Wisconsin to close state’s only Mandarin immersion program
I am deeply troubled by the Verona School Board’s proposal to eliminate the Verona Area International School.
This school is an incredible feather in the cap for the district, and it provides tremendous value for the community. Any student can attend, and this school represents a fantastic way for parents to provide language education for their young children at no additional cost.
Mandarin is spoken by over 1 billion people and is the most widely spoken first language in the world. Many forward-thinking states are pushing for Chinese language education as they see it as a way to improve their chances of increasing business partnerships with Chinese industry.
Chinese culture is over 5,000 years old and offers a different perspective than our standard euro-centric world view. But the unique character and tonal nature of the Chinese language makes early exposure and immersion incredibly vital to obtain fluency. The Verona School District should continue and increase its efforts to support the International School by renewing its charter for an additional five years. At that time, efforts should be made to reassess the viability and success of this school.
Please read more here.