The secretary of the Department of Early Childhood Education (ADECE) in Alabama has resigned after Gov. Kay Ivey (R) learned of “woke concepts” included in a resource book for pre-K educators, Fox News reported Saturday.
Ivey’s office sent out a press release on Friday announcing that the previous week, the administration was informed about “concerning content” in the resource book and said the material is “simply not in line with what the Ivey Administration or the people of Alabama stand for or believe.”
Ivey said in a statement:
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.
The governor’s office said Ivey worked to review and confirm the educational material before she asked ADECE Secretary Barbara Cooper to “send a memo to disavow this book and to immediately discontinue its use,” according to the report.
“While it is unclear how Cooper responded to the matter, Ivey’s office said the governor had accepted Cooper’s resignation after calling for a ‘change in leadership,’” the report states.
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Ivey thanked Cooper for her service in a statement but said “it is best we continue this historically strong program on its forward trajectory under new leadership.”
The governor’s office has appointed Dr. Jan Hume to serve as interim secretary of the ADECE, according to the report.
Gina Maiola, communications director for the governor, told Fox News Digital the book in question was a pre-K teacher resource book called the “National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Developmentally Appropriate Practice Book, 4th edition.” According to Ivey’s office, material in the book “invokes ideas for teachers that there are ‘larger systemic forces that perpetuate systems of White privilege’ or that ‘the United States is built on systemic and structural racism.’”
“Also included for four-year-olds to learn is that ‘LGBTQIA+ need to hear and see messages that promote equality, dignity and worth.’ The glossary includes equally disturbing concepts that the Ivey Administration and the people of Alabama in no way, shape or form believe should be used to influence school children, let alone four-year-olds,” Ivey’s office told the outlet.
The NAEYC, a national accrediting board of which Cooper is a member, told the outlet that the resource is a “research-based resource that has been honed over multiple generations to support teachers in helping all children thrive and reach their full potential,” the report states.
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