is getting as many as 50 e-mails a day at home from friends and colleagues concerned about next month's election.
No, the topic of these exchanges involve Oregon's Ballot Measure 58, a seemingly simple proposition that Baradar
says would have far-reaching — and unintended — consequences in local public schools.
If voters approve the initiative, grade school students whose first language is something other than English would be taught for only one year in that tongue.
After that, they would be required to learn all their subjects exclusively in English.
High schoolers would get two years of instruction in their first language before being thrust into all-English classrooms.
As coordinator of the Forest Grove School District's
program to educate students whose primary language is not English, Baradar
has studied the proposal closely — and doesn't like what she's
believes the plan would decimate Forest Grove's popular dual-immersion classes, in which students are taught in both English and Spanish.
"(Measure 58) is a sink or swim proposition," sums up Baradar
, who is from Iran.
They can remain in those classes through sixth-grade, or until "progress" toward English fluency is proven through reading and writing assessments, Mariam Baradar
, who expects the e-mail flood to continue through October, there's a broader issue at play.
"People who speak three or four languages, and are highly successful in all their pursuits, are the best evidence that the dual-immersion approach succeeds," said Baradar