Rhys F., Gr. 4 recognized a problem with an article in the Achieve3000® curriculum and decided to pen a note to the publisher:
“I am a fourth grader at St. John School in Seattle Washington and I use Achieve 3-5 days a week for school. I love all the articles Achieve provides except for one: “Where Do Our Ex-presidents Go?” I thought this article was extremely sexist toward girls. The article used the pronoun “he” three times when referring to the Office of the President of the United States. Some pronoun options that would use inclusive language are “he/she” or “this person/this individual.” I am not asking you to completely change this article, but just to change the masculine pronoun in the article description and in the second and fifth paragraphs. Other than this one, I think your articles are amazing.”
Rhys did receive a reply:
“Thank you so much for your patience and for reaching out to us with your concerns regarding the article “Where Do Our Ex-presidents Go?” We love hearing from students who are using KidBiz, and we appreciate you bringing this problem to our attention. Gender-neutral pronoun usage is something we strive to achieve in all of our content. Although we typically avoid the use of “he or she,” as it unnecessarily complicates our writing, we often switch back and forth between “he” and “she” in our articles. When we wrote this article, we chose to use only “he,” since the article focuses on past presidents, all of whom were men. However, after your thoughtful suggestion, we see now how we can edit this particular article, most often using plural pronouns instead.
We made these changes. We hope you’ll be happy with the edits and find that the updated article speaks to EVERY student reading it. Thank you again for reaching out to us. We hope you continue to enjoy using KidBiz in and out of your classroom!
Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Otherwise, should you need any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to call 877.235.2525 or visit www.achieve3000.com/support to email us.
Thank you and have a wonderful day!” Sarah Baird, Customer Support Representative, ACHIEVE3000