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Mandarin Immersion feasibility study with recommendations is out!!

Original post made by Grace Mah on Jan 5, 2007

I won't spoil the ending for you, but it's positive!! Whoo hoo!!!

Web Link

Please come to the school board meeting on Tues, Jan 9, 7pm, 25 Churchill Ave, to support the staff recommendation.


Comments (39)

Posted by Grace Mah, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 5, 2007 at 4:16 pm

Web Link

Subject: KQED Education Network invites you to Sneak Preview Screenings of "China from the Inside" (Jan 07 - 09)

All events are free and seating is first come, first served. We have had a full response to the screenings on January 7th and 9th, but limited non-reserved seating is available at the Pacific Film Archive screening on January 8th.

Sneak Preview Screenings of "China from the Inside"


Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
Pacific Film Archive Theater, UC Berkeley
KQED, San Francisco

Hosted By KQED Education Network

KQED Education Network uses the power of KQED Public Media to inspire learning by providing curriculum materials, professional development, online resources and special events for educators, child care providers, families, youth, and the community at large.

You are invited to a sneak preview of China from the Inside, the new KQED-Granada Television co-production for PBS and the BBC, featuring a panel discussion with filmmaker, Jonathan Lewis.

These events are first come, first served.

Think China, Act Bay Area
The phrase "Think Globally, Act Locally" is common, yet how can we put it into practice in our daily lives? How does China, a rising global force, transform our view of the world and affect each of us personally? Join us as we discuss these questions and more.

Sunday, January 7th 2:00pm
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Screening Room, San Francisco
The New China: Labor, the Environment, and Sustainable Development
A screening of clips from Episode 3: Shifting Nature and a moderated panel discussion with experts working to create a more sustainable China. Co-presented by the Asia Society.

Monday, January 8th 7:00pm
Pacific Film Archive Theater, UC Berkeley
Free Speech & Human Rights in China and the US
In partnership with the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, we present a conversation with the Director of the China Internet Project following clips from Episode 4: Freedom and Justice.

Tuesday, January 9th 6:30pm
KQED, San Francisco
Chinese Americans & the New China
How does China's modernization affect the Chinese American sense of home, are new business opportunities creating an exodus back to China, and how will US-China policy impact Chinese in America? A screening of selected clips followed by a discussion with members of the Chinese American community will be presented by the Chinese Historical Society of America, the Chinese Culture Center, and the World Affairs Council. A reception will follow.

Posted by pa, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 5, 2007 at 4:27 pm

Sounds good - Ohlone is the perfect site.

Posted by Curious, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 6, 2007 at 12:05 am

There are two places in the feasibility study where recommendations are made.

The first is in the revised Section V (Location). There the authors of the study provide two alternatives:

(1) "a small three-year pilot Mandarin Immersion program"... [at Ohlone] ..."within the context of the Ohlone instructional philosophy as the site expands"... [from 3.5 to 4 strands].

(2) "Garland as a potential location for Mandarin Immersion in the future"

The second instance is in the new Section X, Superintendent recommendations. There Dr. Callan recommends "develop[ing] an implementation plan for a three-year single strand pilot of a dual Mandarin Chinese Immersion Program (MCIP) ... [that] ... could begin in the fall of 2007 with two K/1 classes at Ohlone School ... and would follow the instructional model and philosophy of Ohlone."

The board, as Dr. Callan has stated about 1,000 times, is the group that makes the decision. Not her. She just provides a recommendation. So it seems to me that there are still three options on the table: The board votes for Dr. Callan's recommendation. The board votes for the "wait until Garland opens" recommendation. The board votes no.

Obviously Grace is whoo-hoo-ing one of the first two potential outcomes, but I'm curious, which one? Since she has clearly chosen the antithetical educational model for her first child, would she whoo-hoo the Ohlone educational model for her second child? (Assuming she manages to win a lottery spot for said child -- ah, the irony of supporting choice programs.) Is she whoo-hoo-ing a one strand pilot because it might benefit her child? Or is she whoo-hoo-ing the second option: implement a full MI program when Garland re-opens, which obviously doesn't benefit her child, but shows a stronger commitment by the district to the concept of MI.

I really am curious. If people remove their selfish "what benefits my child" hats for a moment: which is actually the better outcome? A small pilot MI program now that operates under an instructional model that most people don't choose, or a full two-strand MI program operating under a traditional, or perhaps even its own, instructional model? Or do people really think they'll be able to change the Ohlone model once they're there?

It seems to me that MI at Ohlone benefits parents who want their kids at Ohlone, not parents who want MI. That is to say: if you interview families who have already chosen the Ohlone philosophy, you will probably find that at least half of them would gladly enrich their child's academic experience with foreign language. But if you interview families who want their children to have an MI experience and gave them a choice of educational philosophies, I'm betting fewer than 20% would sign up for the Ohlone philosophy.

I wonder how the district is going to market the program. It would be disingenuous to market it as MI without any qualifiers. If the board goes with the superintendents recommendation, the set of choice programs should be defined as (but worded better):
Hoover Direct Instruction
Ohlone Connections - English track
Ohlone Connections - Mandarin track
Spanish Immersion

Posted by Grace Mah, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 6, 2007 at 7:03 am


If you want to know my personal opinion about my personal situation, email me at paceforkids@

I'd agree with your list of choice programs except add Young 5's.

Posted by PA resident, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 6, 2007 at 10:10 am

There's also the issue, as mentioned in the report, of relocating an "Ohlone" Mandarin Immersion program to it's permanent location when the site opens up (Garland mentioned), where the Ohlone model doesn't exist. The program would have to then be totally revamped.

Posted by On-line petition, a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 6, 2007 at 3:05 pm

Those wishing to express their opposition to MI can do so at Web Link

It is important for the Board to hear from as many members of the community as possible

Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of Ventura
on Jan 6, 2007 at 6:54 pm

But what I really want to know is why there are ONLY TEN recent discussion threads about MI!

Posted by DW, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2007 at 10:06 pm

Because MI is wrong on so many levels. If we started a thread for each issue we'd probably shut down PA Online's server.

Posted by Curious, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 7, 2007 at 12:55 pm

I guess my question is: According to PACE's data, only one family who is "committed" to entering the lottery for MI in the next five years is considering Ohlone as a second choice. Six are considering Hoover. Are those six really willing to abandon their adherence to a philosophy of teacher directed education and suddenly subscribe to student directed learning? It seems like a huge shift to me. Or will they not apply to MI because its teaching philosophy is diametrically opposed to their own beliefs? (Private school is still an option for families wanting both MI and teacher directed education). Or are these families going to apply anyway hoping that they'll be able to change the philosophy of Ohlone from within if they win a lottery spot?

I can see how those who would otherwise choose their neighborhood school might be swayed that Ohlone's educational philosophy is right for their child (though that's really a backwards way to approach it), but I can't see how someone can overnight go from being a proponent of direct instruction to a proponent of "connections" regarding the same child.

I've talked to a number of Ohlone teachers who feel that parents often don't consider what educational philosophy is right for *their child*. Instead they pick the program *they* want. Children who aren't a good fit for Ohlone don't do well there. Ohlone used to have something on its web page to give prospective parents tips on whether the Ohlone experience would be right for their child (back when I was considering it for my child), but I see it's not there any more.

I guess I was thinking that placement of MI at Ohlone wouldn't be such an obvious "win" for PACE because its programming doesn't meet the values of many of its members. Thus I was curious whether Grace was whoo-hoo-ing the Ohlone recommendation or the "wait until we can have our own site and regular instructional model" recommendation, because I would suspect as a Hoover proponent she (and the other five similar families) wouldn't want an Ohlone experience for their child.

Personally, I have nothing against the combination of MI and Ohlone, so long as the families subscribe to the Ohlone philosophy first, and choose MI only as a second bonus academic enrichment opportunity. I will be sorely disappointed if families apply to the Mandarin strand at Ohlone hoping that they be able to change the philosophy of the school to meet their previous convictions of educational philosophy.

Posted by Pauline, a resident of Juana Briones School
on Jan 7, 2007 at 2:17 pm

sorry to post this on this thread after posting it on another, but I see that this one is getting a lot of attention.

The rebuttal to the 12-12 Feasibility Study, most of which is still in the current rendition, is now up on the site.

I doubt a "revised" rebuttal will go up in response to the "revised" feasibility study, but who knows, maybe somebody will have the time and energy to do it.


By the way, well written, Curious.

Posted by Also Curious, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Curious - Don't kid yourself. The families that apply to MI stand to save $90,000 over the course of just one child attending private language school K-5. And if they get in only half way through (like in 3rd grade, they'd be saving $60,000.

Plus, if they get in to MI - don't worry about the philosophy. Grace Mah will be there to make sure the district and the site principal are well behaved, relegated to 'photo ops', and leaving the MI drivers to their own devices.

They'll do what they darn well please as we've seen so far. Don't think for a darn minute they'll bow to the 'Ohlone way' or any other 'way' that doesn't suit their agenda. (And by the way, their agenda has been about six years in the making - so their machine is well revved.) I'd love to be a fly in on the wall the first time the Ohlone principal has the audacity to try to exhert her management perogative on the MI program.

I hope the Ohlone principal has in inkling of who she just signed a pact with...

Posted by Nico, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2007 at 4:21 pm

Also Curious,
I don't think you have met Grace Mah OR Susan Charles (the Ohlone principal.) You couldn't be farther from the truth in your portrayal of who they are and how they might work together.
Grace is personally warm, generous, inclusive and easy to work with. I have been working with her and PACE for the last few months and I find your portrayal of her as bossy as ludacris. She is tenacious and passionate about what she believes in, but never bossy. And if she weren't tenacious and passionate MI wouldn't be where it is today. She has always said that MI can and should respect and completely integrate with whatever campus calls it home. I happen to know that she is personally very happy with the superintendent's recommendation that MI be placed at Ohlone, and follow the connections philosophy.
Susan Charles, who you also insult in your post, I have yet to have the pleasure of meeting. I have heard her described as a "force of nature" though.

Posted by Nico, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2007 at 4:36 pm

Ludacris -- a prominent Southern Rapper
ludicrous -- broadly or extravagantly humorous; resembling farce
I meant the 2nd one.

Posted by PA resident, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2007 at 7:04 pm

Nico, Grace may be warm, generous and easy to work with. I'm sure many pro MI people could be described as such. But inclusive? In my opinion what she and others are proposing with MI is not an inclusive act. This program is the antithesis of inclusive. Why are so many I know so passionately against this program? Because 95% of PAUSD children can't participate in it. IT IS NOT INCLUSIVE. Too bad it wasn't proposed in conjunction with a plan for FLES for all kids. I don't think it's too late for the board to do the right thing. Time will tell.

Posted by still curious, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2007 at 7:23 pm

Of course she's nice and sweet and friendly in person. You catch more flies with honey.

And does that preclude her from being single minded, self centered, she wants what she wants, and she's not giving up no matter how many people tell her that they don't want what she's selling in this town? No matter what. Five or six years later, no matter what. And if the board grows some powers of reason suddenly in the 11th hour, and turns this down - do you think she'll leave us alone? Of course not.

And Susan Baily a force of nature? You mean like a hurricane, tornado or earth quake that sweeps through town and devastates the community? And Grace isn't?

Posted by Nico, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2007 at 8:09 pm

PA resident,
I hear your opinion that MI will only reach a small number of kids. In my opinion, if it is approved, it will be a great opportunity for any and every entering Kindergartener who wants to enter the lottery for it. It will provide a new opportunity that they don't have now. In my opinion it is not exclusive in any way.
FLES has been completely off the table since the research, task force and FLES pilot programs in 1994, now it is front and center. I am thrilled about that and am hoping that I can contribute to that effort in some way. Why has it been ignored for 12 years, and all of the sudden the superintendent is recommending we "develop an implementation plan for a FLES program"? My theory is that with the talk about MI there is momentum for foreign languages at all schools. Why wasn't it done in conjunction with MI? Because I don't think anybody realized there was so much enthusiasm in the community for FLES until MI came along.

Posted by PA resident, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2007 at 8:33 pm

Nico, Well, what about the huge percentage of kids who are in the PAUSD elementary school system right now who don't get to benefit from entering the lottery to maybe get a spot in the program (oh yeah, like mine)? I guess they don't count in your determination of exclusivity, but they do in mine. Well, I guess if I want my kids want to learn a language early on, they'll just have to pay for language classes after school until 7th grade when languages kick in. Maybe I'll use my PIE donations for that until we get FLES.
Too bad the community wasn't involved in the process for implementing MI and FLES at the outset. I certainly never received any notices from the BoE or school district asking for my input on an immersion or FLES program. I had never heard of FLES until this past year, and I've been around the block, so to speak. Might have been the right thing to bring the community into the process early on.

Posted by Grace Mah, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 7, 2007 at 10:59 pm

The PACE's involvement with the MI proposal covers many years, as documented in board meetings and the following PAWeekly, SJose Mercury News, and PADaily articles. TownSquare won't allow postings of all the web links to these articles, but I can send them to anyone if they email PACEforKids@ :

020822 Immersion in Palo Alto, featuring French and Chinese efforts
San Jose Mercury News Article, Aug 22, 2002
Web Link

020822 Learn More
San Jose Mercury News Link, Aug 22, 2002
Web Link

020830 Parents want children immersed in Chinese - Schools asked to add language program by 2003
Palo Alto Weekly article, Aug 30, 2002
Web Link

021102 School Teaching in Chinese Is a Lure for Black Children
New York Times, Nov 2, 2002 article

021119 School bilingual plan up for review
San Jose Mercury article, Nov 19, 2002

021127 The best of both worlds - All the perils that come along with being a bilingualist at Paly
Paly Campanile article, Nov 27, 2002

030103 Spanish Immersion a lesson in success
Palo Alto Weekly article, Jan 3, 2003

030117 State now claims all of schools' property-tax funds
Palo Alto Weekly article, Jan 17, 2003

030417, International perspective on education, `A GLOBAL CHILD', BILINGUAL SCHOOL AIMS TO TEACH CULTURAL VALUES
San Jose Mercury article, Apr 17, 2003

San Jose Mercury article, June 20, 2003

030623 Local News, Palo Alto School Board Agenda - Budget and Chinese immersion
San Jose Mercury article, June 23, 2003

030626 Trustees reject request on Mandarin language
San Jose Mercury article, June 26, 2003

030627 School board won't support charter school, Second rejection for supporters of Chinese immersion programs
Palo Alto Weekly article, June 27, 2003

030716 Three seats open on school board, So far, one incumbent, one parent show interest in vacancies
Palo Alto Weekly article, July 16, 2003

030725 Two ready to enter race
Palo Alto Weekly article, July 25, 2003

030815 School board race kicks off -- politely
Palo Alto Weekly article, Aug 15, 2003

030919 Castro classes shuffled, Teachers irate as district changes dual immersion program
Mountain View Voice article, Sept 19, 2003

030927 Charter school wins round in court
San Jose Mercury article, September 27, 2003, about Aurora Charter School in Redwood City

San Jose Mercury article, October 1, 2003

031008 More Speak Other Than English at Home
AP news article, Oct 8, 2003

031015 Language group looking to new school board
San Jose Mercury article, October 15, 2003

031025 Revamped school plan put on hold, IMMERSION PROGRAM CHANGES PUT OFF TO 2004 AT CASTRO
San Jose Mercury article, October 25, 2003

031105 Charter school cost alternatives detailed
San Jose Mercury article, November 11, 2003

031206 China to pay for creating test for U.S. high schools
San Jose Mercury article, December 6, 2003

San Jose Mercury article, June 3, 2004

040630 For lease: Garland school - School district seeking new tenant for vacant site
Palo Alto Weekly article, June 30, 2004

041001 Garland to spring back to life, Private school slated to open at site
Palo Alto Weekly article, Oct 1, 2004

041018 Enrollment climbs for dual immersion program, Changes include earlier parent conferences
Mountain View Voice, Oct 8, 2004

050123 Mandarin speaks to growing class - Immigration, business spur Chinese classes
San Francisco Chronicle article, Jan 23, 2005

050123 Chasing Mandarin dreams in S.F. schools
San Francisco Chronicle article, Jan 23, 2005

SJose Merc article, Jan 23, 2005

050211 Interest grows in Chinese classes, COURSES ADDED ON BAY AREA HIGH SCHOOL CAMPUSES
SJose Merc article, Feb 11, 2005

050301 Kids from all walks of life sing from the same page. And it's in Mandarin.
San Francisco Chronicle article, March 1, 2005

050404 Diverse languages needed at Paly
Paly High CAPANILE Editorial, April 4, 2005

050404 Great Toddle Forward, To make their babies competitive in the global economy, parents are making them learn Chinese.
New York article, April 4, 2005

050408 Local charter school planned, MountainView-Whisman parents want choice, diversity
Mountain View Voice article, April 8, 2005

SJose Mercury News article, May 2, 2005

050503 Chinese Classes Grow in Popularity with U.S. Students
NPR Education Report, May 5, 2005

050503 Feds mull national Chinese-language program
SJose Mercury News article, May 3, 2005

050504 New U.S. program to make students fluent in Chinese
SJose Mercury News article, May 4, 2005

050509 Does the Future Belong to China?
Newsweek May 9, 2005 issue
Web Link

050509 Education: The Future Doesn't Speak French, Aware of the challenges ahead, American students are rushing to learn Chines
Newsweek May 9, 2005 issue

050520 San Francisco Ineligible for Mandarin Chinese Funding
World Journal , News Report, Qiangqiang Xu, Translated by Yun Shi, May 20, 2005

050526 Lieberman, Alexander Introduce Bill to Improve U.S.-China Relations
Press Release from Joe Lieberman, May 26, 2005

050819 Better communication, fiscal management hot topics in board race - Four candidates vie for two seats on school board
Palo Alto Weekly article, Aug 19, 2005

050911 Palo Alto seeks answers as city continues to grow, EDUCATION: WAITING LISTS FOR SCHOOLS NEAR HOMES
SJose Merc article, Sep 11, 2005

050927 School enrollment out of balance, BOARD TO DISCUSS LAUNCHING REVIEW PROCESS FOR PROBLEM
SJose Merc article, Sep 27, 2005

050929 Why teach kids Chinese? CMS language immersion schools prepare students for global economy
Charlotte Observer editoria, Sept 29, 2005

051005 Palo Alto school board race: Books, budgets and ballots, Four school board candidates discuss future of education in Pal
Palo Alto Weekly article, Oct 5, 2005

051012 Editorial: Barb Mitchell, Dana Tom for school board, Two open seats attract surprisingly small field
Palo Alto Weekly editoria, Oct 12, 2005

051016 Chinese makes inroads at GHS
Greenwich Time article, Oct 16, 2005

051031 Catching the juggernaut
The Age (Australian eNews) article, Oct 31, 2005

051111 Learning Chinese: Next Big Thing?
CBS News, Nov 11, 2005

051114 Chinese is hot campus subject
SJose Mercury News article, Nov 14, 2005

051118 Mandarin's widespread use calls for immersion programs
Paly Voice article, Nov 18, 2005

051120 Curiosity, business spur interest in learning Chinese
Miami Herald article, Nov 20, 2005

051121 As China Grows, More U.S. Schools Teach Mandarin
ABC News, Nov 22, 2005

051122 Beyond a love of language, However it's phrased, immersion schools ring of success
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, Nov 22, 2005

051126 The push is on to learn Chinese
Potomac News Online article, Nov 26, 2005

051130 Chinese classes could be in district's future, Conditions right for launching language program, advocates say
PA Weekly article, Nov 30, 2005

051201 Mad for Mandarin
The Daily Tar Heel article, Dec 1, 2005

051706 Schools Find Chinese Teachers in Short Supply
NPR Education Report, May 17, 2006

060102 Chinese language catching on in U.S. classrooms article - Jan 2, 2006

060103 Washington Post article, Jan 3, 2006
Mandarin Makes Inroads in U.S. Schools - Federal Program Promotes Learning the World's Most Widely Spoken Language

060104 Spencerport to expand foreign language program - Students will be able to go beyond Spanish and French
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle article, Jan 4, 2006

060105 On-the-Record Briefing by Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs Dina Powell And Assistant Sec.
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, ECA NEWS, Jan 5, 2006

060105 President Bush Brings Languages Front and Center
From the U.S. Department of State, National Security Language Initiative, Jan 5, 2006

060106 Secretary of Education Spelling speech
Given to the US Presidents of Universities Summit, Jan 6, 2006

Asia Society Press Kit, Jan 11, 2006

060112 Language initiative seen as China's `Sputnik moment'
Taipei Times article, Jan 12, 2006

060112 Mandarin challenging English as language of choice in Asia, China is actively promoting its tongue in Thailand, East Asi
Desert News (Utah) article, Jan 12, 2006

060113 Tech fosters Chinese language learning, Number of K-12 students learning Chinese on the rise
eSchool News online article, Jan 13, 2006

060202 Palo Alto Schools to Offer Mandarin
The Cardinal Inquirer article, Feb 2, 2006

060206 Teaching Mandarin for a 'Chinese Century'
NPR Education Report, Feb 6, 2006

060226 Learning another language, Schools add more foreign language courses
Independent Tribune (NCarolina) article, Feb 26, 2006

060311 Students' families seek 'hidden gems', Despite decline, applicants choose wider variety of schools
San Francisco Chronicle article, Mar 11, 2006

060313 British School Requires Students to Study Chinese
NPR Education Report, Mar 13, 2006

060314 Strides in 'Critical Languages' Remain Small, Chance Availability of Teachers Determines if Arabic, Chinese are Offered
Washington, March 14, 2006 article

060328 Chinese immersion program under review
SJose Mercury News article, Mar 28, 2006

060328 Putting "China" on your resumé, EXECUTIVES LOOK FOR CAREER BOOST FROM ASIA STINT
SJose Mercury News article, Mar 28, 2006

060329 Students Taking Spanish, French; Leaders Pushing Chinese, Arabic
Education Week article, Mar 31, 2006

060330 Mandarin-immersion advocates try again - Possibility of starting elementary-school program this fall in limbo
Palo Alto Online / Weekly article, Mar 30, 2006

060331 Chinese city wants to form education partnership
Jacksonville Business Journal article, March 31, 2006

060331 Our state's students need more language training
Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) article, Mar 31, 2006

060401 The Mandarin Offensive, Inside Beijing's global campaign to make Chinese the number one language in the world.
Wired magazine article, April 2006

060406 Secretary Spellings Delivers Remarks on School Choice
Sec of Education speaks on charter schools and the importance of giving parents choices

060409 Mandarin, dialects enrich Chinese language
China View article, April 9, 2006

060412 Immersion enthusiasm
PAWeekly Letter to the Editor, Apr 12, 2006

060419 China National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language and the College Board Announce New Chinese Language
College Board Press Release, April 19, 2006

060419 Conference to address status of less commonly taught languages in U.S.
Univ of Wisconsin-Madison announces National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) conference

060424 Government Watch, PAUSD - Mandarin immersion: Trustees will consider implementing a K-5 Chinese-language immersion
SJose Mercury News bulletin, April 24, 2006

060427 And now the news
Pasadena Weekly cover story, April 27, 2006

060427 Editorial Board: Chinese, not Spanish, is language of future
University Daily Kansan editorial, April 27, 2006

060427 Preschools will offer Chinese - Lansing district, E.L. to launch classes in fall
Lansing State Journal article, April 27, 2006

060427 Q&A: Internationalism on campus, H. Stephen Straight, professor of anthropology and linguistics and vice provost
Inside BU (Binghamton University, NY) interview, April 27, 2006

060428 Institute to offer online K-12 and adult Chinese language
MSU (Michigan State Univ) Today Magazine

060428 WEB EXTRA: 3 Michigan cities to offer Chinese-immersion preschool programs
The State News (MSU), April 28, 2006

060503 TECRO and Washington area Chinese language association offer pilot Chinese culture and language fellowships
TECRO press release

060508 For students of Chinese, politics fill the characters
San Francisco Chronicle article, May 8, 2006

060508 Peninsula Government Watch
SJose Mercury News docket, May 8, 2006

060510 School board backs Mandarin program, Board members remained conflicted over decision
Palo Alto Online / Weekly article, May 10, 2006

060510 State teens learn Chinese online, Interest in language grows with China's increasing global influence
Detroit News article, May 10, 2006

060512 Victory for Mandarin immersion proponents - Some argue issue hasn't been discussed enough
PA Weekly article, May 12, 2006

060515 School district expanding Chinese language offerings
Lexington Herald-Leader, article, May 15, 2006

060516 Opposition gains steam on Mandarin immersion - SCHOOL PROGRAM TARGETS TOO FEW KIDS, GROUP SAYS
SJose Mercury News docket, May 16, 2006

060516 Palo Alto parents riled by Mandarin immersion plan
CBS/KCAL video, May 16, 2006

060516 Schools expand Chinese classes Enquirer online news article, May 16, 2006

060517 Daley Emphasizes Educational Exchange With China
CBS2Chicago online article, May 17, 2006

060519 Preschoolers soak in Chinese culture in new Bay City program
Bay City Times (Michigan) article, May 19, 2006

060521 East-West exchange, Visit to Chinese schools enlightening for Danbury High principal
The News-Times, Connecticut, article May 21, 2006

060521 Herhold: Get serious about foreign languages
SJose Mercury News article, May 21, 2006

060522 Latinos hear calling in Chinese music - Oakland youngsters master traditional Mandarin tunes
Oroville Mercury Register article, May 22, 2006

060528 China promotes its culture overseas to dissolve "China threat"
People's Daily online article, May 28, 2006

060528 Dual-language schools reach younger kids
Deleware Online article, May 28, 2006

060529 Government Watch
SJose Mercury News article, May 29, 2006

060529 University professors seek out foreign language classes article, May 29, 2006

060530 School district holds town hall on Mandarin immersion, District officials will be on hand to answer questions
Palo Alto Online / Weekly article, May 30, 2006

060612 Double agents, High academic achievement, more rounded thinkers and students in step with a global economy.
The Age, Australian online news article, June 12, 2006

060614 Words Words Words
Sidney Morning Herald Book Review, June 14, 2006

060619 A Humbling Education - For TIME's Beijing correspondent, learning Chinese is an ongoing pursuit
TimeAsia article, June 19, 2006

060619 Get Ahead, Learn Mandarin - China's economic rise means the world has a new second language—and it isn't English
TimeAsia article, June 19, 2006

060619 Language Barriers - Is It Too Late to Try?
TimeAsia article, June 19, 2006

060619 Study Aids: Homework - How to get started learning Mandarin
TimeAsia article, June 19, 2006

060622 Arizona schools responding to push for Chinese
Arizona Republic news article, June 22, 2006

060626 Students will teach English in China article, June 26, 2006
Students will teach English in China

060629 Educators go to China to prepare for preschool, Lansing, E. Lansing to offer immersion program in the fall
Lansing State Journal ( article, June 29, 2006

060710 Two Languages Are Better Than One
Korea Times article, July 10, 2006

060711 Hablo español: Immersion class translates into success
Daily News (Longview, Washington) article, July 11, 2006

060713 SAN FRANCISCO, China trip for top schools officials
SFGate article, July 13, 2006

060724 EDITORIAL - The king's English won't rule forever
Austin American Statesman editoria, July 24, 2006

060724 Grayslake principal shares his China trip experiences
The News Sun (Suburban Chicago News) article, July 24, 2006

060726 Language Arts - Cupertino's second-generation Chinese-Americans speak English as fluently as they do Chinese
Cupertino Courier article, July 26, 2006

060808 Schools Try Elementary Approach To Teaching Foreign Languages
Washington Post article, Aug 8, 2006

060808 Washington Post article, Aug 8, 2006
Schools Try Elementary Approach To Teaching Foreign Languages

060821 Starr King Elementary talks the talk (in Mandarin) - Students crossing town for language immersion
San Francisco Chronicle article, Aug 21, 2006

060821 Management Grab - n fast-growing China, multinationals are scrambling to attract and retain smart, bilingual executives.
Business Week online article, Aug 21, 2006

060826 Washington Post article, Aug 26, 2006
With a Changing World Comes An Urgency to Learn Chinese

060827 School Giving
SJose Mercury article, Aug 27, 2006

060827 Schools lean on parents to close their budget gaps
SJose Mercury article, Aug 27, 2006

060828 Speak to Me
Star Tribune (Minnesota) article, Aug 28, 2006

060830 San Francisco Begins Mandarin-Language Immersion Program
Government Technology article, Aug 30, 2006

060903 Latest Line
SJose Mercury short, Sept 3, 2006

060915 Chinese course draws 30 students in first semester - Instructor makes case for learning to communicate with Chinese
The Ranger article, Sept 15, 2006

060916 Letters to the Editor
PAWeekly opinion letters, Sept 16, 2006

060920 Fairfax County Schools Receive Foreign Language Grant
WTOP Radio article, Sept 20, 2006

060921 Schools Get Funds for Language Instruction - Classes to Be Added In Arabic, Chinese
Washington Post article, Sept 21, 2006

060921 Washington Post article, Sep 21, 2006
Opening New Windows On the World - 'Strategic' Languages Bring Students Pleasure, Puzzlement

060922 Washington Post article, Sept 22, 2006
Across Latin America, Mandarin Is in the Air

060923 Grant aids teaching of Chinese
The Republican article, Sept 23, 2006

060923 N.Va. school system gets language grant
Times Dispatch article, Sept 23, 2006

060926 Chinese Classes Explode in Popularity Across America's Schools - Nationwide Plan to Promote Chinese Language
Businesswire article, Sept 26, 2006

060926 Mandarin lessons pave the road to riches
Asia Times Online article, Sept 26, 2006

060930 A China Expert's View by Benjamin Wey: Unveiling the "Mystery" of U.S.-Listed Chinese Companies
Market Wire press release, Sept 30, 2006

060930 Parents Take Language Class Into Their Own Hands
New York Times article, Sept 30, 2006

061005 Immersed in Learning: Dual Immersion Kindergarten Emphasizes Dual Fluency
Hollister Free Lance article, Oct 5, 2006

061015 KINDERGARTEN MANDARIN - Language Immersion at Starr King Elementary
SFGate article, Oct 15, 2006

061016 $12.9 Million in Grants Awarded for Critical Foreign Language Instruction
Dept of Education Press Release, Oct 13, 2006

061017 Oakland private school helps kids habla español
Inside Bay Area article, Oct 17, 2006

061027 Mandarin study stays afloat - Officials, parents say federal grant denial not a deal-beaker
PADaily article, Oct 27, 2006

061031 Bilingual pupils do better in exams, report finds
Belfast Telegraph article, Oct 31, 2006

061101 Good news, bad news for Chinese-immersion efforts - Grant for elementary program denied, high-school classes underway
PAWeekly article, Nov 1, 2006

061107 Grant helps D-200 students expolore languages
Woodstock Independent (Illinois) article, Nov 7, 2006

061109 Word is out: Chinese classes gain popularity
Miami Herald article, Nov 9, 2006

061110 Fun Language Products for the whole family
Scoop Independent News (New Zealand), Nov 10, 2006

061116 BURLINGAME - Mandarin, Spanish immersion open for students to sign up
SJose Mercury News Brief, Nov 16, 2006

061117 Letter, Don't miss Eastin talk on education
Mountain View Voice, Letters to the Editor, Nov 22, 2006

061118, Mandarin's widespread use calls for immersion programs
Paly Campanile article, Nov 18, 2005

061119 Colleges Encourage Students To Study Overseas
KOTV (Oklahoma) article, Nov 19, 2006

061126 Mandarin speaks to a growing audience
LA Times article, Nov 26, 2006

061126 Washington Post editorial
Thinking Beyond English in the Classroom - Fairfax Commits to Study Of Foreign Languages

061127 District begins global education talks
PADaily article, Nov 27, 2006

061128 Education leaders call for reform - Pair discusses ways to make U.S. schools more competitive
PADaily article, Nov 28, 2006

061129 Letter, Don't besmirch school program
PADaily Letters to the Editor, Nov 29, 2006

061129 Non-Asians Show a Growing Interest in Chinese Courses
New York Times article, Nov 29, 2006

061130 School board approves language immersion program
Burlingame Daily news article, Nov 30, 2006

061202 Letters, 'Vocal' group member speaks out
PADaily Letters to the Editor, Dec 2, 2006

061202 Letters, The growing need for bilingual skills
LA Times letters, Dec 2, 2006

061202, URI builds connections with China
Providence Journal article, Dec 2, 2006

061207 Will language immersion aid kids?
PADaily editorial, Dec 7, 2006

061211 Jim Rogers on China, the dollar and commodities
Daily Reckoning Investment Newsletter article, Dec 11, 2006

061212 Mandarin program hinges on finding a location quickly
SJose Mercury News brief, Dec 12, 2006

061212 Schools' Mandarin program moves forward, Next hurdle will be finding a location for bilingual classes' startup
PADaily article, Dec 12, 2006

061213 Residents split over immersion, Mandarin program's effects on community questioned
PADaily article, Dec 13, 2006

061215 Mandarin program may pass the test
PADaily editorial, Dec 15, 2006

061215 Opposition forms to Mandarin-immersion idea, District feasibility study indicates financial viability of program
PAWeekly article, Dec 15, 2006

061215 Readerwire, A matter of timing
PAWeekly letters, Dec 15, 2006

061217 Mandarin immersion concerns
PADaily Letters, Dec 17, 2006

061219 Chinese Language Revolution, The world's most populous nation is becoming an economic superpower.
Inside Bay Area/ San Mateo County Times article, Dec 19, 2006

061226 Granite will offer immersion classes
Salt Lake Tribune article, Dec 26, 2006

061227 PAWeekly article, Dec 27, 2006
The good, the bad and the messy - The year had its ups and downs, but Palo Alto came out of 2006 with some accomplishments to be proud of
Web Link

061228 Mandarin spoken here - Educators aim to launch language programs as early as preschool
Boston Globe article, Dec 28, 2006

070102 A model on how to teach Chinese - SCHOOL HELPS OTHERS WITH MANDARIN AGENDA
SJose Mercury article, Jan 2, 2007

070102 A new language of cooperation - S.F. elementary's Mandarin program strengthens a school
SFrancisco Chronicle article, Jan 2, 2007

070105 PAWeekly Readerwire, Jan 5, 2007
Mandarin uproar

070106 Opposed to Mandarin immersion , Jan 6, 2007
PADaily Letters to the Editor, Jan 6, 2007

070106 PAWeekly article, Jan 6, 2007
Callan: Try Mandarin Immersion at Ohlone - Superintendent recommends trying controversial program as possible first step toward elementary-level language instruction

070106 PAWeekly article, Jan 6, 2007
Full text of superintendent's MI recommendations

Posted by What the, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2007 at 10:24 am

Yes, so now we have two examples of Grace's utter single minded, self centered focus on forcing MI through PAUSD, and her corresponding lack of consideration for the community:

1) Prior post on this thread detailing out all the media propaganda blitz she's been driving for last five years (for no particular good reason, other than to show how much PR pushing she's been doing over the last five years on this single minded purpose). And by the way, which adds no value to the discsusion above, as far as I can tell.

2) Very first opening post on this thread - touting what fabulous news the new study and recommendations are... Positively GIDDY with self centered satisfaction. I guess in her fixated state she has forgottent to READ or LISTEN to the PAUSD community response on this project - or to consider for split second that most folks other than her and her handful of friends won't think the new study is good news.

Wow. Stellar.

Posted by anon, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 8, 2007 at 11:43 am

some people are easily impressed

Posted by Grace Mah, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 8, 2007 at 11:54 am

The list of articles (not only show my dedication, perserverance, tenacity, and endurance, but also) shows that this has been in the public arena for a long time, as opposed to one's claim:

"Too bad the community wasn't involved in the process for implementing MI and FLES at the outset. I certainly never received any notices from the BoE or school district asking for my input on an immersion or FLES program. I had never heard of FLES until this past year, and I've been around the block, so to speak. Might have been the right thing to bring the community into the process early on."

The San Jose Mercury news article from Aug 22, 2002 was front page in the Local section. The Aug 30, 2002 Palo Alto Weekly article was prominent.

Here's a history of the public meetings where MI was brought up:

8/27/02 - BOE Discussion topic MI with deferral to development of new guidelines for expanding alternative programs

11/19/02 - BOE New guidelines presented for discussion

12/10/02 - BOE Finalized guidelines

1/03 - Two public parent information meetings sponsored by PACE about immersion

2/11/03 - BOE Moratorium placed on all new programs

6/24/03 - BOE Charter School Grant application discussion (not approved)

11/20/03 - Candidate forum with Mandy, Camille, Gail, Keen Butcher, James dal Bon

1/13/04 - BOE MI Threshold Proposal presented for discussion

1/27/04 - BOE MI action, Camille moved to approve, PACE withdrew the proposal

10/05 - Candidate presentations with Barb, Dana, Claude

3/22/06 - Multilingual speaker event with YMCA and PAMP

3/28/06 - BOE MI as information topic

4/4/06 - BOE Study session

4/25/06 - BOE MI as action item

5/2/06 - BOE Priorities meeting

5/9/06 - BOE MI as an action item, feasibility study approved 3-1-1

5/30/06 - BOE Townhall on MI

12/12/06 - BOE feasibility study as information item

1/9/07 - BOE feasibility study with superintendent recommendation

Also, I remember Lisa Steinbeck at the earlier 2002 - 2003 BOE meetings. So at least she's been around this block.

Posted by what the, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2007 at 12:59 pm

And another history lesson from grace showing that she indeed refuses to give up in the face of time-tested overwhelming community objection against MI.

By hook or by crook grace will HAVE her 1/2 of a PAUSD elementary school.

By the way, everyone thought MI was a mute point for a long long time, particularly after the many rounds of MI discussion were rejected and/or shut down by the board. No wonder people stopped paying attention. How could they have possibly expected something this unreasonable, and this far out in left field, could have gotten this far. Little did they know grace went out campaigning after last round to specifically cherry pick herself a board that would support her little pet project NO MATTER what.

I'm just curious grace - do you have any articles from the last board election campaign with board members describing how the would vote on MI? Probably not, because I'm sure that was discussed as quietly as the Ohlone deal.

Posted by PA resident, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 8, 2007 at 1:26 pm

Grace, I have no recollection of the BoE asking early on for community input to help decide the language choice for an immersion or FLES program? I'll stand corrected if you could supply me with that information.

Also, I've mentioned this before, but including your last remark about Lisa isn't helpful to this discussion. I wish all you folks who keep mentioning her would just cut it out.

Posted by Grace Mah, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 8, 2007 at 1:41 pm

Hi Lisa,

In fact, here's an article regarding candidates' positions for the Nov 2005 election:

051005 Palo Alto school board race: Books, budgets and ballots, Four school board candidates discuss future of education in Palo Alto

Palo Alto Weekly article, Oct 5, 2005

Web Link

I'm flattered that you think I have so much power in Palo Alto politics. I don't think I do, but you're entitled to your opinion, just as I'm entitled to mine.

As for your "time-tested overwhelming community objection against MI", could you elucidate that point? As I've listed some history (which some may feel is biased), how about your own recounting of the "time-tested" history, and show the "overwhelming community objection to MI".

At least you recognize that "everyone thought MI was a mute point for a long long time", so *some* people were paying attention back then. I can't help it that some of those people stopped paying attention.

I guess you can say I'm not easily overwhelmed, also, one of you has said I'm self-centered and selfish. Thanks for that!

Slow and steady wins the race. By hook or by crook, luckily, I haven't had to do some of the hooky/crooky things that some opponents have done.

See you tomorrow night,

Posted by Andrea (and I'm not Lisa , I'm Andrea), a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 8, 2007 at 1:53 pm

Grace, from reading the web link you provided, it seems that the candidate expousing Chinese Immersion didn't win the election. Hardly a mandate from the community for Mandarin Immersion.

Posted by Lynn, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 8, 2007 at 2:13 pm

Still waiting for an answer to the question I posed (twice, actually) on another thread: How can you have a full strand of an MI pilot for more than two years at Ohlone?

Ohlone's campus has room for 3 modular classrooms. Dr. Callan's proposal for MI is for a single strand 3-year pilot, starting with two K-1 classrooms. In year one, you have 40 kids, in year two you have 60. What do you do in year three, when you need space for 80 kids?

Garland can't be reopened in less than three years, so it seems like the pilot proposal is mathematically impossible.

Grace? Wolf? Bill? MFC? Anyone? Please explain.

Posted by Nico, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 8, 2007 at 2:32 pm

The MI supporters on this thread are not ignoring you. I can only speak for myself when I say, I don't know what the year 3 plan is. Please come the meeting on Tuesday and ask, I am curious too.

Posted by PA resident, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 8, 2007 at 3:43 pm

I'm confused on this as well. The feasibility study states, "Develop an implementation plan for a three-year single strand pilot of a dual Mandarin Chinese Immersion Program (MCIP) using the 80:20 model. This single strand pilot could begin in the fall of 2007 with two K/1 classes at Ohlone School (eliminating the inflexibility of a traditional single strand) and would follow the instructional model and philosophy of Ohlone.

By definition doesn't single strand mean 1 class of 20 kids? Sounds like they are saying here 2 K/1 classes with 40 kids total. The former allows growth over 3 years, but the latter doesn't (with addition of 4 portables). So which is it?

Right now Ohlone has 7 K/1 classes or 3.5 strands.

Also, either way, eventually the program would have to switch schools in order to accommodate 240 kids. This guarantees that Garland or some other site would have to open in order to make room for the MI program.

If I'm totally off base here, please let me know.

Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2007 at 4:16 pm

PA Resident: didn't you get the memo? The MI supporters believe (as evidenced by their blantant disregard for the community concerns) that there is one and only one who opposes MI in Palo Alto. Whether that miscalculation will serve them well in the future, is yet to be seen.

And they have randomly assigned the name Lisa to this mythical person.

Never fear. As we know the one and only supporter of MI is Grace, as evidenced by the $66K check she wrote to the district for the purchase of a feasibility study supporting her position, (I'm sure the Ohlone school will shortly be renamed Mah in honor of her valiant community activism). But we also know that she has about two or three more key people helping her out... Camille, Marilyn and Callan.

She posts under a variety of random psuedonyms, including Bill, Nico, Anon, etc. So basically, you can assume that every pro MI post on this forum is posted by a single person (accuracy, proof, and relevence are of no issue here, as demonstrated by the feasibility study itself) and you can use a single random name as they do: I like Margracille (Marilyn-Grace-Camille). Cheers!

Posted by Nico, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 8, 2007 at 4:28 pm

PA Resident and Lynn,
I am not the expert on this, but here is what I figured out the classroom needs for MI to be.
Year 1: 2 mixed K/1 classes need 2 classrooms
Year 2: 2 K/1 and I guess a single 2nd grade class need 3 classrooms
Year 3: 2 K/1 and 2 2/3 classes would need 4 classrooms
Year 4: 2 K/1 and 2 2/3 and one single 4th grade class need 5 classrooms.
Year 5: 2 K/1, 2 2/3 and 2 4/5 classes need 6 classrooms
It would take 5 years for MI to fill a "strand." A strand in a non-Ohlone school represents a cohort of kids K-5, so one strand will take 6 classrooms. As far as I can tell. Again, I think that somebody other than me probably understands this better.

to Parent, please be nice.

Posted by PA resident, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 8, 2007 at 5:31 pm

Nico, I thought Ohlone only does combined k/1, 2/3, etc., classes & no single grade classes. How does your scenario jive with the Ohlone philosophy? Or do they make an exception for MI? I can't figure out how else they would do it.

Posted by Nico, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 8, 2007 at 9:21 pm

PA Resident,
If the board approves MI, then the next step is the "pilot implementation plan" where they will get to this level of detail.

Posted by Brian Kaplan, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 8, 2007 at 10:03 pm


Please refrain from personal attacks. "As we know the one and only supporter of MI is Grace."

As one opposed to MI, I readily concede there is a strong core base of MI supporters. Grace has done a good job of advocating strongly for her position and attacking her personally does not advance the conversation.

In the end, the School Board is accountable to the citizens. Those of us opposed MI are better served by making strong arguments that increase our base as opposed to tearing down those who happen to be on the other side of the issue.

My two cents.

Posted by Fred Dibiase, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 16, 2007 at 4:12 pm

I just don't understand what the big deal is:

If MI is anything like SI, I think it should be removed immediately. I understand that it might be tough to learn a new language, but if you really think for one minute that putting a child in classes with all other manderin speakers is good for them you best think again. You are almost incourageing them to speak mandarin!!! Also, by segregateing them apart from their peers you are not allowing them to make as many types of friends as they might want. If I could not speak english, I would not want to be herded up with everyone else who didn't either.

Posted by MV parent, a resident of another community
on May 25, 2007 at 12:38 pm

Is this the same Grace that just became elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Education?

Posted by parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 25, 2007 at 12:54 pm

Yes it is.

Posted by resident, a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 27, 2007 at 9:53 am

actually, she was appointed, not elected.

Posted by parent, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 28, 2007 at 7:11 pm

This doesn't sound like the 'Calm, articulate and straightforward, Mah' stated in the San Jose Mercury News.

Web Link

Posted by bob, a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Mar 24, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Uvq26w hi nice site thx Web Link

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