China's Influence on US Schools Growing, cnbc.com
"While the relationship between China and the United States goes through its usual strains over currency and trade imbalances this week with President Hu Jintao visiting Washington DC, there's no denying the growing importance of China to our economy—a fact that many parents and educators have not ignored.
Foreign language in many schools is being hurt by budget cuts, but Chinese instruction in US classrooms is on the rise.
According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, from 1997 to 2008, the number of middle and high schools offering Chinese has quadrupled. Among elementary schools it has grown tenfold.
At the Bilingual Buds Chinese immersion school in New York City, the level of Chinese learning is accelerated. For a four- to- five-year old student, the instruction is about 40 [ercent in English, and 60 percent in Chinese.
The parents are of diverse backgrounds, but the reasons for sending their children there have a common thread.
One of the fathers, David Booker, explained that as China is now the second-largest economy on the planet and one-fifth of the world's population, he saw the importance in exposing his son to Chinese.