Friday, February 02, 2007

California School Board Says "No" to Chinese Classes

Palo Alto Board Rejects Classes in Mandarin
PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 31 — It would have seemed to be a perfect fit: an academically ambitious plan for an ambitiously academic city.

But after weeks of debate occasionally tinged with racial overtones, the Palo Alto Unified School District decided early Wednesday against a plan for Mandarin language immersion, citing practical concerns as well as whether the classes would give the small group of students in them an unfair advantage.

The proposal, which was voted down 3 to 2 after a marathon six-hour meeting of the district school board, would have established two classes taught mostly in Mandarin — the world’s most spoken language, used by nearly one billion Chinese — to 40 kindergarten and first-grade students at a local elementary school.


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