Monday, March 26, 2012

Dual-language kindergarten

Little Girl will be starting school in the fall. The wife and I decided that kindergarten in a local public school would be for the best course of action. We don't know the neighborhood kids, so it would be a good way to make friends. We suspect.

Two interesting language things came up.

1. If you speak a non-English language at home, the state of Illinois mandates an ESL assessment. My wife fibbed, so we will likely avoid it. I'm in favor of not fibbing and making the school take absurd steps. I like absurd.

2. There is a dual-language immersion kindergarten. Spanish-English—as if there were going to be some other option in the part of the provinces. Anyway, the district said it was a "special request." Well, given the level of property taxes I pay (and their rate of increase), I plan on specially requesting. Unless dual-language immersion is special code for separate-but-equal, which I doubt. In any case, there's no good way to know. I can't ask and get a useful answer, because they have to say they're the same. (Not to beat on the taxes issue, but if I'm paying for this they better be equal.) On the other hand, knowing two major world languages to an 8th grade level would be highly advantageous.

I'm really torn and don't know how to get useful information. How does one suss out the difference between a dual-language immersion program that is second rate education and one that is not?