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A trip to China changed a state’s education system

August 21, 2014

From China Daily:


A trip to China changed a state’s education

Updated: 2014-06-27 11:37

By Qidong Zhang in San Francisco (China Daily USA)

It all began with a trip to China in 2006. As a result, today 13,000 students in the state of Utah in grades K-12 speak Mandarin, the highest ratio in the US population.

And the person who made that trip and then changed education profoundly in Utah and potentially in the United States is Howard Stephenson, a Utah state Senator since 1992.

“I was stunned by the higher knowledge level of the Chinese high school and college students during my conversations with them. Their dream for better life, their drive and ambition, their depth of world knowledge gave me such an impression that as a state senator, I was deeply concerned about our education system after I talked to them,” said Stephenson in a recent interview with China Daily.

“Our (American) children would never grow up and become world leaders if we do not take initiative to learn other languages and cultures immediately, especially Chinese language; and we as a country would not sustain our world leader position if our next generation does not step up.”

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