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OUCH! MI Proponent Issues Reprimand at PAUSD Meeting

Original post made by Andrea, Crescent Park, on Nov 16, 2006

Last Tuesday a proponent of MI spoke to the board and congratulated himself and the MI proponents for having the good grace not to speak about the Mandarin Immersion proposal at the meetings. He then compared this to the opponents, who seem to be annoying him and others in his group by speaking on the subject, and suggested that they be quiet and wait for the Feasibility Study.
I'm sorry if he's bothered by the opponents taking 3 minutes or so at the board meetings, but the fact is that his group can remain silent because they have an inside track, in that the founder of PACE is in a leadership position in the Feasibility Commitee and has more than enough influence and face time with the school board staff and committees, as well as access to all the data that will be used in the report. Those who oppose MI are not so privileged and are only seeking truth, and to be heard and heeded, even if they can only speak once or twice a month, three minutes at at time. Shushing them by reprimanding them in Open Forum won't make them go away.

Comments (6)

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Posted by Anna
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2006 at 1:15 pm

Exactly. What still amazes me is the lack of on-the-ground teaching and site administrative staff input on MI, or any other special program. What we have is individual groups starting initiatives, and essentially politicizing education. It's a shame, and it's one of the larger reasons that educational inefficiencies in the classroom occur.

MI is a great idea; so is SI, and so are many of PAUSD's other special programs. That said, PAUSD actually loses the benefit of not making these programs MORE productive and satisfactory to the ENTIRE community, because they often come out of the oven half-baked, and not thougght through in terms of how they actually work at the sites. It's a shame, really, because teachers - who have so much insight to offer on how this stuff works, and doesn't work - are the last ones listened to.

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Posted by Pauline
a resident of Juana Briones School
on Nov 18, 2006 at 3:32 pm

Well, I wasn't going to bring it up, being one of the ones this particularly smug speaker was addressing, but thanks to Andrea, whoever you are. Appreciate the support.

All I could do was laugh at the shameless attempt to frame us as inppropriate, especially given the coverage the PA Weekly has NOT given the opposition, as well as all the advantages the opposition has NOT had within the PAUSD system as stated by Andrea.

Well, my turn to be shameless. Please see page 31 of Wednesday, November 15th, PA Weekly for the Ad we had to pay for in order to get the word out about some of the opposition points. Please mail it in to the Board to let them know how you believe. Also, for more details, go to .

Granted, most of the Board has made it clear they don't vote by poll, and rightfully so given the nature of "polls" in general and these kind in particular. ON the other hand I believe I know the Board members well enough by now to believe that even the strongest proponent on the Board is open minded and willing to reexamine how s/he is thinking about this issue if faced with enough requests to examine concepts that s/he may not have considered when initially favoring going down this path.

But they need to hear from you, asking them to re-examine the whole issue of placing more alternative lottery programs in our District. Ask them if they want to vote for a "lottery" program, which means to limit access of qualified students to a program, and an "alternative" program, which means to deny many kids their choice of a neighborhood school.

I am hoping this opposition will lead us back to approaching the whole concept of foreign language acquisition in a way that matches our community better; one which matches not only the priorities of this intelligent and educated community but the values of this community to provide equal educational opportunities to all qualified students. In other words, the "all for one and one for all" attitude we have been moving toward as exemplified by the increasing commitment to PiE.

Maybe we in opposition have read our town incorrectly, and a lack of input to our Board will reveal that these are not our values, but at this point only you all can determine that.

Thanks for putting up with me...again.

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Posted by Fudd
Palo Alto Online
on Oct 9, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Fudd is a registered user.

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Posted by Adobe
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 10, 2013 at 7:49 am

If the district really wants to provide Mandarin instruction in a way that would have the most impact on the most students in the district, the best way to do this would be to start offering the language in the middle schools.

I'm not sure why this hasn't happened yet. Certainly if it were a choice between MI for a very small group of students or middle school Mandarin classes for any child in the district who wanted to take them, the latter would be the best use of funds.

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Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 10, 2013 at 8:54 am

Adobe - this is a very old thread, PAUSD has an MI program at Ohlone. None of the middle schools currently teach Mandarin, but both the high schools do. I think Ohlone is about to "graduate" their first class of MI students, not sure what will happen when they are in middle school.

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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Why is Mandarin Immersion coming up again?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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