Jun 252007

Knox County may be adding Chinese to the curriculum (I’m still looking for a link to the full article):

Trio’s China visit explores bringing language to Knox schools
By Lola Alapo
Monday, June 25, 2007

Three Knox County school officials headed to China this weekend on a cultural exchange program as well as a mission to explore the possibility of bringing Chinese language classes to Knox County schools.

Ed Hedgepeth, Knox County school systems director of secondary education; Donna Wright, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction; and Karen Carson, Knox County school board chairwoman, were scheduled to leave Sunday from San Francisco, where they were attending another conference.

“We’ll learn a little bit more and hopefully see about putting this language into a school or more than one school,” Hedgepeth said. “I think (the trip) will be interesting and informative.”

The trip, entitled the Chinese Bridge Delegation, was arranged through the national College Board and is funded by the Chinese government. It will run through July 2.

The Knox County officials are among 800 school administrators from across the country. Participants are selected by invitation.

This is the program’s second year. Participants will begin the Chinese leg of their trip in Beijing and then travel to other provinces to meet with Chinese education leaders and visit schools.

Knox County officials have long discussed implementing a Chinese foreign language class to help students be more competitive in a global economy. [Really? First I’ve heard of it.]

Sallee Reynolds, principal of the new Hardin Valley High School, has said she hopes to pilot the program in her school when it opens in fall 2008.

Finding a teacher will be an issue in implementing the program, Hedgepeth said.

Another hurdle is trying to schedule the classes.

“Because Chinese is very difficult to learn,” Hedgepeth said, “It can’t be done in the normal time sequence we do with other romance languages.”

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