Parents oppose curriculum change at Carrboro school

Posted April 19, 2012

— A Carrboro elementary school is considering switching its curriculum to a Spanish dual-language magnet program, but some parents and teachers say they oppose such a move because it would destroy the school's neighborhood tradition.

Frank Porter Graham Elementary School parents packed into the Chapel Hill/Carrboro school board meeting Thursday evening to lay out their opposition to the proposal.

For the past three years, the school board has supported expansion of the district's dual-language initiatives, citing increased demand and cross-cultural benefits.

Parents, however, said it would dismantle the school and uproot families.

Parent Rebecca Essinger Bosworth said that the proposals were causing a great deal of stress and anxiety for students and teachers who are preparing for their annual end-of-grade exams.

Frank Porter Graham parent Frank Porter Graham parents oppose magnet program

"These recommendations came at a very vulnerable time," she said.

Parent Jimmy Shwe fears that a magnet program might force families in close proximity to choose a different school.

"We found that (Frank Porter Graham) is very helpful for us. We don't need to drive and we don't need to get on the bus," said parent Jimmy Shwe. "If we have to go to see the teacher, we just walk to the school."

The community around the school has a large population of families from Korea, Burma and China.

A final vote on the curriculum switch is expected in June.


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  • gingko05 Apr 20, 2012

    It is not a matter of dual language or no dual language. Most parents and faculty who are a part of FPG are in favor of dual language programs or at least the idea of a dual language program. The problem is that we have had a DL program for 9+ years and it has yet to show the positive results the district offered when monies were first appropriated. Our concern is the fracturing of a community school to expand a program that has not done what was promised. Can we not get the dual language program fine tuned and meeting expectations before these huge, expensive changes occur?

  • wakeresident Apr 20, 2012

    krysia99, you say your child is about to start at FPG, but if it becomes a magnet program, you will need to apply. You don't automatically get into a magnet because of where you live.

  • Rocky2.0 Apr 20, 2012

    Millions of immigrants had to learn English and are/were successful.

    It's amazing how so called educators are completely out to lunch.

  • krysia99 Apr 20, 2012

    It's not really against the parents' wishes, just some of the parents' wishes. As a parent of a child just about to start at FPG (because it is our neighbourhood school), I think that the dual language program is a fantastic thing and expanding it is great, too.
    There are many fragile populations at that school because it is THE ONLY high poverty school in Chapel Hill. There are many languages spoken by the children there ... but the largest group of immigrants are Hispanic. And the school currently has a dual language program that serves them. Having to take the school bus to get to school in a tiny, little town isn't a huge hardship. FPG has made transporation available for parents to get to after-school events. AND the public transit is free and FPG is right on a bus route. Not all change is bad.

  • unc70 Apr 20, 2012

    Chapel Hill currently has a dual language school for Mandarin Chinese. There is a lot of debate at the moment because the Board is considering discontinuing the Chinese DL program.

    Interesting how many posters here have mentioned Chinese.

  • jjsmith1973 Apr 20, 2012

    I agree with a good number of people here. Not sure if it is the best way to go about it. We are one of the only countries left that doesn't teach other languages. It is a great educational experience.

  • NiceNSmooth Apr 20, 2012

    wow so the school board wants provide additional education for students that will be needed by the time they enter the workforce here and the parents are complaining they dont want it geez.... send the extra funds to wake county

  • ssvoiceofsanity Apr 20, 2012

    Vote'm in and vote'm out!!

  • NeverAgain Apr 20, 2012

    I think a dual Chinese-English program would be great! They already have schools that do English-Spanish, lets get Chinese into the cultural melting pot. Ten to twenty years from now your children will thank you. Take it from me, I learned 2 languages as a child and cannot thank my parents enough. I wish I had learned a third.

  • carrboroyouth Apr 20, 2012

    How will a Spanish program help out Burmese and Korean immigrants...? Sort of a random fact thrown in there.