To: Sen. Weiler, T.,
Subject: immersion schools are a big problem in utah schools
I have had it with the immersion program in my children's school and I am not the only one. The people in it are thrilled with it, but the people who opted not to follow that course are only getting angrier while they are watching this program receive more money for less and less kids. When the classes begin in kindergarten, they are relatively balanced and as time goes on, people move or opt out. Now, I have a daughter in third grade who has 31 children in her class while the french counterpart classes have less than 20 in them. They have aids all day and the rest of us are left drowning. We are filling our library with French books that most of these children will never read this. The problem is being compounded by the fact that our schools are facing the problem of trying to control this size of classrooms, but now, they are bigger than they have ever been in our school. I am hugely concerned about the size of the classroom, but besides that you are asking teachers to deal with higher numbers of kids with adhd, esl, autism and many other learning disabilities that are being left neglected and without the help they need because they are distributed between two teachers instead of four. The immersion program in our state is continuing to drag down the entire school of the schools they are present in. From what I hear, Granite school district has already figured this out and is getting rid of the program in some of their schools. One of the language teachers blew the whistle and told the principal that this program was just not working.
As kids move out of these schools and out of this program these spots cannot be filled with new students as they would not be able to keep up and so any new student into these schools are being pushed into already overwhelmed classes.
All of my friends who do not have children in this program actually really resent the program and we are all discussing obtaining variances for our children. On the other hand, I have heard of conversations of people who have their child in the french immersion who make the comment that they realize that their kids are being favored and given opportunities that the rest of us aren't.
Parents are not the only ones who resent this program. Teachers are becoming more and more resentful toward the program. They too realize that if they are not in the immersion program that they themselves are being filled with unfair class distribution and that their own job security is reduced because we are bringing in teachers from other countries. Wow!!!We are exporting our education positions.
This program has divided our neighborhood and will continue to do so. It is so frustrating to live somewhere where there is so much animosity between neighbors. If you think that this is not a huge problem then you are sorely mistaken.
At a time when our schools are already facing so many problems, you are creating another one by allowing this program to continue. It is a program that benefits so few people and harms so many.
I noticed that there are three pillars on the state board of education website as the mandate that the state board of education promises to uphold. Well, I am telling you that those pillars are crumbling in these schools.
When we then send this program into the middle and high schools we continue to offer a whole new program in the upper grades that benefit so few. I have heard stories of high school kids sitting along the cabinets because there are not enough desks or enough room in the classrooms to hold them. Why do we have capacity laws for all other buildings and facilities for the safety of those who are to be in those facilities and yet we pack the most precious commodity of our state, our children into buildings where dangers to our world are continuing to increase.
I would like to see this program removed from all schools, but if that is not something you are willing to do, I am begging you to keep it out of the new elementary school that is being built in Woods Cross.
If you want to teach language to our kids than teach all of them. Teach it just like you teach p.e., or computers. Have it be one teacher in each school. Our tax dollars are truly being thrown out the window for these programs. How many of this tiny group do you think will benefit long tern from.this. My guess is that few of them will ever use this and that many of them will forget it altogether. If you really want to run it in schools, then it should be opened in charter schools that provide it beginning in elementary schools and carry it through high school.
Please look deeper into this program and realize that this is something that is benefiting so few and hurting so many.