Perspectives on Mandarin Immersion discussion?
Original post made
by Paly parent, Old Palo Alto,
on Jan 31, 2007
I wasn't at the school board meeting, but understand the board voted 3-2 against the proposal, with Barb Mitchell changing her mind. Can people post their observations about the meeting and what led Mitchell to change?
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Posted by Pauline
a resident of Juana Briones School
on Jan 31, 2007 at 2:34 pm
Well, I hope that this doesn't keep being presented in black and white terms. I hope that, now that the pressure is off to do it this way, right now, we can step back, do our Strategic Planning and World Language task force, come up with a valid way to determine the community's priorities, and a way to determine which priorities we have and have not met, decide where foreign language fits into our priorities, and establish long and short term goals for achieving each of our priorities, with timelines for progress reports to the Board.
Within that context, maybe we can actually have an open-ended discussion about how MI could fit into our District.
Nobody kill me, please, but as I drove home last night, I realized that we heard something critical at the very last minute pertinent to both the enrollment growth AND the MI program.
I heard Ms Charles say that she thought she could fit 6 modulars on Ohlone.
Now, it would have been nice if we had known that back in December. We had been hearing that it is impossible to have a one strand MI school, and it is impossible to fit more than 3 modulars onto Ohlone.
Turns out one strand and 6 modulars might have worked. So, wouldn't it have been nice to at least talk about the possibility of giving everyone something to take home on this issue?
Don't shoot me. This isn't going to go over well with anyone probably, but just to illustrate my frustration with the entire process here being black/white, no way but this way, and immediately or never.
I had a thought on the way home that had we had the information about the modulars and the single strand, it might have provided a way out that would have solved a lot of people's problems, ( though still not the Ohlone wait list problem, as well as I know someone is going to say the questionable costs and the manner in which this whole thing started with private, anonymous donations and the fact that the entire program is jumping the line of priorities and the precedent the whole process starts etc...but bear with me).
But, wouldn't it have been nice,just as a hypothetical, if we had known this, and discussed the possibility of approving a single strand MI program, at Ohlone, with the promise of 6 modulars, and the guarantee of the Ohlone way, and the guarantee of not leaving Ohlone in the future, and not expanding beyond Ohlone?
Vote in whether or not it should be planned for a start in 2008, dependent on approval of this as fitting within the strategic planning process and world language guidelines we do this year?
In other words, aside from the issues I already mentioned that would have still been problematic, at least a starting point to talk about a way out.
Maybe add in to the mix a vote on a policy before hand about how future programs will be brought forth to the District ( my preference being a call for program proposals from the district to the community when the Board determines that the time is right for consideration of new programs).
Maybe include in the vote that no further lower priority programs will be called for until it is determined that the District is ready and able to accomodate a new program.
Perhaps frame a policy concerning private, and especially anonymous, donations to the District, and under what circumstances they may be accepted in the future.
In other words, learn from all of this, fix what we can, and move on.
Just thinking out loud.
Mind you, I haven't thought about this much, and I am running on 3 hours of sleep. So, it may be totally hogwash. But, I am just showing this to show my frustration with the entire framing and management of this, and the changing nature of the fixed parameters.
Ok, I am ready for the discussion. Be kind, I turned 50 yesterday!