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Old 06-14-2012, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Houston, Tx
8,226 posts, read 9,948,258 times
Reputation: 8198

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Houston_2010 View Post
While it is true that many of our household services are provided by Spanish-speaking people, this comment of your is very generalized and ignorant. Look around in terms of education, those people with dual or more languages have better career opportunities. Spanish is a very convenient language to know where we live for our day-to-day living as well as business and vacationing.
The way I see it, the more languages the better.
Its not generalized, the only people I see who only speak spanish are poor low skill/low wage immigrants. The hispanics I know who are educated or have good jobs speak only english. As far as dual languages having better career opportunities tell that to the people who have been here over a decade and still speak only spanish.
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:43 PM
 
28 posts, read 132,139 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicman View Post
According to the FAQ: HISD Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School | Houston ISD - English instruction increases through grade levels. Originally "language arts, math, science, and social studies" are taught mostly in Mandarin.

The FAQ does not state what the class sizes will be.

The State of Texas requires elementary schools to have a 22 pupil limit, BUT there are waivers which exempt a school from the limit. It would do you well to call the school and ask if they have an exemption to the class size limit. If not, then a class will have no more than 22 students.

"but I have many problems with the fact that the program is a product of HISD" - In which ways? I don't think this school is going to have the problems affecting most HISD schools in impoverished neighborhoods (anti-intellectual attitudes among the student body, students who have uneducated parents, etc.).
I have read the web site, attended parent meetings, spoken with the principle and considered serving on the parent advisory committee. I have asked many questions and haven't received satisfactory answers. MCLIMS like all other HISD and Texas schools will teach to STAAR standards, which has not had a chance to prove it self as a better alternative to TAKS which is/was a dismal failure. Some questions the administration could not answer, and it did not seem as if the plan was well thought out. The principle even admitted to only having recently visited the school in Utah that serves as the MCLIMS model.

I am not impressed by the statistics and ratings of schools in wealthier areas, I am most interested in the curriculum, which is rudimentary at best.

22 students is far to many to have in a classroom with students (without an assistant) of varying levels and abilities, especially when a moderately difficult foreign language takes up 50% of the day.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:01 PM
 
4,781 posts, read 8,694,276 times
Reputation: 1874
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmmd View Post
I have read the web site, attended parent meetings, spoken with the principle and considered serving on the parent advisory committee. I have asked many questions and haven't received satisfactory answers. MCLIMS like all other HISD and Texas schools will teach to STAAR standards, which has not had a chance to prove it self as a better alternative to TAKS which is/was a dismal failure. Some questions the administration could not answer, and it did not seem as if the plan was well thought out. The principle even admitted to only having recently visited the school in Utah that serves as the MCLIMS model.

I am not impressed by the statistics and ratings of schools in wealthier areas, I am most interested in the curriculum, which is rudimentary at best.
The number one factor that causes the student to succeed is having a good attitude towards education, not the curriculum. In wealthier areas, parents and student typically have pro-education attitudes. In many not so nice areas in Houston, this is not the case. Go talk to a student at Worthing High School, for instance, and you will hear of students who don't care. When there are lots of them, they will harass people who do try to do well in school, and people complain "I don't wanna be a schoolboy, that's not cool!" - pmmd, that is the reason why HISD is having problems in many of its schools.

Having said that, there is a possibility that you may have some legitimate concerns. "The principle even admitted to only having recently visited the school in Utah that serves as the MCLIMS model." for instance, that is a legitimate issue.

"MCLIMS like all other HISD and Texas schools will teach to STAAR standards, which has not had a chance to prove it self as a better alternative to TAKS which is/was a dismal failure. " - The most prestigious HISD schools and/or the best HISD programs teach beyond STAAR, to pre-AP and AP, or pre-IB and IB standards. I would ask if the curriculum is good preparatory for pre-AP/pre-IB. River Oaks, Roberts, and Twain have pre-IB elementary programs, for instance. Lanier MS has IB for middle school, and Lamar has IB for high school.

The parents in the West U/Bellaire/etc. area often send their kids to AP and IB programs in high school if they go public, and they do teach beyond STAAR. An HISD elementary school worth its salt would prepare for Pre-AP and Pre-IB in middle school.

"22 students is far to many to have in a classroom with students (without an assistant) of varying levels and abilities, especially when a moderately difficult foreign language takes up 50% of the day." - A foreign language can be initially difficult for kids, but they overcome it. See this NYT story about American kids who went to a Russian school, with no Russian abilities: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/ma...pagewanted=all - Secondly, did you ask the school "What is the average class size?"

"Some questions the administration could not answer" - Which questions are they?

Last edited by Vicman; 06-14-2012 at 05:13 PM..
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:14 PM
 
16 posts, read 33,634 times
Reputation: 17
@Vicman, Thanks you are right. I have actually spoken to the principal and he has stated that the max is 22 kids per class and no more. I don't forsee any problems for this Magnet school that other HISD schools face.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicman View Post
According to the FAQ: HISD Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School | Houston ISD - English instruction increases through grade levels. Originally "language arts, math, science, and social studies" are taught mostly in Mandarin.

The FAQ does not state what the class sizes will be.

The State of Texas requires elementary schools to have a 22 pupil limit, BUT there are waivers which exempt a school from the limit. It would do you well to call the school and ask if they have an exemption to the class size limit. If not, then a class will have no more than 22 students.

"but I have many problems with the fact that the program is a product of HISD" - In which ways? I don't think this school is going to have the problems affecting most HISD schools in impoverished neighborhoods (anti-intellectual attitudes among the student body, students who have uneducated parents, etc.).
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:21 PM
 
16 posts, read 33,634 times
Reputation: 17
@pmmd, I always supplement my children's learning outside of school. My child's education is ultimately in my hands and not just the school and the teacher. So I will never leave it up to a teacher or school to drop the ball when it comes to my kids. My native language is English so I have been teaching my kids proper english since they were born.

Have you looked up Pin Oak, Johnstons and other top Middle schools because they perform very well. HISD also have Magnet college prep schools and all of the graduating seniors received schlorships. So Some the Magnet schools in HISD aren't bad and are very high performing. Is the French immersion school a private school?

Thanks I am looking for a convenient program that offers spanish Do you know the name of one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmmd View Post
My child is enrolled in MCLIMS, but he will not attend. I love the idea of Mandarin, but I have many problems with the fact that the program is a product of HISD. I don't have enough faith in HISD to prepare my child for high school much less college while only offering instruction in English 2 to 2 1/2 hours a day with 22 to 25 children in a class.

My child currently attends a French Immersion program, but will add Spanish as a third language in Middle School. There are so many opportunities for one to learn Spanish in Houston, that we did not feel the need to begin my child's education in the Spanish language.

There are programs across the city that offer Spanish language learning, that you can supplement by having play dates with Spanish speaking children.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:32 PM
 
16 posts, read 33,634 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by 14Bricks View Post
Why does your kids "need" to learn spanish? [mod cut: rude/racist comment] I would definitely go with the Manarin immersion, seeing that China is going to be the dominant power in the world. They're already a dominant economic power, so from a business aspect it make perfect sense.
So they can travel to a variety of countries and be able to communicate efficiently there. It is always more fun when you are able to speak the languages of locals.

Last edited by elnina; 06-17-2012 at 03:49 AM..
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:34 PM
 
16 posts, read 33,634 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Houston_2010 View Post
While it is true that many of our household services are provided by Spanish-speaking people, this comment of your is very generalized and ignorant. Look around in terms of education, those people with dual or more languages have better career opportunities. Spanish is a very convenient language to know where we live for our day-to-day living as well as business and vacationing.
The way I see it, the more languages the better.
I agree. I want my kids to be little polygots.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:41 PM
 
16 posts, read 33,634 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by nervouslaughter View Post
I would definitely take Mandarin. This will be a huge asset as they get into the professional working world. Also, it's easier to learn Spanish, which you can find friends or family or internet to teach you. Mandarin on the other hand, you'll want an instructor.
That is why I am leaning toward the Mandarin school because if not then they will never learn Mandarin because it is difficult. I think it is a good idea for me to continue teaching them what I know in Spanish and then find an internet source and playdates to supplement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Houston_2010 View Post
Your decision to send your child to a language immersion school is for you and your spouse to make. There are many reasons that you can decise for/against an immersion school, some of which you mentioned already.

There are many after-school programs that come to the school or you go to them for learning additional languages. These are excellent options for kids in traditional curriculums that want to learn other languages.

Early Language Centers go to various HISD schools to teach Spanish, French and/or Chinese. At least the school near my house, the Early Language Center teacher comes to the classroom at the school. So for the kid, it's like an extra class once or twice a week after the regular school is over.

Dual Achievement is also a non profit organization that teaches Spanish in some schools as well as community centers (Southside Place community center is one).
@Houston_2010, Thanks a lot, I will look into both places because it would be more convenient if they are able to go to the school and teach.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:16 AM
 
16 posts, read 33,634 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaBrown713 View Post
I agree. I want my kids to be little polygots.
mistype, polyglots, I want them to be able to travel to multiple continents and still be able to speak a language, Africa-French and portuguese, South America-Spanish and Portuguese, Asia-Mandarin, Europe-Spanish and Italian.

I probably can wait a few years to fully incoporate Spanish so they can focus on getting the tones and basics in Mandarin. I just wanted to start early with the languages because it would be easier and less work later.


Thank you all for the input.
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:36 AM
 
28 posts, read 132,139 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaBrown713 View Post
@pmmd, I always supplement my children's learning outside of school. My child's education is ultimately in my hands and not just the school and the teacher. So I will never leave it up to a teacher or school to drop the ball when it comes to my kids. My native language is English so I have been teaching my kids proper english since they were born.

Have you looked up Pin Oak, Johnstons and other top Middle schools because they perform very well. HISD also have Magnet college prep schools and all of the graduating seniors received schlorships. So Some the Magnet schools in HISD aren't bad and are very high performing. Is the French immersion school a private school?

Thanks I am looking for a convenient program that offers spanish Do you know the name of one?
As a parent, it is my responsibility to oversee my child's education, but I should not have to expect him to to submit to extra lessons to make up for the shortfall in the school's curriculum, nor should I have to reinvent the wheel. I don't want to teach my child because their is a gap in the curriculum, but instead reinforce what is learned in the classroom and introduce concepts that are not common to the classroom. I never once said that I want to leave the instruction up to the teacher, but I want my child's time spent in the classroom to be productive. There is nothing introduced in the First grade curriculum that my child was not taught in kindergarten at his current school, changing him to MCLIMS, even with gifted instruction, would not prove to be beneficial to his academic progress.

I am not impressed with high performing Public schools, after all, the public school system uses their own system of scoring and evaluation. I have worked and volunteered in HISD that was enough to convince me that the school system did not offer a consistently high level of educational options. My child attends a private school.

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