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Online Petition Against Mandarin Immersion

Original post made by Make your voice heard, Barron Park, on Jan 4, 2007

This online petition was created to allow Palo Alto residents to voice opposition to the proposed MI program the School Board is now considering.

There have been more than 500 signers of a a hard-copy petition. So if you have already signed a hard-copy, you do not need to sign here. Duplicate names will be removed before passing this list on to the Board.

Click on the word weblink
Web Link

Comments (15)

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Posted by anonamous townsquare reader
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 4, 2007 at 12:29 pm

Isn't it a bit hypocrital to ding the MI supporters for doing an online petition, then do one yourselves. I guess you guys changed your minds about online petitions since this post in the "Choice vs. Luck" Thread?
"In case any of you are wondering why there isn't an "opposition" on-line petition, several of us talked about it and decided against it. Too easy to pad it electronically.
However, if any of you are interested in signing a physical petition, let know, and we will get one to you.
Posted by Pauline, a member of the Juana Briones School community, on Nov 28, 2006 at 1:26 pm"
Web Link

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Posted by A Rose
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 4, 2007 at 12:53 pm

Now that the word has gotten out, the community at large understands the inequities MI would introduce.

As such, it makes sense to provide an easy way to register opposition.

The online petition requires entry for Street Address (which although not publicaly displayed) can be used to verify the signer is a real person and resident of Palo Alto.

You can check this out yourself at Web Link

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Posted by back to basics
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 4, 2007 at 1:54 pm

Not sure I agree with how this petition is structured. There are a lot of reasons to oppose MI and I'm not sure you have chosen the strongest:

- "PAUSD must serve the needs of all 100% of students"
You could have stopped here. You might have had more people sign it.

- "We support language instruction for ALL students before embarking on a new program that would support only 5%"
This is a gray area. There doesn't appear to be a reason for this pre-requsite to be introduced before MI is approved. It's hard to argue against a genuine desire to have language instruction for all it's just an issue of whether it should be part of this debate.

- MI would erode the diversity and sense of community at neighborhood schools
This should be dealt with as part of the AARG proposal. We don't even yet know where MI will be placed so it's a bit of a leap to jump to this conclusion.

As to whether you should have an on-line petition, since time is short how else are you going to gather the information? If PAEE and PACE could agree on a timeframe when both sides would be ready to go to the board...

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Posted by PA mother of two
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 4, 2007 at 4:06 pm

The other day I saw a "coupon" on the Palo Alto newspaper.... the coupon was for those who are against the MI program to mark a spot and mail it... no option for those who were in favor of the program to mark anything in the coupon. Now I read this here. I don't know much about the program and about the politics involved... but I just don't like these type of approaches. And I am totally in favor of my children being exposed to a new language :-).

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Posted by Nico, a MI supporter
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 4, 2007 at 5:03 pm

PA mother of two,
Here is a link to the PACE Website that has information about Mandarin Immersion and PACE. PACE is the group that spearheaded the effort to add a MI program to Palo Alto Unified School District. (We are the "foes" of the group that started this thread)
Web Link
Here is a link to the PAUSD Feasibility study that discusses the program:
Web Link
Thanks for your interest in languages, and your support of a clean debate. I agree with you on both fronts.

Like this comment
Posted by Really Now?
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 4, 2007 at 5:35 pm

How sad you would use the term "foes" as opposed to just saying "we are the group that has proposed MI. lists the first definition of "foes" as "a personal enemy." Are you sure with this language you support a "clean" debate?

The truth is that both sides of the conversation have very well intentioned people who have strong feelings about the issue.

Just as it's fair for PACE to collect names and try to get its message out, it's equally fair for those who don't like the idea to let their voices be heard.

The comment "no option for those who were in favor of the program to mark anything in the coupon" is, quite frankly, bizarre. It shows a total lack of understanding of what an advocacy group is supposed to do.

So, let's not be "foes" but strong and vocal advocates for the positions we hold.

Petition at Web Link

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Posted by A Signer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2007 at 5:39 pm

Hello, if you do not like any of the three reasons listed in the online petition, there are many more listed on the hard copy petition, and there are pages and pages of available opposition backup material available on the paee website.

Both the hard copy version and the Ad version that was published in teh Palo Alto Weekly give signers the option of checking off a single reason or a collection of reasons for their objection, so the board can be very clear which objections are most resonant with the community. This is a more flexible approach than the online approach, but it is also more time consuming.

If you don't object to a general statement of objection you can sign online, or you can contact paee for the additional options.

There is also always the option of being quite specific in your position by writing a letter to the board.

[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

All these methods "should" be helpful in ensuring the board is acting the best interest of the community that voted them in to office.

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Posted by Nico
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 4, 2007 at 5:52 pm

Really now,
I was actually was trying to make a joke. I am sorry, that probably isn't very smart to do in this medium. And before using foe sarcastically I looked it up and got this definition
"enemy: an armed adversary" from google. It's still not that funny. I'll stick to information and leave the humor to Emily Litella.

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Posted by Really Now?
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 4, 2007 at 6:01 pm


Thanks for your message. Once this "process" is over, hopefully both sides can lower the stress levels and laugh more. For now, though, I agree tensions are running too high and trying to infuse too much humor into the mix is likely to backfire.

Thanks again for your message.

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Posted by SkepticAl
a resident of Ventura
on Jan 6, 2007 at 6:56 pm

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

Like this comment
Posted by Petition is Working!
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2007 at 8:16 pm

Someone out there was just complaining because the online petition against MI wasn't racking up the signatures. As previously mentioned, we already have 700 signatures already turned in, but we have 20 signatures (and adding hourly) in just 2 days time.

So, at an average of 10 per day, MI should have come in with something like 18,000 signatures to be similarly representative of the community.

Well, time will tell, we still have a few more days until the meeting.

If you've already signed, PLEASE think out of the box, screw up your nerve, and go one step farther. PLEASE Email 3 friends, neighbors or palo alto tax payers the link.

Many people we talk to still have no idea what MI is or that its really (gasp) being considered seriously by the Board!

For all those hundreds of teachers, principals, PTA and PIE members out there that have been afraid to come out, the time is now. If not, you'll personally be bearing the brunt of the public backlash in the form of starvation of funding. And that will NOT bode well for contract negotiations, class sizes, teacher collaboration time, etc.

Be brave! There's not a darn thing MFC can do to you now. Step up for what you believe in. You can sign privately by contacting or you can sign online and keep your name annonymous to online viewers. DO IT! SHOW YOUR POWER!

We need you, we trust you, we rely on you with our most precious possessions - our kids, our whole world - so help us save our district.

Like this comment
Posted by Wolf
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 6, 2007 at 8:32 pm

"Petition is working" seem to have his Marxist roots well developed, shamelessly ripping the Communist Manifesto, no less. Oh well. The company you keep.

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Posted by who's winning the pissing contest?
a resident of Barron Park School
on Jan 6, 2007 at 8:55 pm

From the "choice or luck" thread:

Just to clarify the 900 signature petition:

Nov 3, 2002 - The community petition was launched
Nov 16, 2002 - We had 400 physical signatures
Nov 19, 2002 - 500 signatures were presented at the school board meeting during Open Forum.
Nov 26, 2002 - The enrollment petition was launched
Feb 19, 2003 - 70 families had signed the enrollment petition to commit to enrolling a child in MI, if it was approved by the board.
Dec 27, 2003 - PACE submitted 800 community signatures and 80 children on the enrollment petition to the first board meeting where MI was on the agenda.
Mar 28, 2006 - PACE had collected 900 signatures for the board meeting

People are still signing our petition from our website

500 signatures in a little over two weeks is pretty impressive.
300 signatures in a little over a month is also pretty good.

Pauline, I like it when you beg.

Like this comment
Posted by Brian Kaplan
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 6, 2007 at 9:59 pm

Whoever you are posting as "who's winning the pissing contest", you should be ashamed of yourself. I very much doubt you are part of the Barron Park Community.

I realize the issue is contentious but think about the example you set for children when you call people out by name while hiding behind some made up identity.

At Barron Park Elementary we are implementing "Steps to Respect" and your behaviour does not fit with our shared sense of decency.

There is always a way to make your argument and remain respectful to the other side. In fact, arguments appear stronger when not mixed with personal attacks.

My two cents..

Like this comment
Posted by Another
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2007 at 10:11 pm

As opposed to Wolf who subscribes to the "Me Me Me and my well placed friends" manifesto of the Bush Administration.

"Everything you want to know about getting your way while ignoring the community that you serve."

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