Alabama education director ousted over ‘woke’ training book

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Ivey’s statement comes as conservative politicians have issued a rallying cry denouncing so-called awakened teachings, with schools sometimes emerging as a focal point on diversity training and parental rights.

The governor’s office said Ivey had first asked Cooper “to send a note to reject this book and stop using it immediately.” Ivey’s office did not say how Cooper reacted, but that the governor made the decision to replace Cooper and accepted his resignation. Cooper was not immediately available for comment.

The book is a manual for early childhood educators. It is not a program taught to children.

The governor’s office cited two examples from the book in a press release — one discussing white privilege and that “the United States is built on systemic and structural racism” and another that the governor’s office said, “Ivey, teaches LGBTQ+ inclusion at 4-years old. According to a copy of the 881-page book obtained by The Associated Press, these sections are about fighting prejudice and making all kids feel welcome.

“Preschool programs also serve and welcome families that represent many assemblies. Children from all families (e.g., single parents, grandparent-led, foster, LGBTQIA+) need to hear and see messages that promote equality, dignity, and dignity,” the book states. .

The section on structural racism states that “systemic and structural racism…has permeated every institution and system through policies and practices that place people of color in oppressive, repressive, and subservient positions.” The early learning system is not immune to these forces. He says preschool is a place where children “begin to see how they are represented in society” and the classroom should be a place of “affirmation and healing.”

NAEYC is a national accreditation board that strives to provide high-quality educational materials and resources for young children. In an email response to The Associated Press, the group did not respond to Ivey’s statements, but said the book was a research-based resource for educators.

“For nearly four decades, and in partnership with hundreds of thousands of families and educators, Developmentally Appropriate Practice has served as the foundation for quality early childhood education in every state and community. While not a curriculum, it is a responsive, teacher-developed, teacher-informed and research-based resource that has been honed over generations to help teachers help all children thrive and reach their full potential,” the statement said.

Cooper is a member of the Board of Directors of NAEYC. In a statement previously posted on the organization’s website about the latest edition of the book, Cooper said the book “teach applicable teaching skills through developmental practices that build the brain during the critical first five years of life.”

Alabama’s First Class Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Programs operates more than 1,400 classrooms in the state. The program has received high marks from the National Institute for Early Education Research.

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