In China, everyone who is in business is furiously trying to learn English. In Germany they're requiring English in order to graduate high school. They're doing this because English is the language of commerce worldwide.
What kind of jobs will require Mandarin or Cantonese in the future?
If we're deciding to inflict Chinese on our children for some other reason than making a living, what is it? Why would be trying to learn the languages of a country where 51 percent of the people live on farms? Where those who practice certain religions are arrested and imprisoned? Where children are put to work in sweatshops? Where the illiteracy rate of women is five times that of men? Where the state forces abortions on parents who have already had a child?
I understand the desire of my fellow Palo Altans to appear trendy and cutting edge, but this is just stupid -- and I hate to waste scarce school district resources even investigating such a crazy thing.