I'm wondering if we need to stop referring to PAUSD programs like SI and MI as ‘choice’ programs. Wouldn't it be better to call them 'luck' programs? For the many, many parents who applied to SI this year and were not offered a place (wasn 't the figure three in four?), what PAUSD offered them really can't be called a choice.
Most of my friends with kindergarteners who ‘lost’ the SI lottery are now PAYING for Spanish classes at the same school for their children. Surely that's plain unfair.
Maybe there was a time when SI was big enough to satisfy everyone in the district who wanted language instruction. Clearly that's not the case any more. My guess is that MI, if adopted, would also be oversubscribed. Wouldn’t implementing MI, then, just make a bad, unfair situation worse?
Hoover and Ohlone are also ‘choice’ programs – but they at least offer the same curriculum as all the other elementary schools. Plus a child can enter them at any point, unlike immersion programs, where children without the relevant language can only enter at Kindergarten.
So sure, let’s give ourselves the luxury of immersion programs, but not until everyone who wants to join one is allowed to (so it is really a choice), and when every child in a PAUSD elementary school has the SAME curriculum—that means mean offering ALL PAUSD students the chance to learn a language in elementary school BEFORE any more language immersion programs get voted through.
Other public school districts in California offer languages for all in elementary grades. With some leadership and the kind of passion that the proponents of MI have shown, we could have languages for ALL rather than just a lucky few.
What do you say MI advocates?