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Illinois parents protest Mandarin immersion program as “unfair”

November 24, 2013

Lake Forest parents ask District 67 to end Mandarin Chinese program

 This photo shows a reading program at Cherokee Elementary School in Lake Forest, where some parents are saying they want a Mandarin Chinese language program to end. ( Michael Walker, Chicago Tribune / September 23, 2002)
By Kate Jacobson, Chicago Tribune reporter1:02 p.m. CST, November 22, 2013

A group of residents in Lake Forest say they’re angry at the Lake Forest School District 67 board for continuing a Mandarin Chinese language program at Cherokee Elementary School despite a lack of state funding.

The Mandarin immersion program – which is offered from kindergarten through third grade – allows students at Cherokee Elementary School to have half of their school day taught entirely in Mandarin Chinese.

Some parents argue the program has created divisions resulting in an at-times hostile environment in the school. District officials respond that they’re looking into the culture created by the program, but say its educational successes are clear.

Please read more here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jennifer Mulloy permalink
    December 12, 2013 3:51 pm

    Parents who have children in the Lake Forest program are overwhelmingly happy with it. It seems there is a lot of anti- Mandarin coverage being published. It would be great if parents whose children are in the program would share their experiences to give people an opportunity to see both perspectives. Cherokee is my daughter’s school either way. My background is in Elementary and Special Education, I have had the wonderful experience of teaching at a school that offered an immersion program option, it was amazing. My husband and I chose the Mandarin immersion program because of the age at which a second language was introduced and because research has shown immersion instruction to be highly effective, we didn’t care if it was Spanish/Mandarin or something else. I hear the concerns of those parents who chose to stay with the English program, some of which are quite legitimate. I do believe it is possible for both programs to be successful in one school. We need to come together as a community and support one another. The beauty of where we live is the access to education, opportunity, and choice!

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