State Superintendent of Education Mackey encourages city, county superintendents ‘to end’ Confucius Classrooms
As the threat from China has become more apparent, it has led to some in education policy to question why public schools and institutions of higher learning in Alabama are including Chinese state-sponsored Confucius Institutes as a part of the curriculum.
According to a report Friday, letters signed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos were sent to state-level education officials and warned the Confucius Institutes gave China a foothold on U.S. soil and poses a threat to free speech.
In a memo obtained by Yellowhammer News, State Superintendent Eric Mackey reacted by encouraging city and county public school superintendents to end their Confucius Classroom curriculums “as soon as practicable.”
Text as follows:
“The Alabama State Department of Education (ALDSE) values the many partnerships that local school systems have established with various businesses, community-based cultural and arts organizations, and others who contribute to the overall educational experiences of our students. While the overwhelming majority of partnerships are positive in their impact, from time to time, local school systems have to examine their partnerships for content and appropriateness.
In light of new information that has recently surfaced and is clearly articulated in the attached correspondence from U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, I believe it is incumbent upon some of our local schools to examine their Confucius Classrooms. While the ALDSE does not keep tabs on Confucius Classrooms, we know that a few such partnerships have existed in the past. It appears that most of them have since ended or are in the process of ending this school year. However, with no statewide database, I have decided to write to each of you to encourage you to re-examine any classroom collaboration. I fully realize that none of you, nor your Boards of Education, would support the repressive activities detailed in the letter. Nor would you allow such to be taught in your classrooms. Nevertheless, based on the information provided by the U.S. Departments of State and Education, I would encourage you to end any such Confucius Classroom experiences as soon as practicable, with a goal to end them at the conclusion of this semester.”
The letter went on to encourage superintendents to contact Sean J. Stevens at the Alabama Department of Education if there were any scheduling or technical issues.
Corresponding documents referenced by Mackey are embedded below.
State Rep. Tommy Hanes (R-Bryant), who has been at the forefront of efforts to ban Confucius Institutes in Alabama, applauded the move.
“I’m glad that Dr. Mackey has taken a step to protect our young people from the Chinese Communist Parties,” Hanes said in a statement to Yellowhammer News. “Indoctrination. This is certainly a step in the right direction. But there is work to be done when it comes to our Universities. There is no room for Communism in the State of Alabama nor the United States of America. I commend Dr. Mackey for this courageous move.”
@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.