Don't know where or Wen: pre-K parents at Shuang Wen are trying to keep their kids in the school
Wed Mar 4 2009
At least that's what one father of a pre-K student, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, claims. As we reported back in December, parents at the school—which teaches part of the day in Mandarin—were livid when they found out that pre-K students who had been accepted to the school via a lottery would be forced to undergo a second lottery in order to secure a kindergarten spot for the first time in the history of the school. Many parents insisted that the principal, Ling Ling Chou, had promised that their kids would have continuity and intentionally misrepresented the application process.
In an effort to keep their kids in the school, a number of parents have mobilized and are begging the DOE for help. In addition to meeting with various power players, they have launched a click petition that outlines three scenarios that would allow their kids to remain at Shuang Wen, which is the only public school in the city that offers Mandarin instruction. (The DOE's major issue with advancing all the pre-K students is that it would prevent other children from having a chance to attend the coveted school. Adding additional classes would alleviate that problem).
In a year when all belts are being tightened, the DOE may not be inclined to expand the school. But the parents say they'll continue to fight. They're also questioning the principal who, they say, gave them misinformation and now refuses to apply for dual language certification for the school, which would exempt it from lotteries all together.
Frankly, as someone who lives in District 4, I can say that the folks in District 1 (which has many excellent schools and no zones) have many more options open to them than most of us, even if their kids aren't able to stay at Shuang Wen. But we understand how passionate they are about their fight, so we hope they find their happy ending.