The superintendent made a puzzling and potentially misleading comment in "PAUSD News from Your Schools" (inserted in the Weekly on June 9).
She said the priority survey showed parents wanted progress on core subjects as well as looking at how to broaden world-language offerings. This phrasing implies that languages ranked as a high priority.
The data ( Web Link ) actually shows that the community as a whole ranked foreign language 10th of 12 in "Important Subjects for A Child's Education." The parents ranked foreign language sixth of 12.
The top five priority subjects were: mathematics, sciences, English (writing/composition/essays), English (reading comprehension/literary analysis) and social studies (history/government/economics, etc.).
Averaged across community, parents and students, foreign language ranked seventh, with computer/technology coming in sixth.
They seem to be grasping for a justification for bulldozing forward with the Mandarin-immersion program even though the priority survey doesn't support it and despite significant community objection. The board and superintendent should start explaining why they are aggressively pursuing this boutique enrichment program that will benefit few students instead of focusing time and tax dollars on top priorities.
Since tax dollars foot the lion's share of the bill for our excellent PAUSD education, community priorities should count. Will the community continue to support our district with special assessments and contributions to PIE, even if they think the board is misdirecting time and effort to low-priority programs?