used to rebuild Palestine?”
One teacher, Tiger Craven-Neeley, told the Chronicle that he is in favor of talking about racism in the classroom but was confused about how themes like “disrupt whiteness” are supposed to be taught to third graders. He also raised concerns after a trainer reportedly used the phrase “so-called United States.” He said these queries got him temporarily banned from the program.
‘Shame on California’
Megyn’s youngest child is in fourth grade, which means it wasn’t all that long ago that she had a kindergartner. “His main concern was making fart noises that sounded realistic,” she recalled. “He certainly did not care about the Israel-Palestine situation or what would happen if we defunded the military.”
In Steele’s view, the mature themes and content is what is “most heartbreaking” about the Woke Kindergarten program. “Kids aren’t innocent for long, especially in today’s world,” she explained. “My youngest is a senior in high school, so we can talk these things through… With kindergarteners, you’re lucky if you even find out about it… You’re poisoning these children.”
The fact that programs like these exist is a sign, Megyn said, that “we’ve lost control” and “lost our minds.” She and Steele agreed that concerned parents and teachers need to band together to push back against what’s happening in schools.
Ultimately, however, Steele said there needs to be more accountability on the part of the school district and even the state as a whole. “Shame on California for continuing to do this to our children,” she concluded. “Throw it at the adults, but it is sick to indoctrinate these children.”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Steele by tuning in to episode 718 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.