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Parents urge board to consider middle school Mandarin immersion program
Original post made
on Aug 15, 2014
A group of six Palo Alto parents spoke to the Board of Education during a brief public comment session at the beginning of its annual retreat Wednesday, making passionate, personal pleas for a middle-school extension of the district's Mandarin immersion program.
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Friday, August 15, 2014, 12:02 PM
Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 20, 2014 at 1:16 am
Nora Charles is a registered user.
Posted by Dauber voter, a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 16, 2014 at 3:34 am
We should have foreign language for all students in elementary school. The world is an increasingly globalized place and it makes no sense to postpone language offerings until 6th grade, and then only in "optional" context. Mandarin should be offered early, and throughout middle school. It is absurd that we teach French and German but not Mandarin, or even Arabic in 2014. Palo Alto's language offerings are tied to a 19th century vision of Empire -- an older view of the world. Spanish makes sense because of patterns if immigration to California. But to prefer European languages of dead empires to a rising language of over a billion people is similar to opposing Vatican 2 and insisting on mass in Latin.
Now, MI is a different question. There, we need to realize that there are real students who have been taking MI for 6 years and we have to put them first. Whatever you think of Grace Mah or MI, that fight is over. Now we need to put students first.
I support Ken Dauber because he is the only candidate that I know of to have clearly articulated a position on both of these issues that is in agreement with what I believe on both issues: language in elementary school for all, expanded language in middle school, continuation of Mandarin in middle school on an equal footing with Spanish Immersion students, and recognition of the changed world in which we now live. Let's bring PA into the 21st century by electing a Google engineer who understands collaborative business across different domains.
While you're so eager to rid schools of the French and German languages, why not also rid them of EVERYTHING to do with dusty ol', irrelevant Europe? For starters, literature, science, music, philosophy, film, art--all could easily be ditched. Shakespeare, Mozart, Homer, Sartre, Newton, Madame Curie, Renoir, Rimbaud, Da Vinci, Stravinsky, the Bronte Sisters, Freud (Sigmund and Lucien), Picasso, Einstein, Colette, Kafka, Descartes, Fellini, Virginia Woolf, Cocteau, Oscar Wilde, Chekov, Tati, Monteverdi, Van Gogh, Joyce, Michelangelo, Ibsen, Ravel, Schubert, Schumann, Bergman, Victor Hugo, Beethoven, Fritz Lang, George Bernard Shaw, Debussy, et cetera, et cetera--who needs 'em and their tired old mother tongues?
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