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Director of Migrant Education
HQ Phone:  (503) 357-6171
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1728 Main St
Forest Grove, Oregon,97116
Full-Time English Language Learners Coordinator
Woodburn School District
Advisory Board Member
Bienestar - Promotores
Dr. Mariam Baradar, Forest Grove School District
Among those attending were Adia Sanchez Ramos, director of international affairs with the Institute of Adult Education; Mariam Baradar, director of migrant education for the Forest Grove School District; and Bill Bash, Cornelius mayor.
Mariam Baradar 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 found. She 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 said. For 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.
Woodburn School District » District Staff
Migrant Program Coordinator
Supporters of the district's English Language Learners coordinator, Mariam Baradar, made up the bulk of a more than 150-person audience.
The group was spurred by news that Baradar's job will be eliminated next year. They were joined by dozens of Gales Creek Elementary School supporters who wore red to advocate for keeping the school open. One by one, dozens of community members approached the microphone in more than an hour of public testimony, urging the school board and district administrators to think critically before making final decisions in $7.5 million worth of cuts for the next school year. Several speakers wondered whether the district would continue to make strides in educating Latino students after hearing that Baradar will lose her job. Maricela Garcia, a member of the district's Parent Action Committee, said Baradar has been instrumental in empowering the group and helping the district's migrant parents to navigate the school system. Superintendent Yvonne Curtis confirmed Monday night that Baradar and several other district office staff members have been notified that their positions are being eliminated as the district office reduces its budget by 20 percent. The move does not mean the district's English Language Learners program, which Baradar heads, is being eliminated, Curtis said.
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