A place for parents educating their kids in San Francisco
And I should add: not 7 at a time, but 27 at a time.
If a converted class continues year after year, then it is a MUCH bigger issue for the school: Are they ready to switch from having 2 Spanish immersion and 2 GE classes in each grade to having 3 SI and 1 GE?That is a much bigger decision and the ramifications go beyond a one-year fix. One teacher would have to be hired each year and one fired. The mix at the school would change. That seems kind of drastic given it was all due to a clerical error re: 8 students.If it doesn't continue, you still have to ask one GE teacher to leave each year... and then return the following year?As for Daniel Webster: It is not the same as a bubble class. Whoever you hire for that first K class, stays there for subsequent years teaching K. Whoever you hire to teach 1st grade to that initial Flynnarado cohort, stays to teach that grade thereafter. ENTIRELY different.
Do you not see that this problem is larger than a clerical error for 8 students? Of course a larger fix is required. And why shouldn't the mix at the school change? A converted class hires and keeps its K, its 1st, its 2nd... teachers. You do replace a one GE teacher a year for 5 years. So what?
It is a decision to change the composition of an entire school... and it doesn't prevent the same problem from happening at 5 other schools next year. Yes, someone should lose their job over this mess, but not the Flynn GE teachers. The bigger fix required has to do with the enrollment process and the management of language immersion programs in general.
Managed properly, it becomes clear that there is a shortage of immersion programs for both English and Spanish speakers.
Key phrase: Managed properly. But the enrollment process has to be significantly improved, and they may have to resume language testing or come up with a penalty if people lie on their forms.
Abigail, I think you ignored KC's advice (keep it short and sweet) to the detriment of your petition. Although it may have been cathartic for you to explain how draining the application experience has been your you, this extra detail may well keep current, and especially future, SFUSD applicants from signing your petition. I'd strongly suggest that you keep the actual petition to your requests from the EPC and put the details of your particular experience in the "personal comments" section following the petition.
The Flynn and Alavarado teachers are protected by tenure and the UESF. What about EPC head Darlene Lim?
Now I see why tenure is so important to teachers! Some of you would have no problem firing a teacher less than a month before school starts if it meant getting your children into the school/program of your choice. The teachers at Flynn, least of all the GE teachers, did nothing wrong - why punish them?
The district move teachers around all the time -- it doesn't (can't) fire them.
How does an administrator get fired?
This whole snafu is another example of what happens when the district places diversity above academics and common sense.
Actually, I tried to get the "personal experience" of our 0/15 cohort as a whole into the petition, some things are not true for us and our situation. I am going to try to rework the petition this weekend to include some more general points (like changing the assignment protocol and making the whole process more transparent in the future), but I did feel it was important to give some background about our group's experience (0/15) and why this last move by the district has been so, so hard to take.I'll look at it with cooler eyes tomorrow and see what might need to be changed. Any suggestions on what would be important to keep in?However, you should also know that many people are signing it with younger kids and kids not affected in the same way. They are just putting their own spin in the comments section at the top. So far we have 33 signatures (not bad for half a day) --I agree that the best thing would be to reach as wide a base of support as possible.
I should also say that I see this petition as (hopefully!) a starting point for discussions with the District about the changes that need to happen (both for future years and *right now*). I hope that if many people sign it, we will be able to have a meeting with folks from the District and that they will not be able to ignore us or our concerns (however varied they might be).
I would gladly sign it BUT I will be applying for K soon & do not want to get on the s**t list.
can't you "sign" it anonymously (using initials and not giving a full address or email, but writing comments)?
Come on, folks. It's clear the district isn't organized enough to have a sh** list.
Does anyone know if the list of schools for the random lottery for "the 23" is available on any web site (PPS, SFUSD, etc.)? I'm curious to know which schools are on the list and how many spaces there are at each of these schools.I haven't been able to find it anywhere.
here's the list, but I don't know where the numbers are coming from:alamoalvarado geb. hartbryant carmichaelcarver chaves clarendon jbcobb escommadore sloatfeinsteindrew eldorado flynn geglen parkgrattanhillcrestlafayettelawtonlilienthal gelonfellow gemalcom xmccoppinmilkmuirortega cn and geparks ge and jbreddingrevere ge and snrouftop geserrastarr king cnsunnyside sutroulloawebster ge and snwest protal geyehall chinyick woo ge
@1:47 see the other thread on this topic for the complete list. Sorry, don't remember what comment number, but maybe on the second (or third!) page.
I'm sorry, but I think this petition effort is a waste of time.Also, if people have already signed it and you go and change all the wording, that isn't right. You'll have to have some people who signed one petition, and then another petition signed by other people and it will become silly. If you want any chance of being heard, swarm the BOE meeting on August 12th, and sign up to talk to the Board of Education members.Alert all the media you can about this and hopefully a few reporters will show up at the meeting. The next Regular Meeting of the Board of Education, San Francisco Unified School District, is scheduled for Tuesday, August 12, 2008, at 6:00 p.m., In the Irving G. Breyer Board Meeting Room, 555 Franklin Street, First Floor, San Francisco, California. The other thing that would be more effective than a convulted rambling petition is for people to e-mail all the board of education members and say what they think. Or, instead of a petition, write a form letter that everyone can email or mail to the BOE members. Their e-mail addresses and names can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/345tw8
1:25 -- Achieving the right language balance in a dual immersion classroom IS about ACADEMICS.It doesn't matter if the 50 percent who speak Spanish are Asian or blond and blue eyed.What matters is that they can serve as language models, raise the bar language-wise and motivate their peers to speak Spanish... (and vice versa when it comes to ENglish)...It is not about diversity.
3:08... Hello? It's not about diversity?What bunk. Almost every problem I've read about since I entered this wormhole of a district stems from trying to achieve perfection via diversity.Ain't no such thing.All that energy should be put into better schools and making sure the district has the money to teach kids.I mean, how much do they spend on diversity anyway? Only to end up with schools that at 70% one race or the other? Or schools where 70% of the kids are poor, or 70% are upper middle class?Total misuse of energy.
I have yet to read a convincing argument that would prove to me that in fact, neighborhood schools where students are admitted via straight lottery would result in a more DIVERSE population of students than we have now.
Ooops. I meant to type, would NOT result in a more diverse population. Meaning, just make it a straight lottery or make it neighborhood based, and you'd get your diversity.You'll have to forgive me, I'm 0/15 and was on the SI waitlist for Flynn.Accent on the "was" in that last sentence.
Unfortunately, this focus is what you get when the BOE is dominated by the Green Party.
And furthermore, does a 50/50 split make for a better immersion experience? Maybe, but immersion will work perfectly well either way. Immersion is immersion, and eventually, if you speak a certain language to the students, they'll speak it too.My friend's daughter went to French American, has perfect French, perfect accent, and a high majority of the class's kids were not French speakers.
3:14 -- Do you know *anything* about language immersion models?Your ignorance is *really* showing.
If you want your kids to be bilingual (and not everybody does), research indicates that immersion models work best and that children are more motivated to speak a language if they are surrounded by native-speaking peers.You might not value the gift of a foreign language (or care that it will likely raise your kids' cognitive abilities and test scores, including math), but to deny that having native-speaking peers around will motivate a child to speak a language is just, well, ignorant.
ANd yet, French families tend to send their kid to the Lycee and complain about the FAIS' kids'accents.You'll find that the Lycee kids speak better French because they have more French-speaking peers around.(There are other reasons for choosing FAIS over the Lycee).In any event, the situations are not parallel. At FAIS and the LYcee, all the FRench teachers are native speakers. That is not the case in SFUSD immersion, so having Spanish-speaking classmates is the best chance your kid will have of even hearing a native-like accent.
3:21, yes. I attended the French American school in Paris, and became bilingual very enjoyably. I speak from experience.What's your point?
And at that school in Paris, I should add, most of the kids were not French.
If you want to bring up the issue of accents, this is a thorn in my side. My husband teaches school in Oakland and was raised in Mexico City, and flat out refused to allow us to send our son to SI in the public schools. He says the accent the kids get is the equal a heavy appalachian twang would have to the average American's ear, very hard and revealing of class. (Yes, I just typed the word "class" please don't shoot.) He says that many of the teachers learned Spanish from their families. Which is why the genesis of those programs was to teach the spanish speaking kids proper English.So, if you want your kids to sound like that, that's usually what you'll get.Don't flame me; I'm just telling you what a native Mexican man thinks, who has a pretty good opinion of himself and his speech. ;-)
To 3:35, good post. It's the pink elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about.
More of the above, please! What else should those of us doing this for NEXT year consider?
3:35 -In SF you're just as likely to get a well-intentioned American girl who minored in Spanish in college. They can be *great* teachers, but they speak w/gringa accents and make grammatical mistakes.RE: The immigrant teachers you describe... the issue for me is not so much the accent (those can be regional, too) but the grammar. LIke having an English teacher routinely use "ain't" ...
Do you think your French would be as good if you hadn't been living in a French-speaking country and if none (or few) of your teachers were native French speakers?
Actually I don't care that much that my kid might pick up a "low class" accent in immersion class.Spaniards laugh at Mexican accents, Mexicans are disgusted by South American accents, French (from France) look down on Canadian and Belgian accents, Australians tend to think American English sounds really ignorant, Americans laugh at Jamaican English...Be proud of your accent or whatever accent you pick up from your surroundings!
If yer fixin' to get a fancy job, ain't it gooder to talk with the good grammar?
Nah, I work as a computer programmer.
Well, then, you don't need Spanish, either...
I was raised in the mountains of West Virginia, and believe me, that heavy accent is nothing to be proud of. I love my people, but I had a hard time getting jobs till I learned standard American English. It took me years before I could shed it. And still, the occasional ain't and Elizabethan terms slip out, like yonder, ye, kindly, fixin, and other marks of cain. We're not talking Blanch DuBois or Miss Daisy. We're talking L'il Abner.Saying "y'all" is one thing. Bad grammar is another.Accents are nice, unless they belie a lack of education.
Fun factoid, if totally off-topic: "ain't" used to be considered perfectly fine grammar, widely used by the upper classes. It simply fell out of fashion to the point where it was considered uncouth. (When you think about it, why would it be inherently bad?)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ain'tLIke having an English teacher routinely use "ain't" ...
Exept if I wasn't bilingual my brain'd prolly be to atrophyd fer me too program a computer.
It is a form of being bilingual/bicultural, no, being able to switch between the two dialects (what you grew up with; standard English)? As long as you know standard English (or proper Spanish) you can code switch depending on where you are and who you are speaking to. But you only have that option if you know both.I'm from Mexico City and my kid has had immigrant caregivers here. They are loving and wonderful and have reinforced the Spanish. But I'm having a hell of a hard time "extinguishing" the "s" from certain verb tenses. ("Fuistes" when it should be "fuiste", "trajistes" when it should be "trajiste." Where I come from, no educated person will take you seriously if they hear you add that "s". ) That's how many uneducated Mexicans -- and their kids -- speak. It is like cockneys using the F or V sounds instead of "TH" or dropping the "H"...
Starting to hear songs from My Fair Lady in my brain!
When I taught English as a second language in Japan in the 80s, they paid extra for American speakers and less for English speakers.I wouldn't consider SI for my daughter for the above reasons posted. I opted for the Mandarin program, am thrilled I got it, and think all this nonsense about the make-up of the kids in class is silly. In my daughter's class next year, we'll have *mostly* African American and Latin kids, which I think is grand! Imagine the opportunities these kids will have with Mandarin. And that's what makes it great for the SF public schools, all these different kids from different backgrounds will be Mandarin speakers.Now I'm wondering about the quality of the Mandarin speakers. I've heard nothing but good things. Anybody...?
The rain in Spain...
4:16 -- Mandarin immersion is great. But the truth is, your child's Mandarin WOULD BE EVEN BETTER if she had more native-speaking classmates in the room. Having native speaking peers makes an enormous difference -- especially in terms of motivation.SFUSD is trying desperately to attract more native Mandarin speakers to those programs, btw.
"Silly?"Guess you don't care how *well* your kid speaks Mandarin as long as they speak some?
About the petition:The act of "signing" it, really means that you are sending an email to the superintendent, EPC chair and board of education members. Any comment you put first is automatically included in the email, at the top. I think it's a great idea for others (if they don't feel like signing our "convulted, rambling" petition) to email the Board of Ed and Superintendent and EPC directly. It would be great if you also emailed us or posted here that you've done that, so we have a record of it and can use those numbers to pressure the powers that be to do something in response to this.
To be fair, I think we should remember that the immersion classes were originally for the immigrant kids to learn English without sacrificing/delaying their educations due to lack of English.And wasn't there a big debate about that? About how some experts think it's better to throw them into the English immersion? Others think spanish immersion to English over five years is better?Did the immersion classes become about white kids learning Spanish, in order to get the Spanish to English program in place?
If you want your kids to be bilingual (and not everybody does)...I imagine just about everybody does, but that doesn't mean they are willing to entrust the cutting-edge SFUSD with the job.
"but that doesn't mean they are willing to entrust the cutting-edge SFUSD with the job."OMG. I laughed so hard I spit coffee all over my computer ...
4:20 you are a snarky monkey. I see your *comments* and they're always one-liners and put downs. Add something to the conversation, why don't you?
Oh come on, I am not 4:20, and I am a public school parent...and I think the occasional snarky comments liven this blog up a bit. Some of them are just rude, but some are funny.
sooooooo, where's that AUG 1 waitlist on EPC's site?
ACTUALLY, dual immersion models were not developed for immigrant kids in the US at all.THey were pioneered in bilingual and multilingual countries, like Canada, Belgium and Switzerland. They've been used by some American Schools overseas, too.
A friend of mine who has also gone 0/15 got on the phone with her counselor at EPC. She told my friend that the Flynnerado 23 WILL BE ASSIGNED by this Wednesday.Can anyone confirm this?
a friday afternoon moment of levity: a wise friend heard about us having lost our school and she wrote to me: "try to remember that when we were kids, kindergarten was all about learning how to color and not pee your pants."well, speaking for our house, one out of two ain't bad.
I want my child to be bilingual, and did not apply for an immersion program. I believe the hype that a 50/50 mix works better, but I don't think that the damage done by leaving a classroom totally out of wack does as much damage as displacing families who were promised these spaces. And, finally, I find the "anglo" comments and the like un-informed. It sounds like lashing out. Whether or not immersion classes were started for immigrants or not, demonizing native English speakers for their interest in that program is counter productive. Does interest in other languages and cultures show a commitment to better citizenship and pro-diversity model?The families who were displaced were not at fault for the fact the the district has blown it in the past. And, they have a right to get angry. The best thing that may come out of this is change in the future. Lets work together.and please, will someone show evidence that a classroom with much less than 50% of the target (or non target) language ruins the experience?
kort: yes, they are now telling us via incomprehensible letter and ill-timed voicemail -- SFUSD's preferred modes of communication -- that they will make our search end on wednesday. i picture a gigantic mud-wrestling pit supervised by archie fokin in an XXL world wrestling federation-style cape and unitard.want to know something funny? i have to fly to nyc on the redeye afterwards! (those who know me, like kortney, would find it funny because, truly, i'm not a busy sort.) i figure i should order a cocktail ahead of time because, either way, i'll need one.kim, the famously drinkie poster
"picture a gigantic mud-wrestling pit supervised by archie fokin in an XXL world wrestling federation-style cape and unitard."ugh ...now I can't get that visual outta my brain ...
har har. finally a comment I care to comment on...Kinder has changed since then, however, and our children will be expected to "keep up" with the program. I don't think the tragedy is that our precious kids won't get the exact program we were promised...Instead, I think the tragedy is that you settled into your new school community, and then got axed.If your kid is like mine (and I know she is because they went to preschool together) sudden shifts in temperature sets off a tantrum. AFter talking with your kid about her new big girl school, buying the uniform, and participating in school picnics, you should be able to attend that school.A change at this late date is a very big deal for a 5 year old (and her parents.) It is hard. My kid has no school and it's effecting her (ya, ya, it's all my fault.) But we're all not looking forward to school BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE A SCHOOL TO LOOK FORWARD TO YET!!!
i have an idea for a friday afternoon diversion: an EPC counselor hottie calendar! who would you like to see oiled up as mr. january? who did you start finding weirdly attractive while they told you your kid was going to have to get teardrop tats on her knuckles to fit in at her new school? cast your vote. hmm...since they're throwing so many bones to us, maybe the flynnarado 23 should demand all kinds of crazy shit to amuse ourselves.here's the list i'll bring on wednesday:"i, kim green, promise not to sue your asses for breach of contract if...1) archie does downward-facing dog in dolores park. (once a week for the next 52 weeks.)2) shem says five dirty words in a row. no, 10.3) darlene sings "borderline" in karaoke at a 49ers game.4) hans tells the story of why he's called hans instead of han to a room full of prospective parents.5) guaranteed lifetime use of a pony for my kids, including boarding in the superintendent's backyard.
Rolling on the floor laughing.
I was using the search function on the sfusd website to look for the August 1 waitpool list.Didn't find it, but I did notice lots of files whose title is "Another W97M/Cartman.Poppy Infected Document". Try to not download any Microsoft Word documents from that site. PDFs should be fine even if they were generated from infected Word documents.(Thus virus is 10 years old and in the worst case will put up a text box accusing you of having killed Kenny, so no cause for panic.)
don't believe anything EPC says!!!
<<< i have an idea for a friday afternoon diversion: an EPC counselor hottie calendar! who would you like to see oiled up as mr. january? >>>Oh ya, some of us have been planning a "hunks of the SFUSD" fundraising calendar for a while. The potential centerfold, former PR guy Roqua Montez, has left the district. Myong Leigh is still here. I guess I won't embarrass some of our other potential nudie models by naming them.
Kim Green: you are either wildly hilarious or mildly insane. :)Don't worry-you'll get through this.Meanwhile, where can I buy some of your books?
The SFUSD strategic plan (found on their website) features the SQUEAM(School Quality, Equity and Access Matrix).Apparently, they too have a sense of humor.
no new waitpool data to speak of - why am I not surprised that despite Darlene promise to post aforementioned document at Tuesday's Webster meeting,no such info can be found.She's definitely OFF of my EPC hotties list. Boo.
i have noticed that being in the EPC has an inverse effect on my own hottie quotient (not exactly stratospheric to begin with). as in, on the thursday we got the call telling us we were being disenrolled, i steamed down there in my jammies with a great matted ball of hair like chewbacca. even archie stumbled backward when he saw me (and he's doubtless seen it all). and when i came in to edit my round 2 application and waitlist choice, i noticed that, in my anxiety, i had not realized i'd picked up a pair of jeans that were in the dirty pile because i had sat in a hardboiled egg. attractive!
How much $$/time/effort/personnel/etc is spend trying to achieve "diversity?" Doing a GREAT job:Geo. Wash Carver: 68% African American, C. Chavez 83% Hispanic, Chas. Drew 79% African American, Galileo 69% Asian, Garfield 79% Asian, Giannini 70% Asian, Jefferson, 70% Asian, F.S. Key 77% Asian, Lawton 74% Asian, Lincoln 69% Asian, Lowell, 69% Asian, H. Mann, 72% Hispanic, Marina, 69% Asian, MArshall, 73% Hispanic, McCoppin, 70% Asian, Parker 83% Asian, Sutro, 77% Asian, Sanchez 77% Hispanic, Stevenson, 77% Asian, W. Portal 68% Asian, Ulloa, 75% Asian.
Wow - imagine if a school had 83% white kids... the diversity police would riot.
Caroline said: Oh ya, some of us have been planning a "hunks of the SFUSD" fundraising calendar for a while. The potential centerfold, former PR guy Roqua Montez, has left the district. Myong Leigh is still here. I guess I won't embarrass some of our other potential nudie models by naming them.agggh! my eyes! my eyes!
Hey, Myong is really cute.
"i had not realized i'd picked up a pair of jeans that were in the dirty pile because i had sat in a hardboiled egg."uh, thanks for sharing. Now I am wondering what the state of your house is, at the moment... and if we should call the health department ... (as my Grandma would joke)
Please. Kim Green. Remember your 'Bye Bye Grattan' song . Some of us said hello then and now....
So I just spoke with our baby-sitter, who speaks Spanish (and some English), and she had had Flynn S.I. down as her waitpool choice and had been assigned to Cesar Chavez (which she didn't request).She got a call to go the meeting at Webster last week, and when she was there was given an assignment letter granting her son a spot in Flynn S.I. She signed it, the EPC lady made a copy for her and took the original. But now she says yesterday she got the assignment letter again, in the mail, but this time it came with a letter saying we'll let you know by August 8 if we can offer you a spot. There was no mention of this "maybe" letter when she signed the assignment letter at Webster.And as a result of getting the assignment letter last week (which I told her to be wary of after all the bullshit the English speakers have gone through) she relinquished a spot at a Catholic school (St. Peter's ,I think) that she'd been holding (because she really didn't want to send her son to Chavez). But so now of course she might be stuck with Chavez.Anyway, I know a lot of people on here might be thinking "tough shit" for your baby-sitter, but I thought it would be helpful to show the EPC is being just as unclear and incompetent with the Spanish speakers as well.
It's encouraging to hear that EPC is being even-handed: they treat ALL parents poorly.
tell your sitter she's not alone. same thing happened to us.
Damn! They can't get basic enrollment right, nor their sacred "diversity" either - "Sutro, 77% Asian, Sanchez 77% Hispanic, Stevenson, 77% Asian, W. Portal 68% Asian, Ulloa, 75% Asian."???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
might be helpful to view these percentages in the context of the following demographics 1) overall city racial 2) population in public school and 3) school neighborhood. It all starts to make sense, no? (Sorry, no energy to provide the actual numbers, but you can find them elsewhere on this blog.)
A school with around 12 percent white kids per class (that's 2 or 3 kids in the lower grades) would be achieving a perfectly diverse balance based on the population of white kids in public school. So Clarendon, Grattan, etc., also not looking so "diverse" based on the racial make up of kids in the city. Don't know about how diverse any of these schools are based on socioeconomic factors.
the pre-printed form I got at the Webster meeting said "enrollment application"--it was not a contract. apparently they will let everybody know next Friday.
oh, now that i look at the darn thing, it does say Enrollment Application. oh well.
so wait, are they doing the spanish speakers like a lottery, too? and when do they do the lottery for the rest of us 0/15 losers? i want to see if i can go down there and change our school (which was Alvarado S.I. -- HA HA HA) before the next run.
yeah, we need some hard dates here.
Much of the blame for not achieving diversity can be laid on parents as well as the fact that there are segregated housing patterns in this city. Give parents school choice and the schools will eventually segregate. Force them into diversity and I guarantee you we will have more parents fleeing the system.
THey claim they will test teh Spanish speakers before enrolling them in the Alvarado and Flynn SI classes. Hopefully, they will.Disenrolling 23 families was grossly unfair. But so was shutting out Spanish-speakers from Spanish-immersion programs and telling them SI was only for English speakers... for years.BTW: The SI class mix is not for diversity's sake, people. If you don't understand the rationale behind dual immersion, go do a little research or at least bother reading previous messages before posting B.S.
9:29 -- i guess my husband and I are a little slow on the uptake, because we didn't realize it was just an application either. or i guess the way it was worded, we though they meant if you're interested sign and return this by august 6, and you'll have a spot. And then we'll send you the assignment letter. the EPC woman made no mention of August 8, and even said Felicidades! But maybe they talked about the separate run for Spanish and bilingual families at some point, and we missed it.
After all this, they really should test the kids they take into the program. There can't be that many. We got one of those confusing EPC letters as well. On a personal level, we'd of course love it if our son got into Alvarado, but on a broader level, I can understand if he doesn't. He understands everything in Spanish, and speaks a fair amount (my husband is from Chile), and would probably start speaking if immersed in the language. But, if this is all about getting more Spanish speakers in there, there are probably more qualified kids. (And no, we didn't lie on our application. We said he was dominant in English, but we spoke both spanish and english in the home, which is true.) Anyway, we'll see what happens.
I spoke to Art Agnos this evening, who said that he and the prefund Daniel Webster mothers' group are VERY interested in getting a group together of waitlist parents together who might be interested in Daniel Webster Spanish immersion for this year.If there are enough interested people, the prefund group would love to give a presentation to waitlist families in the hopes that, if enough families are willing to be in the first SI class at DW, it will actually go ahead (with a combination of waitlist and flynn/alvarado families).I'm assuming there would be a lot of interest in this, but it would be great to have confirmation! The prefund people are having a hard time knowing how to contact the 0/15 (or 0/7 or 0/4 etc.) families directly (and the District is not facilitaing this)...I can be a contact person for this (firstname.lastname@example.org) or I can get contact information from someone from prefund and post it tomorrow.There is also information at the prefund website: www.prefund.org, and the pps website as well.
thanks for posting about prefund. i'll definitely get in touch with you.question -- so how hard would it be for a school to add on another class at this point? i'm just wondering, for instance, if a school that has been historically underenrolled would consider adding another class if enough people from the waitlist were interested.
RE: Webster option, I'd suggest you also post your inquiry at email@example.comAlso, has there been any response from the district on whether they'd be willing to add an additional stop at i.e. Alvarado/Noe or Flynn/Bernal to the existing bus route to DW if there's sufficient interest from incoming parents?
jeez. The enrollment application is just that --an APPLICATION.The ASSIGNMENT LETTERS are what I refer to as "a CONTRACT".If you got an assignment letter stating that your child would be attending a certain program at a certain school, that is a legal binding contract.
Something to keep in mind:Daniel Webster is in the 4th year of Program Improvement, and I am not sure exactly what that means, but I think if they keep doing badly the state can take them over after 5 years. When the state takes over they fire all the staff and "start again".The scores are not getting better, it has been getting worse:2007 API score: 6562006 API score: 6682005 API score: 704Middle-class people seem to think that if their kids start going there, the scores will automatically go up, but if much of the class is so far behind where your child is, the level of teaching is geared at where most children are. Another thing to consider is how much "crowd control" is taking place in the classroom, versus actual teaching.
If enough Flynnarado's said they'd take DW if only there were a bus route, I bet SFUSD would add a stop or two.That was Rachel Norton's view, anyway...
7:53am:those scores are better than buena vista's and rosa parks' and near fairmount's and flynn's.
Those API scores mean little. The SI class at Webster will have all new families -- with a big influx of the kind of educated, middle class ones that tend to score higher regardless of the school setting -- and new Spanish-immersion staff.
The "level of teaching"? Well, in an immersion classroom the challenge is a little different, isn't it?Spanish-speaking kids from less educated families might lack the advantages of middle-class kids who attended solid preschool programs and whose parents attended college.But they will nonetheless have a leg up on the Spanish component.
When so many children are so far away from even being “proficient” in English and/or Math, you can’t seriously think it will not affect your child’s school experience. Yes, they may learn some Spanish.Webster’s statistics:Percent at or above Proficient, English Language Arts:2007 Grade 2: 9.1% (15.1% drop from previous year)2006 Grade 2: 24.4% Percent at or above Proficient, Math:2007 Grade 2: 27.3% (23.9% drop from the previous year)2006 Grade 2: 51.2 %Saying that the scores are similar to other schools people here want isn't comforting, it is frightening.
It is irrelevent if kids in higher grades in the GE or bilingual program at Webster are "behind".The incoming Spanish immersion class will be brand new... and have a very different class composition, staff and teaching methodology than previous cohorts currently in higher grades.So no, how older students in entirely different programs and with entirely different teachers have done isn't really relevant... especially given the disadvantaged background of the bulk of Webster students (not the case w/SI, which will have more of a mix of social classes).
How can brand new, incoming kindergarteners be "behind"?And if they are, how can you blame the school for that?This is a brand new program. What happened in other programs (albeit in the same building) just doesn't apply.
Dena Fischer, from Prefund, wrote me saying she would be happy to talk to anyone about Daniel Webster and the Spanish Immersion program. She would like to invite anyone interested to please call or to email her. She said, "So many people are in difficult situatuons - all of us so hope you and the rest of the wait list and displaced families are able to get schools they are happy with."Her cell phone is: 415 305 5590Her email is: Dena@manuslit.comI'll post this elsewhere, but please pass the word on to anyone you think might be interested in more info!
It is not a question of blame, it is a reflection of the reality the school is dealing with. If those statistics mean nothing to you, that's great. I hope the school does turn around and I hope soon that all kids in SFUSD will be at least "proficient" in Language and Math.
No, those stats do not apply to brand new programs, with brand new teachers and brand new kids from entirely different backgrounds than previous classes.THey don't.It is pretty obvious to anyone with common sense.
HOw "proficient" in language and math are 4-year olds supposed to be *before* they ever enter kindergarten?
They don't start testing until 2nd grade, so there are no proficiency numbers for Kinders. The closest you could get are brigance scores. Because it is a brand new program, it will be somewhat different, but the school's situation and foundation can be summed up a lot by looking at the API score history. It's fine if none of those numbers matter to you, I just wondered of people looked at them at all.
Scores can vary GREATLY program by program.Past scores speak to the success of past programs, teaching approaches, and student body composition.When a school is about to do something as radical as Webster, start a completely different program, with different teaching methodologies and teachers and more middle class families, it is stupid to imply that PAST performance of DIFFERENT programs is at all relevant. AT ALL.
Person who posted Webster scores:What a pessimisstic view of the world you have!Are you implying that poorly performing schools are inevitably doomed, even if they completely change their educational approach, hire brand new teachers, and recruit more middle class families? That no matter what they do, they cannot change their fate?
No, schools can be changed, and turned around. SFUSD is offering these families a new program at Webster, many of them have had little time to look into that choice. I think the statistics are not absolute, it does not mean that nothing can change, but it does show trouble in the past that one should consider when choosing a school. Especially the 4th year of program improvement factor. I keep saying that if test scores mean nothing to you, great!
8:10: They don't want to *hear* it. When their kids get nearer to 2nd grade and we see all the *white flight* happening at these schools, then they will realize what you are talking about.
I think the poster who posted the Webster scores was trying to point out that the school is one year away from a state takeover based on not achieving mandated goals. I'm not sure if the addition a new program means that the school gets an extension on the five-year timeline or not. I am sure that there's a second grade class there with some kids with issues (just look at the drop in scores--probably not the teacher's fault). Also, I've heard that there was a really rotten K class at Flynn a little while back. Kids came in armed with impressive four-letter-word vocabularies and lots of attitude. Haven't looked at their scores (in fact this class may not have reached 2nd grade yet--maybe this year), but I wouldn't be surprised if they were lower than the class just ahead of them.The scores don't mean everything, but they do give you a snapshot of existing conditions at the school to balance out the really positive snapshot provided by Prefund, a group doing impressive work.
"The scores don't mean everything, but they do give you a snapshot of existing conditions at the school to balance out the really positive snapshot provided by Prefund"Yes, thank you for saying it better than I did. I mean no offense, I am trying to help those who find themselves in this shitty situation look at all the factors they perhaps should before taking a deal now that they may regret later. You all seem intelligent and have probably looked at the test scores and Title I status already.
3:55 - so your educated, Mexican-born husband is a snob. Yes, amazingly, Mexicans can also be snobs! It's ridiculous to hear parents complaining their children won't learn the "right" accent in a public school. We're talking about Kindergarten - they've got their whole lives to posh up their speech. Even a child who learns English with the deepest Appalachian twang is going to be ahead of the child who doesn't learn it at all! I thought at first that assigning schools with economic diversity it mind would be the best solution, after reading this blog I wonder if that wouldn't drive the middle class folks away faster than anything.
"the school is one year away from a state takeover based on not achieving mandated goals"Yes, and remember, the test scores from the incoming group of Kinders this year will not be reflected to help the program improvement status until they are in 2nd grade, about three years from now, and will that be too late?
No trace remains of the accent I had until 4th grade, but my family moved away from the place where I was developing the accent....This happens with the "good" ones and the "bad" ones.
Incoming kinders can definitely be "behind" -- there's a large body of research on issues like vocabulary, the number of words spoken to children in the home and the types of conversation parents have with them (issuing directives vs. encouraging discussion and critical thinking), familiarity with books and reading, plus basics like colors, numbers and letters. Many education insiders will tell you that a critical mass of high-need, unprepared children will overwhelm a school. But when the number is sufficiently short of that critical mass, most individual children will achieve at about the same level and pace no matter where they are, given adequate stimulation and teaching.
Yup, just compare brigance scores between children who have attended preschool (or have a parent who does preschool-ish things at home with their child) and those who haven't. I went to a school I really loved to begin with, my kid had a magical Kindergarten year, but 1st grade was terrible, kids swearing, throwing chairs, so much disruption and so many out-of-control kids in the same class that hardly any teaching happened at all. That's what that person meant about "crowd-control", I think. Sorry if it is un PC to even bring it up, but it's a reality. And it wasn't all the teacher's fault, the room needed about 4 adults to deal with my kid's classmates.
11:05, that's what I mean about critical mass, except that it sounds like it concentrated in one classroom. Really, it can just be a couple of kids. A teacher friend (in low-income district outside San Francisco) says she had two cousins in her 6th-grade class last year who interacted in a seriously disruptive way. One of the cousins was moved to another class, and that made the difference. Even though there were a few other kids in the class with issues too, it was manageable after the one cousin left, and no longer seriously disrupted teaching and learning.The Oakland blog The Perimeter Primate has posted some thoughtful commentary on such issues -- here's one sample:http://tinyurl.com/5z2ogp
I recall an interesting comment from the Lakeshore principal a few year back that I thought I'd share. (Note that Lakeshore's black/hispanic population is probably not nearly as distressed as the one at Webster). I was touring the school and we were asking questions. I asked what she felt her biggest challenge was and she said the achievement gap between the performance of the white/asian students and the black/hispanic students (probably everyone's answer). I asked when those differences start to appear and she said at Lakeshore it was around 2nd grade. She said the assessments in Kindergarten and 1st grade showed these same kids who would fall behind later doing pretty well. I have no idea what to make of it (and am not suggesting that it applies to Webster) but I thought it was interesting amid this general idea that univeral preschool and pushing curriculum down a grade is the way to "fix" the gap. If this observation isn't limited to Lakeshore, that implies the opposite - save the energy (and the universal pre-school money) for 2nd/3rd grade and focus the efforts there.Any thoughts?
It's not that kids are fine when they are in K/1, then "something happens" in 2/3, it's that the lack of language exposure and other pre-academic preparation that occurs in middle-class homes really shows up once the curriculum demands get greater.
One possible explanation would be the backsliding that occurs during summer for kids whose families don't have the resources to offer enrichment activities. Perhaps the city should invest in subsidizing more of this through Park and Rec or the SFUSD.
God, Park & Rec. is 80% geared toward "at-risk youth."
Art Agnos, whose children *somehow* got into Rooftop.
But if 50% of the incoming SI class at Webster is middle-class and ENglish speaking, the dynamic is bound to be different than in a classroom where there are no middle class kids.
This year on my tour, the Lakeshore Principal said her biggest challenge is the size of their school. lakeshore is big and she struggles with that. Maybe she's more comfortable with the achievement gap? maybe the gap is lessening?
Do the PreFund folks realize that despite their awesome efforts, their own children may not be able to get into DW when the time comes because of the lottery? Miraloma is the perfect case in point, as is McKinley, probably Sunnyside in a year, etc. Or is Art Agnos also going to develop a new enrollment policy for the district?
Not all the people involved in Prefund are parents of soon-to-be kindergarteners. There are a LOT of Potrero residents involved who simply see it as their civic duty to embrace their local school and try to turn it around.
Yes, we are involved in Prefund and our 1st grade child already attends elementary somewhere else. (another public school). It benefits our entire neighborhood to have a great school, not just those families who will actually attend. -A Potrero family of 4
9:31, it's bigger than the kindergarten issue. When you put your child in an immersion program, even a sterling one like FAIS, or the Chinese one, or the Lycee, your child will be behind his peers for years until they reach parity. Like until about fifth grade. One of the reasons I didn't place my daughter at FAIS even though she was admitted, was that I couldn't guarantee that I could afford it for five or six years, and the head of school said immersion kids need at least a five or six year comittment. Otherwise, you do your child a disservice.This is an established understanding about immersion programs, that the kids are behind until they are ahead. If that makes sense.Point being, is that committing to an immersion program isn't "just kindergarten" and it just isn't about being a snob.
Actually, some kids reach parity in 3rd.And in 5th they start to surpass monolingual peers.
They are primarily behind in English language reading/language arts, btw, not necessarily other subjects.
8:57 - if refusing to put your child into an immersion program because you are afraid they will learn to speak with a "low class" accent isn't snobbery, what is it?On the other hand, I do agree that it is very unwise to put your child in an immersion program when you know there's a good chance you won't be able to fulfill the commitment, for whatever reason.
To all who would consider law suits against the district, please move, hustle up a private or find creative homeschooling alternatives. Sucking off funds from the limited education purse for legal fees is just not good karma.
No, making stupid mistakes that affect people's lives like messing up people's school assignments and expecting them to go to a crappy under-performing school is what is not good karma.
9:28, I would never want my child to go through an immersion program if she was going to end up with an poor dialect, poor grammar, or poor language skills in the second language, because that's not very usable in the real world. What would be the point? So, it's not snobbery.I've wanted to chime in in this for a while. I was raised in South Florida where the Cuban American english accent is a pretty distinct one. You can really tell the quality of where they learned their english. Some of these folks are entirely unintelligible. Some of these folks speak perfect Spanish AND English. I've never figured out why.I do know that when I've traveled to Northern Ireland, I can't understand a single word some of them say, and I'd hate for them to be speaking and teaching English to my kid, if I were a recent immigrant to the US. Northern Irish are native English speakers.It's not snobbism. It's common sense.
Are there any families who have had first hand experience or comments about the quality of their kids' Spanish learned in an immersion program? Esp here in SF schools?I've only heard glowing things from French people about my neice's FAIS learned French.I agree about the severe Irish accent comment. I love the Irish, a lot, but I would not want my child spending years learning a language only to end up marginalized anyway. Why is this snobbery? There are some really high class English accents that grate my nerves. I'd hate my kid to sound like that too.The whole drive of immersion classes are to speak a good standard version of the language.
First Grade Spanish Immersion teacher here again:When I asked to transfer from a Spanish Bilingual program to Spanish Immersion, a group from my new school came out to watch me teach. It was clear that the level of Spanish spoken by teachers was very, very important to the principal, parents and staff, much more so than for the Spanish bilingual program. They discouraged one of my colleagues from transferring based on her shaky language abilities. One of the people observing me was Spanish (meaning born and educated in Spain). Yes, there's some range of language abilities among teachers. Fortunately the Spanish teaching materials have gotten better lately in terms of grammar and vocabulary (although we do find an error now and then), and we learn from them. We also learn from the better speakers on staff and from our students' parents. Because of these multiple influences, we become somewhat familiar with different dialects of Spanish. I know three different words for 'drinking straw', three for 'kite' and many for 'pig'.Know that the district provides no training opportunities or travel abroad programs for teachers who wish to improve their second language skills. We also get no special compensation for having spent, in most cases, years and years of effort becoming bilingual. Wish immersion programs had been around when I was a child!
I went to Buena Vista years ago, when, to my knowledge, it was the only Spanish immersion school in the district. I think the most interesting thing about my Spanish "dialect" is that it isn't tied to one country, one region, or one social class. Some of my teachers were native speakers, others weren't. They were Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Spanish; native English speakers and native Spanish speakers (mostly the latter, I think). My classmates were from all over Latin America. As a result, as the previous commenter said, I'd use half a dozen words for "hat" interchangeably, while a native speaker might use one or two words specific to his or her own place of origin.Certainly, to a previous commenter's points, I had to unlearn some early bad habits. I remember figuring out around late elementary school that, to use her example, there's no "s" at the end of "fuiste", and that saying "caYAte" as opposed to "CAyate" (for callate, be quiet) was not only incorrect but seemed to be kind of rude. At the same time, most early elementary school kids haven't mastered formal English grammar, either. When I was exposed to Spanish grammar in a formal setting - in middle and high school Spanish classes, and particularly in AP Spanish Language and AP Spanish Literature - it was easy to learn to speak more "correctly". Of course, I really couldn't tell you how I sound to a native speaker. When conversing in Spanish with native speakers, I've frequently been asked where I'm from and praised for my speaking abilities, but of course, I can't imagine anyone would tell me if they thought I sounded uneducated. I haven't taken Spanish in years, since I was a freshman in college, and it's certainly much more difficult for me to have a long conversation now than it was when I was younger and more or less fluent. That said, I'm confident that, if I were to be immersed in a Spanish environment now, or even years in the future, I'd become fairly fluent again fairly quickly. I think my Spanish immersion experience has played a big role in my successes to date. It not only allowed me to learn a language, but also made me the type of global, culturally-literate person that schools and companies are looking for in their application and hiring processes. I even wrote about Buena Vista in both my college and MBA application essays, and I remain convinced that it was a big part of what made me stand out in the applicant pool. Overall, I had a phenomenal experience with Spanish immersion, and I consider it a great gift that my parents gave me this opportunity – regardless of whether or not my grammar is perfect!
I have serious fears that both native Spanish speaking parents AND the launguage immersion teachers will see my English speaking child as a user and the child of a middle class snob, simply because she was born here and looks white.I'm taking her off the immersion wait list asap and looking for a GE program. Our goal is to give her a new language outside of this divisive school system of ours.
Slightly off topic, but is there anyone reading who has kids currently in grades 2 to 5? Did you notice a difference in a) the instruction, b) your child's happiness or achievement, or c) the level of disruption/motivation of other students in the class past grade 2? Especially interested if you have a child in a current or previous "hidden gem". Immersion or GE comments welcome.
To 9:42, my son will be entering the 4th grade at a SFUSD "hidden gem." The school has high test scores and lots of extras but is not super-popular; the majority of students are the kids of recent immigrants from China whose first language is Cantonese. IMO the amount of distraction from the couple of disruptive kids in the classroom was actually lower after kindergarten as the kids have gotten more used to what is expected in school and the "load" of kids with behavioral issues seems to have been deliberately equalized between forewarned teachers in each grade. My child's achievement seems to have remained high and his interest in school relatively strong. The only negative IMO is that the focus on academics, and in particular the sort of skills likely to bolster performance on standardized tests, has become more pronounced with each year.
Is it "snobby" to prefer that my child learn standard English instead o Ebonics?
This is a bit of an aside, but ... how much time do kindergarteners get to play (whether running around outside or doing imaginative play) in SFUSD? We've got another, or maybe two, before we have to deal with all this madness. Our daughter will be 5 in Fall '09. We're thinking of looking at both pre-K options and kindergarten. Thanks.
Some schools (and teachers) are more play-based than others.Skip Mandarin immersion if you want more of a play-based approach, for example. Learning characters takes a lot of work, most of it memorization.Grattan, for example, has one K teacher who really values learning through play and another one who is more academic in her approach... so you really need to shop around...
Thank you poster #351. Anyone know what approach the teachers take at the different Spanish immersion schools? I had heard amazing things about the Flynn kindergarten teachers (though they're now coming across as well-intentioned but a tad overzealous, but perhaps that isn't fair, given the circumstances of not being listened to). Or Marshall -- I have to admit, I have a hard time reconciling my image of "walking my daughter to elementary school" with the scores of crackheads we'd probably pass by at 16th and Mission on our way there. But is the school an intimate little oasis, and the teachers great. What about Sunnyside or New Traditions? They both sound like sweet little schools that might still slightly be off the radar. Anyone know if the K teaching style there is sweet and intimate as well?
Good luck, 7:42.Our impression from Sunnyside from speaking at length to the principal and visiting K classrooms was that the teaching was pretty traditional + academic. The school itself seemed pretty sweet, small and intimate.New Traditions struck me as pretty much the same although there is more of an emphasis on the arts. Sunnyside is starting to focus more on science, as that is the background of the principal.
are there any 0/23 (whatever the number is) parents out there who were assigned to Junipero Serra and are considering sending their children? Anyone go to the kindergarten orientation (we were out of town)?If so, how was it? Thanks.
"how much time do kindergarteners get to play (whether running around outside or doing imaginative play) in SFUSD? We've got another, or maybe two, before we have to deal with all this madness. Our daughter will be 5 in Fall '09. We're thinking of looking at both pre-K options and kindergarten. Thanks."In my experience very little. I think there were 2 recesses a day in my daughter's K, one connected to lunch - so probably less than an hour overall. My understanding is that in schools that score better, there is less emphasis on rote learning b/c
oops...as I was saying:less emphasis on rote learning in schools with higher test scores. They don't have to worry about improving their scores so there is more flexibility in the curriculum. At least that is what the parent who gave me a tour at Sherman said, and it makes sense. My daughter was at an up and coming school with very poor test scores.I would say (and this is my bias) if you have a fall bday kid and you can afford another year at preschool, DO IT!
Our school has 3 recesses in all grades, but I believe they are longer for kindergarteners. Since the district went to all-day kindergarten ~5 years ago, the K teachers in our school (who felt 1/2 day was sufficient) used much of the afternoon time for extended recess and other play.
9:58... what school?
Both our K and 1st grade teachers got in a little extra running around time in addition to the recesses. They have "motor" once a week, P.E. once a week and a trip to Grattan park one afternoon a week.
yes, 9:58, please, what school? i did some preliminary touring this year, as our son is an incoming K for 2009 too, and noted that Miraloma and Commodore Sloat seemed to have K classrooms that were more "old school." Although the teachers at Flynn, which is three blocks from our house, seemed lovely with the children (the GE teacher, Robert, in particular seemed to have a great demeanor with them), I didn't notice any playthings around, and the principal seemed very clear about his mission being to up the test scores. So that turned me off a bit.
9:58 here, the school is Yick Wo.
7:22--you might check out SF Community or Creative Arts if you are looking for more play-based or project based curriculum in Kinder.
Yes, Creative Arts uses a Reggio-Emilia type approach for the younger grades, it is awesome.
Creative Arts also uses a great RESPONSIVE CLASSROOM approachresponsiveclassroom.orghttp://tinyurl.com/5b53cm
Both SF Community and Creative Arts are full, with long waiting lists, aren't they?
thank you 9:58 poster, and other posters! i've been planning to look into Creative Arts and SF Community.
"Both SF Community and Creative Arts are full, with long waiting lists, aren't they?"Yes, but I believe the poster is looking for next year as her child will be entering in the 2009-10 school year.
Just as an aside: both SF Community AND Creative Arts are K-8!
At first I was nervous about my young child being around so many "big" kids, but they are so great with the younger kids. My son said, when he first saw them "Mama, they are almost just like real people!"
Wanted to let everyone know that I do believe they're testing all the potential replacement students for Flynn and Alvarado for their Spanish proficiency. From a community standpoint, I think it's great. After the fiasco of pulling all those families, it's the least they can do. From a personal standpoint, I'm bummed because our son failed it by a measly 3 percentage points. (he understands way more than he speaks). Anyway, back to the 0/23 waitpool mess for us.
New waitpool numbers are up on the district's website, for those of you who are still pursuing a different assignment. Of course they don't take into account the Flynn/Alvarado parents' choices.
thank you for letting us know about the WP numbers. Why don't they include a column for "overenrolled" as well? That would give a more complete picture ...
Ideally there would be a column listing the number of available spaces. In the case of over-enrollment they could put a negative number there.Of course all that info might also tempt 10 people to simultaneously jump from one waitpool to another and cause even more confusion and anxiety.
anyone think this whole disaster will force them to improve the issue by next year? we opted to hold our son back a year, since he's a November kid, and we didn't squat off our list. I'm hoping maybe just maybe things will be at least somewhat improved by next year -- like they'll do immersion as a separate lottery.
Well I guess it would depend on what kind of immersion program you are putting your child in and whether the child was a target language speaker (ie Spanish) or non target language speaker.If your child is a non-target language speaker, I do not see any improvements whatsoever unless the district opens up more slots. Of course, you could get lucky and be one of those the computer randomly selects to fill the slots (unless you have one of the diversity target factors that puts you at the top of the list).Anyway, given the over demand for the non-target language slots (ie English speakers), the statistics do not look good. Even more so when you think the whole time the Flynn/Alvarado (and who knows which other SI) programs overenrolled the non target language speakers, so in reality even less of these kids should have had this opportunity all these years.The good news is Webster is starting a program so that is a few more slots.
Any news on whether or not Webster will be starting SI this fall or next?
anyone know why there are more approved appeals on this aug 1 waitpool list? i thought the appeal process happened long ago and was closed. huh?
after our son was tested (and flunked) his spanish test, we did meet with Archie for a few minutes and he mentioned that they've had a lot of interest in the Webster idea. He said he (or somebody at EPC) would call us tomorrow, Wednesday, to let us know if the Webster program is a go. We're still debating whether we're up for it. We'd love immersion, but are apprehensive about jumping onboard with the program is so new -- but like other posters have commented, maybe that's the only way to go at this point. Anyway, I'll happily post whatever he tells me.I also asked about whether he foresaw any spots opening up at Marshall for instance, and would they be asking Spanish speakers from that program if they wanted to move to Flynn or Alvarado, and so make space for some more English speakers. But he said no, that they would only be moving Spanish speakers out of GE programs.
"Both SF Community and Creative Arts are full, with long waiting lists, aren't they?"The SFUSD data only shows 4 in the SF Community wait pool. Creative Arts handles its own enrollment and the length of its wait list is unknown. Just fyi...
A lot of Spanish-speaking parents are upset about that. Turns out, many requested immersion as their top choice but were sent instead to bilingual programs. If they need more Spanish-speakers for Webster, Flynn and Alvarado, shouldn't they open up that opportunity to folks in bilingual programs that really wanted immersion in the first place?
6:52 - yes. advocates for multilingual education is pushing for this. they district doesn't seem to recognize the difference between bilingual and immersion. those folks misplaced should get first placement, imo.
Maybe the Spanish-speaking parents who requested SI but instead got SB would be interested in switching to SI at Daniel Webster if it's a go?
Something is not making sense here...If the school district thought it was important enough to disrupt the English/non Spanish native speaker families (23 families) lives and disenroll them 4 weeks before school starts to honor the 50/50 principle, then shouldn't the other SI programs that are unbalanced the other way have their Spanish native speakers disenrolled to balance the program?The 23 families did not know they were misenrolled, and had they known, maybe they would have applied at Marshall or any of the other schools. So the argument that not enough English speakers applied to Marshall so EPC filled with Spanish speakers is no longer valid.Point is -- the balance of the program is more important than the lives of those affected. OR does it only apply to Flynn and Alvarado because their teachers basically said they will NOT teach another unbalanced class? Since the horse has been let out of the barn (so to speak), or the pot's been stirred, then might as well take this issue to the logical conclusion which is that every SI dual immersion 50/50 program be reviewed, and balanced. And if not enough native speakers, then either recruit them from the bilingual program or from GEN ED. If it there still is not enough, than let the principal/staff decide if they will honor an unbalanced class and let in more English speakers.But given the demand by the English speakers/non native Spanish speakers, than no way should any SI program at this point be an imbalance tolerated in favor of the native Spanish speakers. (And maybe none are though I keep reading about Marshall having too many Spanish speakers).Alternatively, draw the line in the sand, every class must be 50/50 and if seats go empty so be it. This will be the watershed year that the BOE rethinks this whole program and whether other models work better and whether it is time to scrap the bilingualprograms (just Gen ED for those who want to learn English and not maintain heritage language or Dual Immersion, which allows native speakers to maintain heritage language and also English but no third bilingual strand which uses up valuable district resources such as staff and classrooms, and are basically underenrolled, and based on various studies, produces underperforming students who speak Spanglish. Given the resources devoted to this group (small class size etc), one would and should expect outperformance compared to any ELL peer in the Gen ED program)Its understandable that the District wants to treat this as an isolated incident and clear it up quickly with minimum fuss. But the issue really is much larger if one thinks long and hard about this whole mess.
I think the EPC doesn't particularly care about the 50:50 ratio but that the Flynn and Alvarado teachers do and started this whole mess, so the EPC gave in at those schools...hence this whole mess. And yes the EPC would like to treat this as an isolated incident and sweep it under the rug as quickly and quietly as possible.
7:39 PM - La Raza and the diversity police would burn the city down if Spanish speaking families had to put up with the same BS treatment white families do.
6:40 -- What does the test entail? Were you there when they tested your son? How hard was it?
9:06 --Funny thing is, I feel that what I'm saying is just logical and common sense and nothing to do with "diversity".Some of the Spanish speaking families apparently got shafted too. And with so many options, as a Sp speaking parent, I'd be confused too and frankly a little offended that the District or these "Anglos" feel that somehow Spanish speakers (and Cantonese too) need to have special bilingual classes whereas Arabic or Russian native speaking kids are smart enough to make it in Gen Ed!! Perverse but true!I think the Cantonese got that class due to a lawsuit years ago, Lau v something like that(that started this whole bilingual strand).I wonder how the Cantonese kids do vs Spanish speaking kids in these programs. I listened to that guy on KGO the other day talking about English immersion vs bilingual, and seems his studies were mainly centered on Sp, but we have Tagalog and Cantonese. I will make a point to contact him! Data and facts are needed. I'm definitely curious. Maybe bilingual does work better and the district should set up more of these programs to accomodate all races and flavors of languages! Equity, access and success for all! (The new strategic plan in case you haven't heard)
9:14 pm -- we couldn't be there when they tested our son. i believe they do some question and answer stuff, have them read a story and tell them what it was about afterward. to be honest, it was stressful, because I think my son knew it was a "test" (examen, the EPC woman kept calling it "un examen"; i wished she could've said something less loaded ...) and he felt on the spot and didn't want to answer. but no, you can't sit there with them.
Izumi, the guy on KGO, co-authored a report calling for the elimination of bilingual education. But he also had a couple of paragraphs lauding the benefits of bilingualism. How is encouraging the loss of the native language (a frequent outcome when kids are immersed in English-only at school) consistent with praising the merits of speaking two languages?
One problem with bilingual classes is that they are completely segregated. Has the district considered ESL classes analogous to Newcomer for ES and MS?
10:13 -- remember the goal of bilingual(early exit bilingual) is the same as Gen Ed/English immersion in that you want the child to become fluent in English. And seems that data bears out that the quickest/most effective method to do that is immersion (seems worldwide, that is the preferred method -- if one travels to Japan or Germany, one will not find a bilingual class for one's American child unless the choice is private school. You choose to live there and attend public school, then the assumption is that you want to or rather should learn the language).Bilingual classes have the same goal -- to teach the child English also but to make the transiton easier by having the teacher be able to translate -- in this way, its more likely the child will be able to keep up with science, social studies etc curriculum for that grade level, because any issues will be handled by teacher translating. Though noble, it appears the effectiveness in achieving its goal is not what it should be and maybe the long term affects is what we should be more concerned with. If many of these kids in the bilingual program indeed are falling too far behind and are not able to take the more advanced academic classes in HS (AP) that help them toward college then what benefit have they gained? Now, if you are talking the dual immersion program that is a different story -- the goal is for the child to learn English but also to maintain/be proficient in their heritage language. The child is not segregated by ethnicity/race similar to bilingual classes and what seems to be the emergence of Spanglish. How effective dual immersion is for ELL kids apparently is an ongoing concern. However, on the face of it, it does appear to be a better option than straight bilingual programs if one wants child to learn both languages.It would seem that kids who have truly native speaking parents that do not speak English well so they are forced pretty much to always speak Spanish with their parents will learn to speak Spanish regardless of whether they are in Gen Ed or not. They may not be able to read or write. But in middle school they can take the language classes (which seem all focused on the written, dissecting grammar and all) and pick up the literacy end.
@7:39 and 9:35 -- It is a totally different situation if an immersion program is unbalanced the other way - the English speakers actually benefit from being around more Spanish, and the Spanish speakers still learn English. That is why no one is talking about unenrolling Spanish speakers from the other programs - there's no point because there isn't any harm being done to these students. In the unbalanced Flynn/Alvarado programs, there was real harm being done to the students, because they were not going to be receiving enough instruction in their own language to progress.
Do you think the Flynn teachers were most concered about possible damage to the EO students or more work for themselves?
11:01 I absolutely agree that if I were an Eng Only parent in a SI class, I absolutely positively would want it unbalanced with lots of Spanish native speakers.But I do not agree with your assessment that there is no harm done to the Spanish speaking kids trying to learn English. There may not be much damaged in K-2 when the language split is predominantly Spanish and little English. When the ratio goes to 50/50 or 60/40 split Sp-En in 3rd grade there is harm done.If I were a Spanish speaking parent, I would absolutely love the unbalanced Flynn/Alvarado class because then I know my kid is getting exposed to English verbally and still getting the benefits of the academics taught in Spanish.Still in all fairness, the programs were advertised as 50/50 and if its ok to disenroll the Flynnalv. 23, then it should be fine to disenroll the unbalanced classes the other way to balance the programs all away around for SI(notwithstanding my comments above in how one could benefit from an unbalanced class depending on one's needs). What's good for the goose is good for the gander my teacher used to say.
The F/A-23 have been conspicuously silent about what happened at the secret lottery at EPC last night. Perhaps they all got stinking drunk afterwards and are still hung over? Does anyone have any info??
The district has put them all on an airplane to Kansas, hoping nobody will notice.
No, they aren't walking into the lion's den until TONIGHT, it wasn't last night -- it is TONIGHT.
indeed: meeting is tonight. remember who we are, because if we're never seen again after we disappear into archie and darlene's personal abu ghraib, you should file 46 missing-person reports ;- ) .one data point in: webster spanish immersion is going to launch no matter what we 23 decide. that's a good thing.
By the way, a friend of mine (english speaking at home) on the waitlist for Fairmount was told by EPC to get on a different waitpool because no english speaking people will be getting into Fairmount this year. The same unbalanced issues exist there too. FYI.
thank you poster for info on Fairmount. Anyone hear anything about Monroe?