Some Ga. Schools Make Mandarin Mandatory

Romain Dallemand, schools superintendent for Georgia’s Bibb County, is pushing a mandatory Mandarin education for every student in local public schools, but not all local residents share his enthusiasm. From Adam Ragusea at NPR:

“Students who are in elementary school today, by 2050 they’ll be at the pinnacle of their career,” Dallemand says. “They will live in a world where China and India will have 50 percent of the world GDP. They will live in a world where, if they cannot function successfully in the Asian culture, they will pay a heavy price.”

[…] Instructors and other young teachers from China are being provided to Bibb County schools by a nearby Confucius Institute, one of a number of nonprofit cultural centers partially funded by the Chinese government. Beijing wants to spread Mandarin abroad, and at just $16,000 per instructor per year, the price is right for Dallemand.

[…] Some parents see a Communist regime enacting its geopolitical agenda on their children. The more common critique, however, is not political. It is the practical concern.

“Bibb County is not known for producing the highest-achieving graduates,” says Macon resident Dina McDonald. “You’ll see that many of them can’t even speak basic English.”