Can a Public School Program Get Too Popular for Its Own Good?

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After five years, the Mandarin Foreign Language immersion program outgrew the Broadway Elementary School in Venice. LA School Board member Steven Zimmer persuaded his colleagues to spend $30 million to expand it and move it to Mark Twain Middle School in Mar Vista. Zimmer predicted a "game changer." But, despite the Board's approval last year, Superintendent Ramon Cortines has decided, it "will not move forward." In fact, the program will be cut in half. The public officials involved, Zimmer and Cortines, declined to discuss a dispute that's raised important issues for parents, teachers and local residents.




Warren Olney