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Riverside, CA school board rejects charter school that would teach in Mandarin and English

November 28, 2018

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The refusal by the Riverside School Board is interesting in that it says “the plan to require students older than second grade to demonstrate grade-level proficiency in Mandarin would likely cause the school to fail the state’s requirement that a charter school match the ethnic makeup of the district where it’s located district because few non-Asian students have that proficiency.”

That would effectively mean no language immersion charter schools are possible in the entire state of California if they have language requirements past first grade — something common to all immersion programs in the state I’m familiar with. I’m curious if that rational has been used to block other immersion charters.

– Beth

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Despite one rejection, the creator of a proposed charter school that would have taught students in English and Mandarin is already planning his next step.

Michael Scott, a Riverside educator who helps teach classroom strategies in China, said he will appeal to the Riverside County Board of Education, asking it to consider his charter school petition after the Riverside Unified School District board unanimously rejected it Nov. 5. State lawgives 180 days from a rejection for that appeal to be heard.

The Riverside school board denied Scott’s proposal for Western Mandarin Immersion Charter School on the advice of a team of administrators.

The petition didn’t include an adequate plan for English learners or special education students, nor did the proposal demonstrate that it had sufficient interest from potential students to be financially viable, district officials said.

And the plan to require students older than second grade to demonstrate grade-level proficiency in Mandarin would likely cause the school to fail the state’s requirement that a charter school match the ethnic makeup of the district where it’s located district because few non-Asian students have that proficiency, the district’s report concludes.

Please read more here.

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