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Chinese charter school chief, under pressure, to end involvement with proposed Boston-area program

September 8, 2013



Thursday, September 5, 2013
(Published in print: Friday, September 6, 2013)

SPRINGFIELD — Trustees of the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School grilled its executive director Thursday night about what the chairwoman called a “troubling” lack of communication when he filed a prospectus with the state to start a similar school in the Cambridge area.

Richard Alcorn, the director of the Hadley school, said the filing was meant to put “political pressure” on the Cambridge school district to get moving on a Chinese language immersion school in eastern Massachusetts. He said the prospectus on which his name appeared was a “cut and paste” job using material from a template.

“This was just to kick-start things to get a prospectus going,” Alcorn said, “then pass the puck on the whole thing, to bring in more people, to participate in this and take care of it.“

In late July, Alcorn and trustee Rosalie Porter, both of Amherst, and Anne Watt of Cambridge submitted a 63-page prospectus to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in a bid to open a Chinese immersion school that would serve the Boston area.

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