Werner: Parent involvement in schools matters; here’s why

Posted 5/11/22

Chances are, you’ve never heard of Listenwise.

I hadn’t. Listenwise is a supplemental program being evaluated by the Scottsdale Unified School District. On the surface, Listenwise …

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Werner: Parent involvement in schools matters; here’s why


Chances are, you’ve never heard of Listenwise.

I hadn’t. Listenwise is a supplemental program being evaluated by the Scottsdale Unified School District. On the surface, Listenwise sounds lovely.

Through a partnership with NPR, Listenwise allows students to enjoy an audio/video experience that “teaches” them about current world events.

Thankfully, parents didn’t accept Listenwise at face value, and instead invested time at the Scottsdale Unified district office to review the curriculum and share their opinions.

So what’s the rub? Listenwise, which was included in SUSD’s purchase of Savvas, promotes “real world” events with a one-sided slant that feels more like indoctrination than education. While parents are asking our school to instill critical-thinking skills, programs such as Listenwise go about molding a generation of students who will adopt a carefully crafted ideology.

Consider just a few of Listenwise’s many audio/video lessons. Listenwise includes podcasts in partnership with NPR which claim:

  •  Businesses like the idea of requiring vaccine passports;
  •  That most Americans want the government to require mask wearing;
  •  And that universal income is “one of the best ways to address economic inequality.”

In other episodes, one NPR podcast states as fact that gerrymandering gives white people more voting power; another encourages “reimagining” policing and diverting resources to community services; and a third proposes that the voting age should be 16 because students are political activists.

In short, it is my opinion Listenwise works to normalize radical political positions in young students.

The Listenwise blog adds more insight into the platform’s intentions, featuring topics such as anti-racism, Black Lives Matter, culturally responsive lessons (i.e. the new name for critical race theory), equity (i.e. the opposite of “equal opportunity”), diversity, and transformational social emotional learning (the implementation tool for critical race theory).

Ready for some good news? Thanks to SUSD’s supplemental materials committee, on which I and other parents participate, the district has temporarily suspended the use of Listenwise. This is proof that parents working together can have a positive impact.

However, while we are celebrating, we are also regrouping. The district states they will further review Listenwise over the summer to make a final decision on its inclusion in SUSD classrooms. Hence, our work is not yet done.

Parent involvement is essential, and here’s what you can do to help:

  •  Email the Scottsdale school district and voice your concerns about Listenwise. You can use the Let’s Talk feature found on SUSD.org.
  •  Forward this article to two friends and help us spread the word.
  •  Speak at school board meetings and share your thoughts.
  •  Support school board candidates who will do the work necessary to keep indoctrination like Listenwise out of Scottsdale schools.

I am running for one of the two open Scottsdale school board seats in the Nov. 8, 2022, election. I will work to keep this type of propaganda out of our schools. Learn more about my campaign at www.WernerForSUSD.com. Our students’ academic achievement is my ultimate priority. I’d appreciate your support so that I can fight for you from within the system.

Editor’s Note: Carine Werner is a Scottsdale resident seeking candidacy to run for election to the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board.


1 comment on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • xway.mike.norton

    It is easy to identify what this candidate hates.

    It is not possible to determine how she proposes to lead. In particular, how she would lead as SUSD's funding declines. Werner, like three other candidates, has for the most part remained silent about school funding throughout her candidacy. Her most ardent supporters, however, are anything but silent.

    Pam Kirby who constantly attacks SUSD and nearly succeeded in destroying it endorses Werner.

    Michelle Ugenti-Rita called Teachers "Educational Terrorists" as she mocked them to their face from the floor of the Senate during debates over the Aggregate Expenditure Limit Budget crisis early this year. Werner and others applauded her for her stand.

    Joe Chaplik mocked CCUSD, one of Scottsdale's Districts, when it sought desperately needed funding through its M&O Override ballot. It lost. It had to cut programs. Chaplik celebrated along with Werner.

    Hating SUSD is hardly the best reason to run for Governing Board. Werner has earned her reputation as one of the single greatest SUSD-Haters in the Community.

    Thursday, May 12 Report this