REPORT: College Board, administer of SAT, working with Chinese Communist Party
- A recent report by the National Association of Scholars describes a working relationship between the College Board and the Chinese government.
- Hanban, the agency which operates Confucius Institutes, works with the College Board to influence U.S. curriculum and teacher training, the report alleges.
The National Association of Scholars released a new report titled “Corrupting the College Board,” alleging a close, working relationship between the College Board, the organization that administers the SAT, and the Chinese government.
According to the report, since 2003, the College Board has partnered closely with Hanban, the Chinese government agency that operates Confucius Institutes on campuses within the United States. When speaking to Reuters, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo labeled these institutes “an entity advancing Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence.”
The Institutes were labeled as foreign missions by the U.S. State Department in August, as Campus Reform reported.
The College Board's website states that it is the entity responsible for multiple college preparedness tests, "including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program."
In 2014, the College Board and Hanban partnered to put on the National Chinese Language Conference. That year, one of the main topics of discourse was the defense of Confucius Institutes. When speaking at this event, the CEO of the College Board, David Coleman, stated that Hanban and the College Board were working together to develop Chinese teaching in the United States.
“Hanban is just like the sun. It lights the path to develop Chinese teaching in the U.S. The College Board is the moon. I am so honored to reflect the light that we’ve gotten from Hanban," Coleman stated, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Despite widespread criticism of these groups, the College Board has reportedly worked with Hanban to establish Confucius Institutes in at least five states: Texas, Florida, Nevada, Utah, and Ohio, according to the NAS report. The College Board allegedly helps to establish these institutes, while Hanban provides funding to them and their host universities.
In addition to Confucius Institutes, the College Board and Hanban have partnered in many other programs over the years. The NAS report explains that the College Board “partners with the Hanban to provide professional development and other teacher training.” This training often consists of teacher exchange programs, mostly funded by the Chinese Communist Party-controlled Hanban.
One of these programs is called the Bridge Delegation, in which American teachers provide reports on their schools’ Chinese-funded cultural programs to Hanban in Beijing. Another joint project is called the Chinese Guest Teacher Program, in which the College Board and Hanban partner to bring Chinese teachers into American K-12 schools.
Reportedly, Chinese Guest Teachers are allowed to “assist in curriculum development, program expansion, and partnership creation,” as well as to “facilitate other subjects such as social studies, art, music, international studies, etc.”
The NAS also details another concerning sphere of Chinese influence: AP tests. The Chinese government paid the College Board $685,000 for the creation of the AP Chinese Language and Culture test. Incidentally, the test used the simplified form of Chinese characters, widely popularized during the Communist Cultural Revolution.
In 2014, the AP U.S. History test reportedly "presented America as an ill-conceived, hypocritical regime,” according to the report. In 2015, the AP European History test was said to have “treated Europe as nothing more than an engine of oppression and imperialism.”
Historian, author, and columnist Victor Davis Hanson, whose work has been featured in National Review and Fox News told Campus Reform that it is impossible to track the connections that the Chinese Communist government has with U.S. higher education.
“It is impossible to trace all the tentacles of the Chinese Communist government’s entanglement within higher educations, from 350,000 students here in the U.S., many of them children of party members, or joint study programs in China, to large bequests to universities," Hanson said. "They are quite cynical and understand that academics, like NBA stars, prefer attacking their own democracy rather than an autocratic dictatorship, in part because of lucre, in part because of oikophobia, or they demand that their own country must be perfect to be good, while excusing the sins of China.”
National Association of Scholars Director of Policy Rachelle Peterson told Campus Reform that it is "astounding" how much the College Board partners with the Chinese Government.
“The depth of the College Board's partnership with the Chinese government is astounding. It has enabled the Chinese government to effectively corner the market on K-12 Chinese language instruction in the United States," Peterson said. "By giving the CCP influence over the AP Chinese test, encouraging schools to host CCP-sent teachers, and cosponsoring with the Chinese government training programs for American teachers of Chinese, the College Board has ensured that the CCP has its fingerprints over all aspects of K-12 education.”
The College Board hasn’t shown any signs of reversing course in their relationship with the Chinese government, despite recent calls for them to cut ties. As Peterson explained, “Even as the nation is grappling with Confucius Institutes, and colleges and universities are pulling out of their partnerships with the Chinese government, the College Board shows no signs of reevaluating its relationship with the CCP. It must cut ties immediately.”
Campus Reform reached out to the College Board but did not receive a response in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @loganwashburn76