District Signs MOU with UW and Chinese Non-Profit

The Times is reporting that the UW, Hanban (a Chinese nonprofit group affiliated with China's Ministry of Education) and SPS are launching a new institute to spread the Chinese language and culture in Washington State. It will be called the Confucius Institute.

Hanban has several teachers in different SPS schools teaching Chinese.

From the article:

Hanban provided $150,000 in startup funds for the institute, which has been matched with about $150,000 in time and office space from the Washington partners.

The institute's main office will be on the UW campus, and its education office, now at Denny International Middle School in Seattle, will move to Seattle's Chief Sealth International High in the fall, when Sealth and Denny move into a new, shared campus in West Seattle.

The institute's director signed a memorandum of understanding with UW president Mark Emmert, Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson and Governor Gregoire.

Apparently some other communities in other parts of the U.S. have expressed suspicion mainly because of the worry over the role of the Chinese government in Hanban.


Jet City mom said…
Apparently some other communities in other parts of the U.S. have expressed suspicion mainly because of the worry over the role of the Chinese government in Hanban

( add the world to where the concern lies)

Universities around the world could lose their academic freedom by accepting grants from the Chinese government to create Confucius institutes, a former senior Australian diplomat has warned.

Professor Jocelyn Chey says academics should be aware of potential bias when Confucius institutes sought to undertake teaching or research as part of a university's mainstream activities. Because of the institutes' close links with the Chinese government and the Communist Party, Chey said this could lead at best to a "dumbing down" of research and at worst could produce propaganda.

It's a great tool for propaganda- afterall we want and need more Chinese goods and materials- wouldn't you agree?
uxolo said…
I wonder about the recent trip to Korea. The Parks Dept Supt gets spotlighted and resigns for going to Australia, but a big group including DeBell and who else from Stanford Center accompany the mayor's office -- why? The cost for taxpayers for a group?
Uxolo, I raised this question at the Budget Meeting and got a vague response. DeBell seems to be underwritten by a grant but they did not answer who paid for whatever staff went.
seattle citizen said…

The requirements for the permission to establish a Confucius Institute are as follows:
1. That there is a demand for learning the Chinese language and culture at the applicant’s location;
2. That the personnel, space, facilities, and equipment required for language and culture instruction are available;
3. That the capital for the establishment is in place, and that the source of funds for operation is stable.
SPS mom said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bird said…
I’m definitely concerned but I am positive these students encountered a traditional book and direct instruction and just memorized and forgot the procedures.

Huh. I wonder where a kid could encounter a traditional book and direct instruction for algebra these days. Do any local districts offer it?

It's interesting to note that I doubt that a recent Teach for American Alum would have much personal experience with traditional math. They are supposed to be recent gradutates, so I would guess they would be highly unlikely to have any traditional exposure.

I've always feared this day would come.-- the day that we not only no longer provide a decent foundational education in math, but also the day that the memory of the past forms of instruction is wiped out. I'm not surprised this mystery "spy" doesn't understand why parents are passionate about it.
seattle said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
seattle said…
Some of our neighbor districts adopted traditional math texts last year.

Shoreline adopted Prentice Hall, and I think Bellevue adopted Holt.
hschinske said…
Plenty of not-totally-traditional textbooks do offer direct instruction in algebra ... at least much more direct than the Integrated Math and what not. Unified Math was pretty straightforward, as I recall.

There's a lot more out there than just drill'n'kill on the one hand and pure constructivism on the other.

Helen Schinske

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