PebbleGo is an online, supplemental curriculum leveraged by Scottsdale Unified School District for kindergarten to fifth-grade students.
Promoted as an “engaging multimedia” that will “maximize comprehension” with “interactive lessons, activities, and games to reinforce learning,” PebbleGo sounds on the surface, like a winning combination of education and entertainment.
Just a few short weeks ago, with a positive attitude, I sat down to assist my 3rd grader with his homework. My son logged into PebbleGo to research the topic, “what makes a good citizen.” Within a few clicks, he was learning about activism.
There were lessons on striking and picketing, "what is a boycott?" and "what is a petition?" The section on striking and picketing told a tale of students who “walked out of classes to bring attention to climate change.”
Another section of the “good citizen” lesson focused on protests and presented an image of a child holding a Black Lives Matter sign while encouraging minors to “start a club at your school” and “join others to work towards change in your community.” Another protest example included yet another picture of people marching for climate change.
When more than 50% of Scottsdale Unified students cannot read or do math at proficiency levels, why is precious classroom time being spent to teach 8-year-olds to become activists?
In the family-themed lessons, PebbleGo taught that “a father is a person who identifies as a male” and “a mother is a person who identifies as a female.” Lessons such as this aim to normalize the idea that a child may choose his/her gender.
While there are positive achievements to celebrate in SUSD, acts of good do not lessen the damage done when politically-motivated propaganda erodes the quality of our students’ education.
With proficiency rates in ELA and math at unacceptably low levels, we owe it to our students to take a fresh look at SUSD’s curriculum.
Sadly, PebbleGo is not the first supplemental curriculum used by Scottsdale Unified that has been exposed for its political agenda.
In May 2022, Listenwise was similarly found to promote controversial ideas as fact.
According to a local article, Listenwise “tells students that many businesses like the idea of requiring vaccine passports and that most Americans want the government to require mask-wearing,” that “contact tracing and locking down our economy … protects lives” and that we should “celebrate the confirmation of Ketanji Brown,” but have “concerns about Amy Coney Barrett.”
As a parent, I send my kids to school with the expectation that Scottsdale Unified will be my partner in developing my children’s critical thinking skills, a love of learning and the knowledge they need to enter the workforce. Nothing more.
Do you know what’s lurking on your child’s school laptop? If not, it is time to look.
If you find material that is concerning, consider requesting a curriculum review by completing the form on the Scottsdale Unified website.