US media is reporting that the organization responsible for developing the US college entrance exams will sever its financial ties with the Chinese Confucius Institute Headquarters. According to a report by The Center Square:
November 2, 2020 College Board, the entity responsible for developing SAT and AP tests, will sever financial ties with the Chinese Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) at the end of the year. U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R‑Tennessee, and six other U.S. senators sent a letter to College Board CEO David Coleman last week, asking for clarification of the board’s financial relationship with Hanban and the extent of Chinese government influence on test development and guest teacher placements in the U.S. College Board has received an annual grant from Hanban since 2006 to support teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture in U.S. schools, College Board Senior Vice President Elissa Kim said in response the senators’ letter. College Board no longer will pursue grant funding from the Chinese, Kim said. “2020 is the final year in which the College Board will receive or pursue any grant funding from Hanban,” Kim wrote. Kim said the board worked with Hanban to build school districts’ Chinese language programs, but as programs are becoming more established, the board’s work with Hanban has reduced in scope.
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The Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported last week that a group of US Senators had asked College Board to clarify its financial relationship with the Chinese Confucius Institute Headquarters.
Confucian Institutes are public educational partnerships between colleges and universities in China and colleges and universities in other countries. In 2019, Inside Higher Ed described Confucian Institutes as follows:
The Confucius Institutes have long been controversial. The centers vary somewhat across different campuses, but they typically offer some combination of Mandarin language classes, cultural programming and outreach to K‑12 schools and the community more broadly. They are staffed in part with visiting teachers from China and funded by the Chinese government, with matching resources provided by the host institution. The number of U.S. universities hosting the institutes increased rapidly after the first was established at the University of Maryland College Park in 2004, growing to more than 90 at the peak.
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For more on the Confucius Institutes, go here.