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How Palo Alto got Mandarin immersion

March 10, 2013

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[From the Palo Alto Weekly]

A champion for

charter schools

As head of county education board, Palo Altan Grace Mah backs charter school growth

Six years after rocking the Palo Alto education scene with a threat to petition for a charter school here, Grace Mah finds herself in the vanguard of a major charter-school drive as president of the Santa Clara County Board of Education.

The county board, which Mah joined in 2007, has OK’d two dozen charter schools in the past two years, aimed almost entirely at boosting options for low-income children in San Jose not for Mandarin Immersion, which Mah had sought in Palo Alto in 2007.

Mah’s journey from engineering manager at Agilent Technologies to elected official overseeing a $275 million countywide agency with more than 1,700 employees would seem an unlikely one.

Today, she bridges the gap between oversight of the county’s nearly 300 traditional public schools, which are heavily regulated under the California Education Code, and a reform movement of 52 public charter schools that is experimenting with new learning models.

Please read more here.

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