Jay Chen, Norman Hsu, Joseph Chang and Anita Perez recall, Hacienda La Puente Unified, California (2011)

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An effort to recall Jay Chen, Norman Hsu, Joseph Chang and Anita Perez from their elected positions on the school board of the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District in suburban Los Angeles County was launched in February 2011.[1] In June 2011, the recall effort was abandoned.

Background

The recall effort was started by a group of veterans and retirees who disagreed with a vote in 2010 by Chen, Hsu, Chang and Perez to use a curriculum called the "Confucius Classroom Mandarin program." The program is provided by the Chinese government and comes with a $30,000 annual subsidy, textbooks, CDs and other materials prepared by the Chinese government.[1] All of the materials are available for use at the teacher's discretion, and all books were available for public viewing and comment prior to being approved unanimously by the board. There was no evidence of any communist materials in the books. Although the decision to adopt the books from China was a unanimous decision, one board member, Rudy Chavarria, was not targeted by the group for recall.

Rudolph Obad was an organizer of the recall petition drive. He said, "I'm not against them teaching Chinese, just like any other language. But why call it Confucius Classroom and use books from Communist China?"[2]

John Kramar, a retired school district superintendent, objected to the textbooks that have sparked the controversy: "The Chinese government is paying the bill, providing the books, and they wanted to supply the teachers. The culture would be only the grand and glorious nature of the People's Republic of China - that's propaganda and it has no place in the classroom."[2]

Jay Chen

Jay Chen, the president of the school board and one of the recall targets, said, "I don't see anything sinister about using books from China, practically everything we use is made in China."[2]

Norman Hsu

Hsu has used staff at the school district to arrange private trips to China. The Public Integrity Division of the Los Angeles District Attorney's office reviewed whether Hsu misused district resources by having a secretary at the school set up the trips.[2] The practice of having the school secretary help arrange the trips to China was begun by John Kramar, when he was the superintendent of the district.

See also

References