I teach 1st grade. We were told we are not allowed to send a letter home telling parents that we are going to teach about the three major religions-Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Admin said Sonya McSwain (director of K-2 Reading) said no.
Why are they trying to hide it before we teach it? Because they know parents won't like it! And we are not allowed to skip any stories. Half the assessment is on the Three World Religions story!
Also, we just read a story called Hatshepsut. In the story she was told she could not be pharaoh because she is not a man. "Hatshepsut simply replied, 'That is no problem. I officially declare myself a man!'" It goes on to say Hatshepsut wore a fake beard and had pictures and statues made of her dressed as a man and wearing a beard.
Students are having a hard time grasping the unreasonable objectives. They can't see the words, as they don't have books. This is all read aloud that they expect students to remember after one read!
The district should never try and keep parents in the dark even if letting them know will be uncomfortable. A friend floated the theory that the reason we are using this god-awful curriculum is to chase people to charter schools.
I don't think the district is trying to promote religion but most of what they expect first graders to learn is way above their head. For goodness sake Ziggurat was a jeopardy answer the other day.