Alabama Governor Forces Out Childhood Education Secretary After Seeing What Was Being Taught to 4-Year-Olds
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has ditched a “woke” teacher resource book from the state’s pre-K programs. The bureaucrat who supported it is gone as well.
“The education of Alabama’s children is my top priority as governor, and there is absolutely no room to distract or take away from this mission. Let me be crystal clear: Woke concepts that have zero to do with a proper education and that are divisive at the core have no place in Alabama classrooms at any age level, let alone with our youngest learners,” Ivey said in a statement, according to The Hill.
Barbara Cooper, who was secretary of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education resigned over the book, according to the Alabama Political Reporter.
Ivey’s statement said the book had content “that is simply not in line with what the Ivey Administration or the people of Alabama stand for or believe,” noting that it “invokes ideas for teachers that there are ‘larger systemic forces that perpetuate systems of white privilege.’”
Ivey spokesperson Gina Maiola said the book was a teacher resource called the National Association for the Education of Young Children Developmentally Appropriate Practice Book, according to Politico.
The governor’s office said Ivey pushed for Cooper to “send a memo to disavow this book and to immediately discontinue its use.” Although Cooper’s reply was not shared, Ivey’s office said the decision was made to replace her and accept her resignation.
Good!! Gov. Kay Ivey denounces ‘woke’ preschool training book, ousts state official – https://t.co/sob6c4mJv0 https://t.co/Uw80Zh0B6c
— Margaret Auburn Grad 1776 (@MargaretAUGrad) April 22, 2023
The book says that “systemic and structural racism … has permeated every institution and system through policies and practices that position people of color in oppressive, repressive, and menial positions. The early education system is not immune to these forces.”
The book also said that children from LGBT families “need to hear and see messages that promote equality, dignity, and worth.”
On Friday, Ivey said children in pre-K should “be focused on the fundamentals, such as reading and math,” according to the Reporter.
“Alabama’s First Class Pre-K is the best in the country, and those children are at too critical of a juncture in their educational journeys and development to get it wrong,” Ivey said, according to Fox News.
“I remain confident in the wonderful teachers we have in pre-K classrooms around our state and in the necessity of our children receiving a strong start to their educational journeys in our First Class Pre-K program,” she said.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has forced out the state’s education director over a teacher training book she called “woke.” More Governors need to do this! Agree? https://t.co/2cGOnfND1R
— DavidCD ⭐️🇺🇸⭐️ (@davidcd0418) April 22, 2023
She said she believed “it is best we continue this historically strong program on its forward trajectory under new leadership.”
Cooper had been appointed by Ivey in July 2020, according to the Alabama Political Reporter.
The NAEYC defended the book in a statement.
“While not a curriculum, it is a responsive, educator-developed, educator-informed, and research-based resource that has been honed over multiple generations to support teachers in helping all children thrive and reach their full potential,” the statement said.
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