The Mansfield, TX school district that was set to implement mandatory Arabic classes has now "slowed the process of implementation" in order to garner more parent input.
"A Mansfield ISD program to teach Arabic language and culture in schools is on hold for now, and may not happen at all," CBS DFW reports.
A recently-posted statement on the Mansfield Independent School District's website explains the decision and tries to distance itself from earlier reports of what the curriculum would look like:
Recent concerns have been raised by parents concerning plans for the curriculum. We are working with parents and staff for the language curriculum development.
Mansfield ISD has slowed the process of implementation to get parent input for curriculum creation.
There are no “mandatory Arabic classes” as being falsely reported in the media.
As part of language acquisition and development, the early grades would have elements of Arabic language within the framework of the state-mandated curriculum.
In the K-6 grades (Davis Elementary and Cross Timbers Intermediate), the curriculum-writing process has stopped.
In grades 7-12 (T.A. Howard Middle and Summit High School), Arabic language will be offered as elective courses to meet foreign language requirement.
This project is federally funded for $1.3 million dollars over a 5 year period.
Fox interviewed a parent from the school district this morning. He called the claim that the classes would not be mandatory "backpedaling," and according to him, the way the plan was communicated would have made such classes required: