Mandarin Immersion

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The Mandarin-language immersion program was hotly debated in the latter half of the decade by local residents. Though the board initially ruled not to implement the program in Jan., 2006, the issue was brought back to its attention. The board reevaluated the program and its cost analysis beginning in March.

The second vote in May, 2007, resulted in a victory for Mandarin immersion proponents. The board supported the program in a 3-1-1 vote.

Supporters said Palo Alto children would benefit from learning Mandarin, citing China's increasing global and economic influence. Opponents argued that the choice program would displace children from neighborhood schools and believe it is too early to implement the program.

Adding to the discourse was comparisons to the successful Spanish immersion program, which was implemented more than a decade ago.

The two camps were color coded; supporters attended meetings in red, opponents arrived in green.

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