Mandarin-immersion grant saves PA district $$
Original post made
on Jun 25, 2008
A previously controversial federal grant for Mandarin instruction improved the district's Mandarin program and even saved a little money this year, Associate Superintendent Marilyn Cook told the school board Tuesday night. RELATED STORIES:
Todd Feinberg named assistant Paly principal
Mary Bussmann named Walter Hays principal
Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, June 24, 2008, 11:19 PM
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Posted by was for, now against, all choice programs
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2008 at 7:20 am
I supported SI because at the time I supported teaching as many kids from poor Spanish speaking families in Dual Immersion programs as possible, based on the data that showed that those kids did much better in HS and were more likely to go on to post HS education. I thought it was a happy side benefit that English speaking kids got to learn a second language also. I also believed the claptrap that it would expand to meet the "need" ( desire, let's be honest here), and frankly hoped my kids would be able to benefit. ( Dual language family, here, but English primary).
I supported Ohlone and Hoover because I thought it was a good idea to have programs that teach with different styles for different kids. I actually naively believed that they would be used for kids who actually learned better in certain situations.
What a bunch of bull. The years rolled by, the lottery was instituted, the program didn't grow until just a couple years ago, and then only by 1/2 thread, the odds of English speaking families getting in ever decreased. Including mine.
And then, it turned out that my kid really needed a certain teaching style, but it was too crowded by the time we figured out that he was in dire need, so we still had to find a private school for him that would be able to help him grow.
Ok, call it anger. Call it growing up. Call it getting kicked. But here I was, supporting with taxes and words programs that I BELIEVED in, BELIEVED were equitably open to any and all kids and families, therefore suited to what I used to believe was the basis of a public education...and learning how wrong I was on a very personal basis.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
I am now completely and firmly against starting any more such programs. The basis of the deal was good, but the execution lost my trust.
IN ADDITION, I see now that across this State, and even in some other parts of the country, the original bases for Dual Immersion has been perverted. Language immmersion for the sake of language immersion, with no goals by the originators other than to improve the basis of heritage language for heritage reasons, ( Mandarin, Arabic, German, are the 3 that come to mind), is one base. The second base is because it would be a cool thing to do, to use your crystal ball and predict which language is the language of the future, and proudly state your child is bilingual ( until 80% of the kids drop the language in HS, never to go back to it again).
Don't you guys see how this has, like so many "good ideas", been completely inverted? Instead of dollars used for the good of all, we have dollars used for a few. All that energy and money spent on a new MI program, and is there yet a full language program even for the 6th grade in our district? It is a shame that we have no ability for ALL 6th graders to start a language, but now we have 2 programs for a lucky few to start languages in kindergarten.
And yet, so many people were afraid to speak up for fear of being called "racist"! And, suddenly there is a new program shoved down our throats. Oh My God! I saw at last how the freedom of speech erodes, and our basic equity of opportunity then erodes. Watch out people!
The abuse of the system has turned me into someone who no longer supports ANY choice programs, even those that promise to not displace neighborhood students and grow to be open to all who want it. Because those promises will be broken.
I will be firmly against "choice" programs of any type in the future. And in particular against any more programs which have no ability at all to transfer students in and out of the program as the numbers shift ( such as language programs, regardless of language, for those of you ready and waiting to cry "racist")