Cal⁠i⁠forn⁠i⁠a School D⁠i⁠s⁠t⁠r⁠i⁠c⁠t⁠ Con⁠t⁠rac⁠t⁠s Woke K⁠i⁠ndergar⁠t⁠en Group ⁠t⁠o ‘F⁠i⁠x’ Low Prof⁠i⁠c⁠i⁠ency Ra⁠t⁠es

February 9, 2024

Kayla Maloney

CALN Project Manager

In a feeble attempt to increase student attendance and improve test scores, Hayward Unified School District in Alameda County, California, has paid $250,000 of federal money to a group called Woke Kindergarten to train teachers. 

The group’s name is not misleading; their mission is to help schools and organizations teach “abolitionist early education and pro-black and queer and trans liberation.” Not a sliver of their purpose is dedicated to teaching children basic skills like reading or math. 

Indoctrination is one thing, but in this case that might not even be the worst part. 

You may want to sit down… 

Before Woke Kindergarten was contracted, less than 12 percent of Hayward Unified School District students were proficient in reading, and less than FOUR percent were proficient in math, according to the San Francisco Chronicle

Since the program started two years ago, those numbers have dropped. This begs the question of whether those federal funds were spent wisely, considering most of the district’s students are low-income and have much more pressing needs. 

Hayward Unified School District Superintendent Jason Reimann thinks so, being that attendance has gone up about 20 percent during the first two years of the three-year contract. 

You read that correctly – 20 percent more students are showing up for class, and yet they are learning exponentially less and scoring lower on tests. 

This is besides the fact that the rest of the country experienced recovery from COVID-related learning loss this year. This means that most states reported higher test scores in 2023 than in 2022, while the Hayward Unified School District is reporting lower scores because of their new curriculum.

So, Woke Kindergarten is training teachers and teaching in schools where students were already being let down by their administrators to begin with. The contract is being defended as a solution to the problems of low attendance and even lower scoring. It seems this “solution” made those problems worse. 

Districts that serve low-income children who are barely treading water in school ought to focus on helping those kids become as proficient in basic skills as possible. Even if attendance has increased, altering the curriculum in a way that makes them even less capable of reading and math is assuredly not the solution. 

For the sake of their students, Hayward Unified School District must do better. Woke curriculums do not work.