Glassbrook Elementary is located in Hayward, California which is south of Oakland on the east side of the San Francisco Bay. The school has just under 500 students and lately it has been struggling with falling test scores. But that didn’t stop the school from signing a $250,000, three-year contract with a company called “Woke Kindergarden” which, as the name suggests, provides training to teachers (but not to students in this case) on how to fight white supremacy.
One teacher at the school, whose name is Tiger Craven-Neeley, felt the expense wasn’t justified under the circumstances. Funding for the Woke Kindergarten program came from federal money which was intended to boost performance at America’s lowest performing schools. Why, Craven-Neely wondered, wasn’t the money being spent on something designed to bring up reading or math scores? One thing was certain, Woke Kindergarten wasn’t improving student performance.
English and math scores hit new lows last spring, with less than 4% of students proficient in math and just under 12% at grade level in English — a decline of about 4 percentage points in each category…
District officials defended the program this past week, saying that Woke Kindergarten did what it was hired to do. The district pointed to improvements in attendance and suspension rates, and that the school was no longer on the state watch list, only to learn from the Chronicle that the school was not only still on the list but also had dropped to a lower level.
It’s worth noting that there’s little to no evidence that this kind of anti-racist training for adults accomplishes anything at all. It may do more harm than good. But it certainly won’t help improve math and reading scores at Glassbrook Elementary. The focus of the training was on “disrupting whiteness” and Craven-Neeley tried to ask the trainers exactly what that meant.
Craven-Neeley, who is white and a self-described “gay moderate,” said he wasn’t trying to be difficult when he asked for clarification about disrupting whiteness. “What does that mean?” he said, adding that such questions got him at least temporarily banned from future training sessions. “I just want to know, what does that mean for a third-grade classroom?”…
The superintendent said Woke Kindergarten wasn’t hired to improve literacy and math scores, but that “helping students feel safe and whole is part and parcel of academic achievement.” He added, “I get that it’s more money than we would have liked to have spent.”
It is a lot of money, more than $500 per student at the school. Presumably that money could have been pooled and provided weeks or months of math and reading tutors instead.
But as is always the case when someone lifts up the rock and exposes what the woke are doing in our schools, there was intense backlash from those who would much prefer it remain hidden.
Craven-Neeley said the meeting grew tense about an hour in, when another teacher stood up, pointed a finger in his face and said, “ ‘You are a danger to the school or the community,’ and then she walked out of the room.”
Not long after, a district administrator asked him to leave the meeting.
One day later, Craven-Neeley was suspended by the district for “allegations of unprofessional conduct.”
The suspension came less than a day after a divisive staff meeting at the school, which included conversations about the Woke Kindergarten program, the media coverage of it and Craven-Neeley’s participation in the media coverage.
The San Francisco Chronicle has not been able to get the founder of Woke Kindergarten on the phone. Akiea “Ki” Gross is said to be recovering from surgery of some kind. Still, we have a pretty good idea where Gross is coming from thanks to her Instagram account.
Gross posted recently on social media, saying, “Yes, everyone, the rumors are true. … I am 100%, ten toes down anti-Israel. I believe Israel has no right to exist. I believe the United States has no rights to exist,” they said in the video posted on Instagram, a previously public account that is now private. “I believe every settler colony that has committed genocide against native peoples, against indigenous people has no right to exist.
“Is this news to anybody?” they continued. “Y’all are the demons. Y’all are the villains. We’ve been trying to end y’all. Get free of y’all.”
I think we all know who she is talking about here. Would you want your Kindergarten student exposed to this person, even second hand? I’d think about partnering up with other parents and suing over this. But at Glassbrook Elementary, it’s teacher Tiger Craven-Neeley who is being treated as the problem. He hasn’t been told how long his suspension will last or even what he is being investigated over. A district spokesman denies that Craven-Neeley is being retaliated against for blowing the whistle in the local newspaper but what else is it that got everyone so angry at him?
For those with a long memory, this same sort of thing happened to professor Bret Weinstein when he decided to appear on Fox News to discuss what was happening on the Evergreen State College campus. That was a violation that many on the campus couldn’t forgive. Here’s a bit of Benjamin Boyce’s excellent multi-part series on Evergreen which touches on Weinstein’s appearance on Fox News. “They build a rule that says you can’t go outside of these venues that we respect and those venues don’t call,” Weinstein said. “Those venues aren’t going to call but you could talk to them if they did. It’s catch-22,” he added.