‘Woke Kindergarten’ Is Capitalism At Work
Didn’t there used to be a name for the group of people who didn’t like it when markets subverted the functioning of public institutions serving vulnerable people?
A lot of people, myself included, were both amused and a bit outraged by the story Jill Tucker broke in the San Francisco Chronicle a couple days ago: an elementary school in Hayward, California, that was in the midst of a crisis spent $250,000 on a curriculum called Woke Kindergarten that appears to be a total scam
A Hayward elementary school struggling to boost low test scores and dismal student attendance is spending $250,000 in federal money for an organization called Woke Kindergarten to train teachers to confront white supremacy, disrupt racism and oppression and remove those barriers to learning.
The Woke Kindergarten sessions train teachers on concepts and curriculum that’s available to use in classrooms with any of Glassbrook Elementary’s 474 students. The sessions are funded through a federal program meant to help the country’s lowest-performing schools boost student achievement.
But two years into the three-year contract with Woke Kindergarten, a for-profit company, student achievement at Glassbrook has fallen, prompting some teachers to question whether the money was well spent given the needs of the students, who are predominantly low-income. Two-thirds of the students are English learners and more than 80% are Hispanic/Latino.
These are kids in an exceptionally vulnerable situation. Many of them are immigrants, and, given their age, they really have only one shot at a decent education during this crucial developmental window. California, if it were a nation, would have one of the most powerful economies in the world (even if its leaders sometimes exaggerate the specifics). It is a place containing an amount of wealth that 99.99% of the humans who have ever lived would have been unable to conceive. You would think it would at least be up to the task of teaching its poorer students how to read.
Not at this elementary school, at least.
A lot of people are expressing a lot of opinions about this story. I’d like to point out how deeply capitalist this whole thing is, even if the founder of Woke Kindergarten claims to despise capitalism and everything it stands for.