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Oswego District 308 Candidate 'Sickened' Over Language Discussions

Feb 11, 2015 12:55PM, Published by Steven Jack, Categories: Opinion, Education, News




I am absolutely sickened over the discussion on the two topics of world languages and EL programming (Monday) night at the school board meeting. This election cannot come soon enough! Please understand that my lack of elegance in writing this reflects my shock and dismay, and not illiteracy.

The complete double standard of funding between the two topics was ridiculous. It would be such an elegant solution to make two way Dual Language (DL) instruction our first world language immersion program.

All of the curriculum and planning will be happening with the Spanish program anyway, vs. the cost and time of building a separate immersion program.

If the only reason to not use a 2 way immersion program in Spanish as a gateway program to our first true immersion World Language goals is the 90% class size rule, let's look at what that actually means for difference in class sizes. In an average class size of 29 at the 5th grade level, we are talking about a required DL class size of 25. Really its only a 4 student difference.

The costs of including English speaking students in the DL is mirrored with the cost of implementing an immersion world language program in Mandarin, or French, or German, or even Spanish. The only difference is that the elementary class needs to be at most 4 kids smaller. The funds for both should come from the general fund.

In addition this would show our community of non-English speakers that we value their culture and language and that we are not segregating them off to learn in only 2 schools so that our other students can have the opportunity to be immersed in a more exotic world language.

During the world languages presentation, no costs were presented, but in order to provide the FTE (teachers) needed to provide enough success to ensure that little sticker on the diploma, there will have to be a 1M + cost for world language also.

The English speaking families in the dual language program took a chance on this program because they were promised it would continue. They were the very first pilot students in the emerging 308 World Language program.

As we can see from their active involvement in this fight, this pilot program continues to have their strong support. Is it fair to yank their kids immediately into English only instruction then, in a year or two, have other kids pilot this same type of program in another language?

Everyone please call out your current school board members, make your opinions heard before we head down a path that will divide our community further instead of making it stronger!

Lauri Doyle, candidate for Oswego School District 308 board


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