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Race Card Fatigue

Original post made by Pauline Navarro, Juana Briones School, on Jan 27, 2007

I am tired of seeing some proponents of Mandarin Immersion cry "racism" against anyone who opposes placing another immersion program right now in Palo Alto, even a Mandarin one.

To any of you who have paid attention to the school board meetings over the last 6 months, you have heard people with and without accents from all over the world speak against it for every reason except "racism". In fact, I have heard many say the "anti-racist" reason of wanting to keep all of us, all races and abilities, integrated together. How odd, exactly what my generation worked FOR in our country.

I have paid attention, and have heard people from Russia, Japan, China, Israel, Germany, Belgium, Argentina, India, Spain, France, Vietnam, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, and Indonesia. Those were just the people I noticed. I have no doubt I missed some "nationalities".

They were all opposing another immersion program for the good of the whole of the district, many of them not wanting our district to splinter into little schools for each "tribe", as one speaker put it so well.

People of good faith and good will may disagree on whether or not MI should go into our district right now, but to keep trying to polarize this into a race issue is disgusting.

I doubt that people of all colors and cultures, from all over the world, are "racist" against the Chinese.

We are all tired of the big lie which is desperately trying to split this community into racial divides and dupe us into believing that opposition to another immersion program is racism.

We each contribute our own flavor to the whole "stew" of Palo Alto. Anyone who tries to divide us back into the ingredients of the recipe is a....well, you know.

Pauline Navarro

Comments (37)

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Posted by Al
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 27, 2007 at 12:38 pm

Pauline,

Great post. I wish I could have said it as well as you just did.

We need to get rid of "tribal" public schools in Palo Alto. One for all and all for one. Keep it simple. Neighborhood kids walking or biking to their local school is the best way. Somehow, we were convinced that "tribal" was "progressive". Nonsense.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Thank you Pauline.

I believe its a very common political strong-arm tactic to attempt to shut down rational debate by unjustly calling the other side racist. Of course civilized, non-racist people find it filthy and appaling to be associated with racism, so most would quit the argument rather than having their name dragged through the mud. Very effective for those who would like to win without actually having to produce value added debate on the important issues.

Fortunately, I think the board would recognize this as a scare tactic since they've been hearing for more than a year on many real issues related to MI.

Phillip Ng, in his letter to the editor(s), decided he didn't like what he was hearing at the board meeting on 1/9, and invoked a race discussion where none exists.

By the way, anyone who was actually at the meeting on 1/9 would have noticed that the board gave their opinions BEFORE the public comment section. This effectively quelled the opposition side of the house, because most people in the opposition were in total agreement with 4/5th of the board. So most opposition statements that night were anything but heated, most were quietly thanking the board for their good judgement. So I'm not sure where Mr. Ng's impression of a heated race-based debate were invented.

To put quotes around such statements as "there goes the neighborhood" which absolutely were not said by anyone in the opposition, is clearly inflamatory and not an accurate portrayal of the ongoing MI debate prior to, or during the 1/9 meeting.

People who look at the world through rose colored glasses are "Optimists". People like Mr. Ng who look at the world through race tinted glasses are ?


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Posted by Pauline
a resident of Juana Briones School
on Jan 27, 2007 at 1:17 pm

True.

I was so amazed at what Mr. Ng thought he heard at his "first" attendance to a meeing on Jan 9th, that I listened again to my recording of that same meeting.

The only comments i heard referring to racism, in particular the "there goes the neighborhood" comment, came from...proponents of MI trying to paint us with that brush.


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Posted by Wolf
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 27, 2007 at 3:14 pm

Dear Pauline,

Unfortunately I cannot join those compliments of "great post."

You say that you are tired of accusations of racism "against anyone" that opposes MI. I agree that accusations of racism against ANYONE who opposes MI are unjustified. Yet I find accusations of racism against SOME of those who opposed MI well justified.

There are reasonable grounds to oppose or support MI. The former include the risks of additional costs, equity issues, potential balkanization, urgency and priorities, "neighborhoodness" of our schools, etc. The latter include enhancing choice concepts in our schools, enhancing the ability to tailor education to the needs of children, the perceived importance of foreign language to some parts of the community, etc. The role of the board is to make its decision based on those, and there is nothing racist about these pro/con arguments.

However, I cannot say the same about two other types of arguments. One is when MI opponents argue "those affluent parents can afford to pay for what they want PAUSD to provide." The "affluent parents" clearly refers to supposedly affluent Chinese, and *is* racist in nature. The second type is when opponents of MI still continue to support SI, arguing that Spanish is somehow different from Mandarin since it benefits a "disadvantaged group", implicitly associating "disadvantage" and "Spanish." That is also racist in nature. For the record, acceptance criteria to SI (or MI) have nothing explicit to do with socio-economic disadvantage but rather with family interest and language skills. I have heard the first type of argument expressed even by a board member, and certain writers frequently expressed both types on various MI threads. THOSE opposing opinions, as opposed to ALL opposing opinions, have racist undertones.

Basically you put up straw-man of racial accusation against ANYONE that opposes MI, and went on to attack it. I agree. But this does not absolve those who DID use arguments with racial undertones against MI, and there were quite a few of those.


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Posted by Pauline
a resident of Juana Briones School
on Jan 27, 2007 at 4:21 pm

Wolf:

You and I have been down this path before.

You disagree, I know, but I don't think supporting a program which lessens the achievment gap is racist.There is no denying who is underperforming in our district. That is reality, not racism.

Nor do I think that any of the references to "affluent" parents were meant to be for the "Chinese" population. I believe that is YOUR interpretation.

I think it was a reference to that person's belief that Mandarin Immersion is attractive to an affluent population, not to a middle class or poverty level population.

Perhaps you think that the majority of "Chinese" ( by the way, why do you say "Chinese", not Chinese-Americans? Or Americans of Chinese descent? Are you assuming that most of the Chinese people in Palo Alto are not Americans?) living in Palo Alto are "affluent". I don't know or care if that is true or not, but if that is what you are assuming, then that is perhaps why you thought it was a racist comment.

So,it may be arguable to assert that MI appeals mainly to the affluent, to be sure, but I don't read "racism" into comments such as those. This attitude of reading such comments as "racist" is what I am tired of, though.


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Posted by Wolf
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 27, 2007 at 4:55 pm

Pauline,

It is unclear that SI reduces the achievement gap. This claim has indeed been made, but I never saw it substantiated. And in any case it would be incidental, since disadvantage per-se is not a criterion for SI selection. However, the a-priori belief that since SI includes about half native Spanish speakers, and that since SI students achieve on par with the rest of PAUSD, then SI contributes to the reduction of the achievement gap, is racist. For example, it is reasonable to assume that all the SI families have much above average parental involvement in their child's education, which we know has a very strong correlation with child's achievement. So in itself SI may have absolutely no impact on the gap -- SI kids might have been on par with the rest of PAUSD with or without SI.

As to the interpretation of "affluent" to be a stand-in for "Chinese" (or "Chinese-American", if you wish) I agree it is a matter of interpretation. However, this euphemism was used multiple times, and I was not the only one to make this interpretation. So I guess we will indeed have to agree to disagree on that.


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Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 27, 2007 at 8:24 pm

Wolf's post is exactly on the money, as was the San Jose Merc article about the various "threats" made by SOME (yes, not all, but a significant portion) of the anti-MI crowd.

And while you anti-MI folks try to brush it off as "wrongful interpretations" or "I didn't hear/see that," the rest of us who have observed this "war" shake our heads in disbelief.

Please remember that by not standing up to that element and saying they don't speak for the majority, the whole lot of you have been colored with their brush. Just something to thing about.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2007 at 9:36 pm

Wolfe - if you don't believe SI closes the achievement gap you should look at some the MI proponents reference material - in particular the Lindholm Leary studies referenced in Appendix A of the feasibility study.

And wow! - "Affluent" now means Chinese. That's an incredible statement. What the heck are you talking about?

(By the way - we have no idea who is backing MI - they never told us right? So all we know is they had money. That's all affluent means to people who thinking straight.)

Observer: "The whole of you have been colored by their brush." Wow again! Perfect example of pot calling the kettle black. Thanks very much for proving point.


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Posted by another observer
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 28, 2007 at 8:23 am

ok, maybe SOME of the MI opponents are less racist than classist.

Web Link


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Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 28, 2007 at 8:39 pm

Parent: "Perfect example of pot calling the kettle black." I never said I was a pro-MI person. I'm just an observer - I don't have a kid in the system now or in the future.

And, yes, Wolf is right with "affluent" being "Chinese" in this debate - everyone knows exactly what folks who raise that point are implying.

As I - and Wolf have said - we find valid arguments coming from anti-MI. It's just that there are also a significant amount of non-valid arguments also being made by people like yourself, Parent. And what I'm saying is that as a result, anti-MIers are looking to outsiders (like the Merc reporter) like a bunch of threatening, borderline racists. The leaders of the anti-MI crowd failed to curb - or at least publicly condemn such comments - and they're now paying the price - winning the battle (defeating MI), but losing the (PR/credibility) war.


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Posted by Pauline
a resident of Juana Briones School
on Jan 29, 2007 at 7:38 am

Thankfully, Observer, it looks like you are wrong. We have only lost the "pr war" with those who long ago made up their minds that the arguments were racist. For these people, it doesn't matter what the truth is.,

"Leaders" cannot "publically condemn" comments that are racist when there are none. How many times do people have to say that the same points are valid whether it is French Immersion or Music Academy?

Thankfully, most people understand.

Say what else you want, you have the last word, whoever you are. I am done.

Good try, though.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2007 at 11:57 am

Observer, you should take a closer look at Patty Fisher's article in the Merc. You'll see she specifically says she DOES NOT attribute the MI opposition to racism.

But you prove my point - in that she first raises the ugly racist red flag, and proceeds to dismiss it ~herself~ in a very well known political tactic to plant the seed, but avoid culpability for accusing people herself. IF YOU TAKE HER AT HER WORD, she DOES NOT not support the racist argument. But she did a great job of sullying the opposition in the process, right? And you took her bait.

So to further Pauline's point, the MI opposition has nothing to denounce, because the only ones making racist points are a few MI proponents, in floating their unfair, unjust, and unsupported accusations. Which is just enough to make it 'truth' in some peoples eyes.

By the way - I don't see the MI Proponent leadership "stepping up to curb - or at least publicly condemn such comments". Should that lead us to the conclusion they are driving this slimy mud slinging? The thought has crossed my mind - especially since most of the articles, editorials, letters, sound suspiciously similar.

Secondly, the MI opposition argument on the issue of money has always been:

A private style elementary school, that reaches a small percentage of the district, benefits no one PAUSD except the lottery winners, and delivers a highly favorable educational content to those who get in, is not fair. (This would apply to any language academy; Chinese, Hewbrew, German, Japanese, Spanish) or any other subject; music academy, a football academy, a basket weaving academy etc.) And yes, there are many MI opposers who feel the same way about SI for the same reason.

AND SO, the ability of ~any~ affluent small special interest group (notice that's a MONEY statement, not race)to show up with a program that otherwise would have NO BENEFIT to PAUSD, Would have NEVER shown up in a priority setting process, or would never have otherwise come to the table, and to get that moved to the top of the list because they showed up waving a check around in a board meeting - is wrong.

And for the district to have allowed (even encouraged!), a small group of individuals to purchase a feasibility study - which in essence created an appearance that they were 'buying' 1/2 of an elementary school for their custom program, is wrong. Conflict of interest.

And for there to have been no public disclosure of WHO were the funders - creates issues of transparency in government.

So, again, your wild imagination that someone was talking about Chinese people when they mentioned 'affluent people' or any of the rest of the money related issues, is just that - wild. And completely out of line. How about you just knock if off now. You couldn't be more wrong (And frankly I believe you know it is wrong, but persist because you recognize it as a politically expedient smear tactic.)

To Another Observer: If a racist is someone who treats people differently based on race, then a classist must be someone who treats people differently based on socioeconomic status. That's funny, because the MI opposition point of view I've heard, is to try to make sure everyone in PAUSD is getting equal access to public education, and educational content parity. Or at least to make sure that basic, special, and enrichment curriculum opportunities are based on a sound community wide priority setting process, not based on the ability for someone to show up with check in hand. That seems sort of the opposite of a classist as far as I can tell.

Maybe you are suggesting that I am classist because I am denying rights of rich folks to receive special beneficial treatement in a public school system that is intened to deliver all children equal access to education. You got me. How very rude of me.

Yes you are right! I think people who want wildly customized education, significantly enriched, significantly different than the basic public school system can offer to all, should go get that through a private school - and pay for it.

I just show up every day and give my kids to PAUSD. Guess what - they're coming back just fine.


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Posted by PA Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2007 at 12:50 pm

Parent - I really appreciate your comments. They are well-thought out, and really on point. Thanks for taking the time to write.


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Posted by Still Another Observer
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 29, 2007 at 9:51 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Wolf
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 29, 2007 at 11:21 pm

Pauline,

I wanted to let it drop, but you doth protest too much. This is what you said above:

'Nor do I think that any of the references to "affluent" parents were meant to be for the "Chinese" population. I believe that is YOUR interpretation.

I think it was a reference to that person's belief that Mandarin Immersion is attractive to an affluent population, not to a middle class or poverty level population.'

If you truly argue that immersion is unattractive to the middle class or poor, and that is why "affluent" was not a euphemism for "Chinese", can you please explain why is it unattractive to middle class or poor?

Before you do, please check those excerpts from few MI threads that I picked up.

----------------------
You are darn right in saying that there has been an attack on the affluent(money flush) vocal(loud and relentless) minority(small special interest group, not the majority) that has been the driving force on pushing MI through the district.
And they deserved it.
Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2007 at 5:15 pm
--------------------------
So, let's get back to basics: we need to plan and think this through before we can indulge the starry-eyed dreams of a vocal, monied minority. If the board decides, judiciously, to nix this idea, these parents can always send their kids to private school. Gail Price did research and found that these families have enough money to pay for it.

Posted by What's good for the goose, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 20
---------------------------
I've considered the money thing myself. If MI goes through the private immersion schools will lose students--presumably some will shift over. On the other hand, I'd expect real-estate prices to climb some more, particularly in the area near the school. You can see the influence of Hoover on homes near it--there was a 3/1, 1069 sf, average lot, that went for 1.2 mill. Agents have told me that recent immigrants, particularly from Asia, will pay a lot for the local school "brand"--Hoover/Gunn's pretty much the gold standard for a lot of them. I'm sure an MI program would have a similar appeal.

Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 22, 2007 at 1:17 pm
------------------------------
In the context of alternative choice programs, I particularly agree with your final statement:
"So, let's get back to basics: we need to plan and think this through before we can indulge the starry-eyed dreams of a vocal, monied minority. If the board decides, judiciously, to nix this idea, these parents can always send their kids to private school."
I couldn't have said it better myself

Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 23, 2007 at 1:30 pm

-----------------------

Do you still believe that all these references to monied minority, affluent minority, and money flush minority, have absolutely no racial undertones? If yes, I have a bridge to sell you.


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Posted by Lynn
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 30, 2007 at 12:05 am

Now, Wolf, if you're going to excerpt people's posts, please don't take them out of context. The entire text of What's good for the goose's post was as follows, in response to Pauline's comment that she liked the idea of a language immersion summer program:
---------------------------------
"Pauline,
You have not been listening to the board. Our district is stressed out, and we cannot afford to spend any time or money on this kind of project until our house is in order. We need to complete planning for increased enrollment, the five-year plan, attendance areas, roll back the cuts made prior to Prop. A, and then initiate a plan for world languages before we can even begin thinking about this kind of summer school program.

Once that is finished, the summer school program should be considered along with every other item on our wish list to see if it fits within our priorities. After all, bread-and-butter subjects like science and math are more important than elite, private-school offerings like this.

If your suggestion makes it that far, then the district should undertake a study. But since the entire program MUST be cost-neutral, somebody will have to pony up for the study. (This will automatically make it suspect.)

The study needs to look at whether having an attractive summer-school immersion program will make Palo Alto so attractive that families will move here. The program will have to somehow reimburse the district for attracting these children. The study will also examine whether it is possible to guarantee that the racial and economic composition of the summer school will match the entire district. Last, this suspect study will need to decide whether a program that will benefit only an elite few fits our notion of fairness.

Of course, the program will have to be run based on tuition and not take a penny from the school budget. That means it will have to cover district overhead, air conditioning, and wear and tear on the carpets.

So, let's get back to basics: we need to plan and think this through before we can indulge the starry-eyed dreams of a vocal, monied minority. If the board decides, judiciously, to nix this idea, these parents can always send their kids to private school. Gail Price did research and found that these families have enough money to pay for it.

I'm sure that you, Pauline, of all people will see the sense of all this."
--------------------------------------------------
In other words, Goose was being sarcastic.

If you want to start referring to previous posts, however, it's clear that there has been some bad behavior on both sides. Let's see, how about this one, written by someone participating in a favorite game amongst some of the pro MI posters, calling everyone who contributed to the opposing point of view "Lisa."
-------------------------------------------------
"Happy Hannaka to you, too! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Poor Parent, take some Pepto Bismol for your ailment and perhaps some anger management classes for your New Years resolution.
Plenty of people have read the feasibility study, and only a few are complaining as loudly as you on-line and undoubtedly to the board and staff. I'm sure if you had a civil discussion with the board and staff about these questions, you'd get more information than was presented in the feasibility study. You could even draw the same conclusions as the feasibility study.
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
Web Link
If you really want an interesting perspective on perception and reality, check this out with the audio:
Web Link
Please, Lisa, let's have some peace on earth."

Posted by Moutains out of molehills, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Dec 27, 2006 at 12:01 pm
-------------------------------------------------
See what I mean? And to Observer, it's inaccurate to refer to the Merc reporter as an "outsider." She is a PAUSD parent, just like me and lots of other people who care passionately about what happens to this district.

We are not racists, but we do have expectations that our questions will be answered, and my questions, to date, have not been. It's just not good enough for me to be told that "the district experts have said that it will work." Sorry.


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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 30, 2007 at 12:43 am

Wolf,

My comment made note of the demographics--you may not *like* those facts, but they're there and the conclusions that can be drawn from them are pretty obvious. Gee, an MI program might be a magnet for Chinese families, wow, now there's an idea! Especially since such a program needs a 50 percent native-speaking population. Gee, native speakers of Mandarin--hmmm, what are the odds that they might be, ummm, Chinese/1st generation American?

So any acknowledgment of this is "racist" to you, I guess. Okay, in which case, why is it not racist, then, to have a public-school program that by its very nature will give preference to a particular ethnic group--a privileged one (according to you) at that?

Why is that okay with you? Would it be okay if, say, we had a program whose requirements meant that half the kids would be kids of European immigrants?


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Posted by Pauline
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 30, 2007 at 6:36 am

Wolf:

I never said that MI is not attractive to the middle class or poor. Read it again.

Context is critical.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2007 at 8:06 am

Wolf, the items you copied from me above referred to

a) a special interest group (a small group that has developed a special interest agenda that they wish to push),
b) that is being relentlessly persistent (five years worth of not hearing the board and the community say this is not a good fit for PAUSD)
c) and coming in with money to override the PAUSD strategic plans, community priorities, and move their agenda to the top of the priority list.

Where does that read or even infer Chinese? Do you know something I don't know?

Frankly, as far as I know, this argument has been diverse on both sides. I don't get your obsession with race.

By the way - Goose was an MI supporter. Sarcasm.


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Posted by observer
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 30, 2007 at 9:47 am

Pauline,

Even racists don't declare themselves racist.

Notice how your opposition doesn't have many Chinese members? How many Chinese people feel PAEE is racist?

Walks like a duck, talks like a duck. But ducks can't say "I'm a duck!"


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2007 at 10:59 am

There are over 1000 signatures on the No on MI petition. The signing of the petition is not a 'membership' drive. Its the voice of the community. Anybody and everybody willing and interested in signing the petition was welcome (I believe its still online for those who are still interested).

Four moms got together and formed a team which they gave the name paee. No membership drive whatsoever. No fundraising, no media hounding, no running around buddying up to politicians, etc. Just research, letter writing, and petition gathering.

Because PACE had been in existence for four years and they were running unchallenged in their preposterous bid to grab ownership of 1/2 of a PAUSD elementary school for their own private school purposes. They were using alot of unsubstantiated nonsense to support their claims. So a few people got interested enough to fight those claims.

Because there were no men, does that make them sexist? Because there were no people over 60 does that make them age discriminating? Because they didn't have any animals in the group does that make them animals haters. Because there were no children does that make them child abusers? Because there were no millionaires does that make them 'classist'? Because there were scientists does that make them creationists?

What very poor powers of logic you have.

Does a moron call himself a moron?


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2007 at 12:16 pm

Also, I find it interesting that you imply you can predict how "chinese people" feel about a particular thing.

I personally would not have presumed to guess how a nationality, race, creed, or color of people think on a subject, nor would I have been presumptuous enough to assume that entire nationality, race, creed or color of people all think the same way.

What that might be telling us about the way you think?

Shall we continue or do you need to go repair your broken glass?


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Posted by where are they?
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 30, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Oooooooooooooooo, getting a little testy, there, Parent?

I checked with the superintendent's office, and NO petition of 1000 names has been submitted to the board or district office opposing MI.

Seems like another empty lie.

I'm sure if you ask men, millionaires, and seniors if they think PAEE is discriminating against them, they'd say no. So, have you asked any Chinese people?

For your information, PACE as a group of parents supporting Mandarin education in Palo Alto schools, has a fair share of men, millionaires, and seniors. And I believe if you ask anyone (other than that duck) if PACE was racist, no one would say so.

At least we really turned in 800 signatures.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2007 at 12:39 pm

It was handed in to the board at each of the last two board meetings, in public view. They have it and know it exists - they can toss it in the garbage for all I care - the fact is they know where the community stands.

Funny, we've asked for a copy of the PACE petition, and haven't received that either. We've also asked for disclosure of the donors who put up the money for the feasibility study, and who would be funding the start up costs, and haven't received that either...



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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 30, 2007 at 1:19 pm

Observer,

I saw all sorts of people at the Jan. 9 board meeting who opposed Mandarin Immersion, including people who were zero-generation Asian-American. I also saw a variety of people who supported MI, though from the names, it seemed to have a proportion of Chinese Americans supporting it. Which doesn't mean that supporting MI is inherently racist,by the way, though if you're going to play these kind of arguments, understand that they cut both ways.

I'm not sure why you think the "Chinese" get to decide who or who is not a racist. (And aren't most of us Americans at this point? Certainly our kids are.)

I read recently that Silicon Valley is the second most diverse area of the country--after Miami, more so than Los Angeles, which means that we're in one of the most diverse areas of the most diverse country in the world. That's a challenge and it means we don't all see eye to eye about what matters, but to fling accusations of racism around stifles real communication. It's a cheap way of claiming to be in the right without having to debate. After all, a "racist" is inherently the bad guy. It's convenient, too, that *you* get to decide who's the racist. Any defense put on by the accused is, of course, suspect.


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Posted by PA Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 30, 2007 at 1:35 pm

I also was at a board meeting where a petition opposing MI was submitted directly to the BoE with at least 550 signatures (I forget the exact numbers). I know additional signatures were gathered since then. Interestingly, this petition isn't mentioned in the addendum to the Feasibility study (petition submitted before the addendum was published); the only mention of a petition opposing MI were the 200+ submitted copies from the PA Weekly petition. Anyone know why this is the case?

Why are so many of you stating fiction as fact? Calling each other names? To provoke? What's the point? Frankly, the only group anyone has to convince is the BoE, and they're the ones with all the facts in hand. Only in their case, I'm convinced that, in the end, they'll get through all the hype and make a decision based on sound, rational thought processes.

Can wait to see who gets the last word in this thread.




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Posted by kinkos customer
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 30, 2007 at 4:45 pm

Better get to Kinkos and copy that petition. The board hasn't seen it, and the district office doesn't have it. I was at that meeting and remember it being waved around, but I don't remember it being officially handed to anyone.

Do it tonight.


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Posted by JLS Mom
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Jan 30, 2007 at 5:19 pm

The Palo Alto Weekly reported that a petition was submitted to the school board at the 12/12/2006 meeting. See the third paragraph in this link: Web Link


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Posted by kinkos customer
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 30, 2007 at 5:35 pm

the newspaper isn't the keeper of the petition. the superintendent's admin is, and she hasn't seen it.


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Posted by not surprised
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 30, 2007 at 7:44 pm

Well, the superintendent chose to igore anything that went against the MI proposal. Why am I not surprised that this petition (handing in at board meeting and publicly recorded) somehow has gone missing?


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2007 at 12:32 am

As a person of Chinese heritage who does not look Chinese, I see a lot of candid racism. I do not agree with Wolf or the above attacks on Pauline.

I'm wondering if MI proponents (I am one, just not this plan anymore) are going to stop wasting energy and get back to work. Big projects like this take time and often involve setbacks. Are people lashing out because they are giving up, or are they just mad and unwittingly dooming any future effort by ensuring an ongoing conflict? This is a time when people should be figuring out how to work together. Opponents have not made unreasonable requests, such as that a program like this should be considered as part of a strategic plan, especially when facilities and boundary problems loom so large for this district. Pauline has talked in specifics about what would bring her on board, and a lot of other opponents, too. I'm just wondering what purpose continuing to attack them serves, unless people never had any intention of working for MI if it didn't materialize in time for their child or in exactly the way they pushed for it in this plan.

I am glad for this thread, at least I now understand why the Mercury News article was so one-sided. The writer should have disclosed her potential conflict of interest.


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Posted by Observer
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jan 31, 2007 at 12:55 am

PA Resident: "I'm convinced that, in the end, (the BoE) will get through all the hype and make a decision based on sound, rational thought processes."

Yea and I believe in the tooth fairy as well!


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Posted by Observer
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jan 31, 2007 at 1:02 am

Parent: "Four moms got together and formed a team which they gave the name paee. No membership drive whatsoever. No fundraising, no media hounding, no running around buddying up to politicians, etc. Just research, letter writing, and petition gathering."

What??? You were running ads in the local paper airing your grips and looking for money. And you're been responding left and right to posts on this forum. This has become your life's purpose: defeating a new academic offering. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]




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Posted by who's pitiful
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jan 31, 2007 at 9:33 am

So, Observer, you derive satisfaction by trying to beat up four moms that got together to oppose an initiative that they didn't believe in. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 31, 2007 at 1:08 pm

Whoa, what was the Merc reporter's potentional conflict-of-interest?


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2007 at 1:34 pm

No one ever asked for money. Show me where that occured. It didn't. No money was raised by the opposition. Yes, they aired opinions. Its called democracy. They had to pay for the ad out of their own pockets - volunteers chipped in for the ad.

Someone had to show there was another side of the story. The newspapers certainly were not presenting both sides. The news coverage has been pathetically one sided. Only the Weekly, and only in the last month weeks, has even bothered to try to show the other side of the story.

At least one thing the opponents never did was get to news paper writers, editorialists, politicians, etc., and make stuff look like 'news' that was actually covert but not very well disguised campaigning for MI. I also thought it was interesting how proponents did alot of political behind the scenes stuff, like getting to Delaine Easton and others - who happened to 'show up' at opportune moments to tout the benefits the flat world, trying to bring that around to support for MI. (They tried to get to Palo Alto PTA, they tried to get to Foothill trustees , they tried to get to PIE, they used the Mothers club, etc...) Unless you looked closely, a random person would not have realized that PACE had gone out seeking that serindipitous political wind...

Ok, All legitimate tactics, and they had a right to campaign hard for their side. But don't go faulting the opponents for using their rights to get on line and to write a few letters to the editors.




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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 31, 2007 at 10:21 pm

Neighbor,

Thanks for the background info. on PACE's tactics. It was clear to me from the couple of BoE meetings that I saw that Grace Mah really did all she could think of to make it look MI had a lot of support (I mean, at least three of her four siblings spoke last night without identifying themselves as such). I admire her drive and focus and, yet . . . it struck me that she and her fellow PACErs attempted to make it look like there was a groundswell of support for MI instead of trying to actually create a groundswell of support. I mean, 30 people or so spoke in favor of MI last night, but did one acknowledge or deal with the objections to MI in any kind of open way?

I wonder now how many MI supporters will work toward getting some sort of language into the schools, such as Summer immersion programs. Will they work for the good of the whole district, or will they push for a charter school that would be a financial hardship on the district?


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