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NJ Board of Ed says deny Mandarin charters

May 24, 2011

From Patch

The Board of Education will urge New Jersey school leaders to deny applications for two Mandarin-immersion charter schools in Livingston.

Voting unanimously, the board members hope a letter – now in draft form – will persuade Acting Education Commission Christopher Cerf to deny charters for Hanyu International Academy Charter School and Hua Mei Charter School.

“When charter schools were started, even then I wasn’t a fan of them,” said Sen. Richard Codey (D-Essex), who joined the nearly full house in the auditorium at Livingston High School for public discussion on charter schools. “I think the jury’s still out if the vision was urban as oppose to suburban.”

Acting separately at their meeting at town hall, the Township Council voted 4-1 to oppose the charter applications as well. Councilwoman Deborah Shapiro, who is a founder of Hanyu International, did not abstain and voted against the resolution.

Read more here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tiffany Boyd-Hodgson, PhD permalink
    May 24, 2011 7:32 pm

    I am a co-founder of Hua Mei Charter School, a proposed mandarin-immersion school, in New Jersey. The climate in New Jersey is disappointingly hostile toward our school for reasons that have racial undertones (e.g., we have been called racist and derogatory names, and we have been accused of promoting resegregation). It is unfortunate that there is such willfull ignorance on the part of the most vocal people in this debate — most think it is a school developed only for Chinese by Chinese. I have no heritage connection to the language or culture. BUt, I like many of our founders are forward thinking and recognize the promise and opportunity inherent to learning this language that 1 in 5 people on the planet speak. As a neuroscientist by training, I am also very familiar with language acquistition critical periods. And so, our fight continues for our own children to become bilingual by dual immersion at a young age and for anyone else who values this skill for their children.

  2. June 5, 2011 4:40 am

    Thank you for bringing such a wonderful opportunity for our students. If our children need to be competitive, they have to know multiple languages.

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