The New York City Public Schools’ is dedicating $202 million to the development and execution of its Universal Mosaic Curriculum. It remains unclear if that money came out of COVID relief funds. The district is not releasing specifics on the curriculum, but states that “there is no single off-the-shelf curriculum academically rigorous and inclusive enough” for the city’s students. The district-produced curriculum will focus on “comprehensive ELA and Math curriculum” and an “unprecedented infusion of books into every classroom.”
A parent reached out to Parents Defending Education with the list of books and raised specific concerns about the first grade picture book recommended for 1st graders, “I’m Not a Girl: A Transgender Story.” The story, written for children between the ages 5-11 according to Amazon, follows a young girl named Hannah who believes herself to be a boy.
Throughout the tale, adults are shown “forcing” Hannah to wear traditionally female clothes and colors, as well as promoting she take on female roles. The main character eventually rejects a girl’s swimsuit offered by her mother and is shown sprinting to the boy’s side of the retail store. At one point in the book, the child is asked to put on her jacket (which is pink) while she is outside in snowy weather. The child declares, “I’d rather be cold and wet than not be me.”
The story ends with Hannah sitting in a barber shop chair with her hair cut to look like a boy.
It turns out that other parents have raised concerns over additional books on the list; Fox News covered it in May here.
The reading lists, which include titles on Greta Thunberg and Elizabeth Warren, were created by the NYC Department of Education Library services, according to the TeachingBooks website. The page can only be accessed internally through the DOE’s official login for students and teachers.From the Fox News story by Hannah Grossman on May 23, 2022