The recommendations to eliminate Mandarin dual-language and close Frank Porter Graham as a neighborhood school were made without visiting the schools, talking to the teachers and students, or meeting with the community.
The yardsticks used to evaluate the elimination of the Mandarin program were only: 1) does it eliminate the achievement gap?; and 2) does it educate students with limited English proficiency?
The program does both of these two things very well, but the committee decided that it wasn’t well enough.
How many other things that we all value in our district could be eliminated using these yardsticks? I am very supportive of closing the achievement gap and helping LEP students, but not at the expense of the things that make Chapel Hill the best school district in North Carolina, and one of the best in the nation.
For FPG, it appears that the only reason for closing a school with a 50 year history was the size of the walk zone. Completely ignored was the impact that busing will have on the fragile Karen/Burmese community that has found a home at FPG. The FPG community has embraced the Karen and has committed to raising the achievement at their school, even thought it has the highest percentage of free and reduced lunch in the district.
There is a new school opening next year. If there must be a dual-language magnet, why not place it there?
People move to Chapel Hill because they believe that we have excellent schools that are stable and caring. Yet this report shows a face of our district that is quite frankly appalling: Cheap, cold and without a larger vision. This is not our district. These are not our schools.Emily Roberson Chapel HillDon’t displace FPG students
The Dual Language program is a young program. In fact, the N.C. State Board of Education’s website is still calling for research to be done on the “Effectiveness of Dual Language Immersion programs in elementary schools” (bit.ly/JfF37X
This means that we’re still studying to what extent dual language programs are effective. And if we’re not sure how effective the programs are, it is premature to uproot entire school communities to service the program. We simply need more impartial research to evaluate prior to making hugely disruptive student assignment changes.
FPG does a great job of teaching its students and involving their families in education. A large part of FPG’s success, in both the DL and regular academic programs, is due to the fact that it is a neighborhood school.
Forcing the majority of FPG’s students to attend other elementary schools to accommodate the proposed magnet program is unfair and contrary to an important goal of elementary education: Fostering a sense of community
It also doesn’t make any sense to displace Dual Language students and families from Scroggs and Carrboro elementary schools to force them to attend the proposed magnet school at FPG. I suspect DL families from Carrboro and Scroggs would prefer to stay at their home schools. They may drop out of DL altogether if they are forced to attend DL at the FPG location. Presumably, they live in areas zoned for Carrboro and Scroggs because they wanted their children to attend the neighborhood schools there.
Thanks, and I welcome more spirited discussion of this topic.Meredith McClure-Scott Chapel HillRock’N Role Models
On Saturday, May 5, Volunteers for Youth hosts Rock’N Role Models, a musical event benefiting local youth.
All of us know young people who have struggled with the challenges of adolescence; some of us faced those challenges ourselves. For nearly 30 years, Volunteers for Youth has worked to make a difference in the lives of such children here in Orange County. As the county’s only nonprofit focusing solely on delinquency prevention, Volunteers for Youth steps in to provide guidance to young people in need of a helping hand.
Now members of our community have an opportunity to enjoy a night on the town while supporting Volunteers for Youth. Relax in a brand-new venue and listen up close to popular bands, with drinks and finger foods within easy reach. Local favorites, the Franklin Street Band and Greg Humphreys, will be performing at West End Public on Franklin Street on Saturday, May 5, with proceeds benefitting the programs of Volunteers for Youth.
Doors open at 7 p.m., with music going on until midnight. The $25 tickets include music, a drink ticket, and free snacks. Buy your tickets at etix.com (search for Volunteers for Youth or West End Public) or at the door on the night of May 5. Parking lots are right across the street. See you there!Susan Worley Executive directorVote for Hemminger
A vote for Pam Hemminger for county commissioner is a vote for continued improvement in Orange County.
A vote for Pam is a vote for action toward increased economic development to help diversify our tax base. A vote for Pam Hemminger is a vote to help maintain strong public schools in Orange County (prior school board member and 20-year school volunteer).
A vote for Pam is a vote for a watchful eye over our environment (a long-time Sierra Club member and Triangle Land Conservancy supporter).
A vote for Pam Hemminger is a vote for improved transparency and accessibility from your local government.
Pam has a widespread and keen interest in the well-being of Orange County. She has over a 20-year history of community involvement from schools to town boards to numerous nonprofit groups and activities.
Vote for Pam Hemminger on May 8 or, now, during the early voting period.Neal Bench Chapel HillDorosin, a strongand effective voice
I know and admire Mark Dorosin as a long-time friend and former colleague at Self-Help Credit Union; his commitment to fairness is second to none.
Significantly, Mark does the hard work to effect change that so many of us believe in. Perhaps his current position leading the UNC Center for Civil Rights most clearly exemplifies his “will do” attitude
As a former small business owner Mark understands the day-to-day challenges of meeting payroll. He understands practical reality while fighting for justice. He knows how to get things done.
Mark also is an experienced public official. He was elected Carrboro alderman where he was a valuable voice for the underrepresented, helping ensure the town’s decisions were fair for all.
Mark is also a great family man and a supportive friend. Indeed, every time I chat with Mark and his family I am the happier for it.
Mark Dorosin will be a strong, progressive and effective voice as an Orange County commissioner, and I urge my fellow citizens to vote for him.David Beck CarrboroSchools supporter
Before Pam Hemminger became a commissioner, she was a Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board member and chair. Because this and her work on issues ranging from increasing the county’s tax base, to being chair of the Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Commission, president of the Rainbow Soccer board and much, much more, she understands our community’s needs and has always been a very strong supporter of our schools.
For those of us with children in public school, the commissioners can make a huge difference in funding for the district. If they want, they can help to mitigate cuts to the district budget that come from the state. In the past, I have joined with other parents asking the commissioners to support our schools. Pam has always done this.
Please consider voting for her and keeping a strong advocate for schools, economic development and recreation in a position where she help keep Orange County a wonderful place to live.Gary Wallach Chapel Hill
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