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No Mandarin if things are “humming along.”

July 12, 2011

As part of its on-going and excellent coverage of Mandarin immersion charter school issues in New Jersey, has a nice article today about a state education task force hearing in New Jersey today and some of the issues being raised there.

One of the most fascinating tidbits is this, about the state’s acting Education Commissioner:

Cerf has indicated that “boutique” charters such as Mandarin immersion may not be suited for districts that are “humming along.”

Charter schools raise lots of issues both for parents, communities and school districts. But what’s interesting here is the idea that Mandarin immersion is a “boutique” program (ok, we’ve got to admit that) and that such things aren’t needed in districts that are “humming along.”

Which raises a question that comes up at times — is Mandarin immersion simply a magnet program that districts use to pull parents in the schools they wouldn’t normally send their children to? Or is it also a value-add that districts can use to enrich their offerings to students and families.

How does it work in your school district?


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