Senators Question the College Board About Ties to China

Rachelle Peterson

Seven U.S. senators have mailed a letter to College Board CEO David Coleman, asking him to explain his organization’s close ties to the Hanban, the Chinese government agency that created Confucius Institutes. The College Board not only received nearly $700,000 from the Chinese government for the creation of the AP Chinese Language and Culture Test, but also sponsors Confucius Institutes and recruits school districts, principals, and teachers for Chinese government-run training programs.

The letter, sent from Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and co-signed by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Mike Lee (R-UT), James Lankford (R-OK), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), notes that “We are concerned that the PRC exploits its partnership.

Drawing on the National Association of Scholars’ report, Corrupting the College Board: Confucius Institutes and K-12 Education, the letter describes the College Board’s numerous partnerships with the Chinese government and asks the College Board to answer a series of questions, including

  • What is the Hanban’s role in the Chinese Guest Teacher Program, which the College Board promotes?
  • What is the Chinese government’s involvement in the AP Chinese Language and Culture Test? Does the Chinese government have to approve of the test?
  • How much money has the College Board received from the Hanban or from other Chinese government agencies?
  • Did the College Board use any federal funding in the creation or promotion of Hanban-affiliated programs?

NAS applauds Senator Blackburn and her cosigners for questioning the College Board’s close relationship with the Chinese government. We hope the College Board will respond promptly, and we reiterate our call for the College Board to sever its partnerships with the Chinese government.


Rachelle Peterson is Senior Research Fellow at the National Association of Scholars.

Image: Gage Skidmore, Public Domain

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