Some are taking offense to the $250,000 Glassbrook Elementary School spent on its “Woke Kindergarten” curriculum, while others are pointing out the cost to students in the Hayward, Calif., elementary school could be much more.

“Woke indoctrination does nothing to improve students’ reading and math achievement and instead takes critical resources away from things that would have an impact,” OptimaEd CEO and education leader Erika Donalds told CITC. “Low-performing districts should be spending money and time on proven reading and math intervention training, which prepare teachers to help students succeed academically.”

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The motivation behind Glassbrook’s focus on Woke Kindergarten is reportedly to improve student performance and attendance through a curriculum that uses “wonderings” or “unconventional questions rooted in liberatory thought.”

The trainings equip teachers with what they need to confront white supremacy, disrupt racism and remove learning barriers for some students, an approach based on the perspective that school hopelessly is stacked against minority students. The curriculum is the brainchild of Akiea Gross, “an abolitionist early educator, cultural organizer and creator currently innovating ways to resist, heal, liberate and create with their pedagogy, Woke Kindergarten,” according to its website.

The “wonderings” suggested to teachers include questions like “If we challenge the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, how might we transfer power back to the people?”

And “if the United States defunded the Israeli military, how could this money be used to rebuild Palestine?”

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Other aspects of the curriculum include “woke words of the day,” such as “ceasefire,” “abolish,” “strike” and other “liberatory vocabulary” students need to protest the systems of oppression outlined by Woke Kindergarten.

While UC Berkeley education professor Zeus Leonardo told the San Francisco Chronicle the approach is not about indoctrination but rather “making politics part of the framework of teaching,” teachers and others working to implement Woke Kindergarten in the classroom have a different perspective.

When teacher Tiger Craven-Neeley asked administrators what it means to “disrupt whiteness” for his students, he was temporarily banned from training sessions, he told the Chronicle. Comments from trainers about the “so-called United States” during sessions they said were “not a place to express white guilt,” as well as Woke Kindergarten’s discussions on a world without police, money or landlords, also raised concerns with the self-described “gay moderate.”

“I just want to know, what does (disrupting whiteness) mean for a third-grade classroom?” he said.

Another unidentified teacher confirmed that the Woke Kindergarten trainings were not designed for staff to share their perspectives or pose questions.

“It slowly became very apparent if you were a dissenting voice, that it’s not what they wanted to hear,” said the teacher, who did not want to be identified for fear of reprisals from school officials.

“Our reading scores are low,” the teacher said. “That could have gotten us a reading interventionist.”

While Hayward Superintendent Jason Reimann has said he believes the district “should pick providers based on their work and how effective they are,” he’s defended Woke Kindergarten in the face of declining test scores.

Two years into a three year contract with the for-profit Woke Kindergarten and scores at Glassbrook hit new record lows last spring with fewer than 4% of the school’s 474 students proficient in math and less than 12% meeting that threshold in English.

The funding for Woke Kindergarten came from taxpayers through a federal program aimed at helping the country’s lowest-performing schools improve student achievement.

Reimann has brushed off criticism of the program, which he said wasn’t brought in to improve reading or math, but instead to eliminate suspensions and classroom removals through restorative practices.

“We are in favor 100% of abolishing systems of oppression where they hold our students back,” he said, according to the Chronicle.

Reimann contends “helping students feel safe and whole is part and parcel of academic achievement.”

Craven-Neeley said he agrees “race should be addressed” by teachers and students “should be aware if they are being discriminated against,” but argues Woke Kindergarten goes beyond that to inject left-leaning politics into the classroom.

“As a teacher of Haward Unified, I shouldn’t have to get on the bandwagon of defunding police or insulting our country,” he said.

The bottom line, Donalds argues, is “we see district leaders putting their political agenda ahead of what is best for children.”