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Trouble in Cambridge Mass. immersion school

August 15, 2013

The statement by the district that it “always” planned to merge the immersion into a non immersion language class in 3rd grade seems to be contradicted by the district’s own website:

“The Dr. Martin Luther King (King School), Jr. K-8 School in Cambridge, MA provides a challenging and nurturing learning environment, dedicated to putting the educational, emotional, and social needs of children first. The diverse school population represents many different world cultures, and King School’s multicultural, linguistic, ethnic and racial diversity is considered to be an outstanding resource for learning and personal development.

In August 2010, the King School received a grant from the Foreign Language Assistance Program in the amount of $1.5 million that spreads over a 5-year period to implement a Chinese-English dual-language program. The Ni Hao Language Immersion FLAP grant project seeks to improve and transform the existing Chinese FLES Program at the King School gradually over a five year period while continuing to provide daily Chinese FLES instruction to the classrooms. It is the intent of King School to initiate a dual language program in one strand in grades K-2, starting in 2011-12 school year, and Chinese content immersion in grades 3-4 with the purpose of eventually expanding the program after the FLAP ends to Grade 8 in 2018-2019.

To address the requirements of the Department of Education’s General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), the Martin Luther King Jr. School ensures that there will be no barriers to program participation on the basis of gender, race, national origin, color, age or diverse needs. Provisions will be made for students with special needs to receive tutorial assistance, thus, the program will eventually serve all students in the program.”


Chinese immersion charter school proposed for Cambridge students

Cambridge — Complaints from parents about the Chinese Immersion program in Cambridge drove charter school founder Richard Alcorn to propose a regional immersion program based in Newton, he said. He is one of 10 applying for approval from the state to open a new charter school in Massachusetts.

Alcorn, who founded the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School in Hadley, said Cambridge parents approached him about starting a school. Although Alcorn said a final location has yet to be determined, the proposed Chinese Immersion Charter School of Newton would service students in Cambridge, Newton, Brookline, Weston, Waltham and Watertown.

“Parents with children in the Cambridge Public School’s Chinese Immersion program have expressed frustration with the program and are looking for additional options,” Alcorn said in his application to the Department of Education.
Read more here.

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