I'm still mulling over the Chinese immersion programs. I contacted a mom with children at Alice Fong Yu. She and her husband are Caucasian and their two boys have done well at the school. "We love the school and we feel lucky to have gotten our two sons in," she said.
I asked about Mandarin versus Chinese. "If we had a choice, I think Mandarin is the better language to learn," she said. "However, both are written the same, and Cantonese is the local dominant language spoken in the Bay Area." Then she went on to say, "The AFY Mandarin classes in Middle School are exceptional. I hear that when AFY students go to Lowell High School, their Mandarin is better than other students." Hmmm...
In the midst of my confusion, I came across this November, 2006, article in The New York Times, "Non-Asians Showing a Growing Interest in Chinese Courses." The author, Winnie Hu, mentions the private Chinese-American International School in San Francisco, and writes, "Five years ago, the school was 57 percent Asian-American, but this year it is only 49 percent Asian-American...more non-Asian-Americans have been applying in recent years." Hu goes on to talk about public schools across the country that are adding Mandarin programs.
Has anyone toured the private Chinese-American school? I'd love to hear your thoughts.