Providing more opportunities for students to learn English in Maryland’s Prince George’s County is the new focus of a work group that hopes to address a high dropout rate and the need for more accessible programs.
Raheela Ahmad and Ninah Jackson, with the county’s with the board of education, brought together community activists, experts and students to create the group.
English language learners currently make up 20% of the county’s students, a population Ahmad says must be given the same opportunities to succeed.
“Things like having a solid ESOL program at every school in PGCPS and things like recruiting more immigrant teachers who look like the students they teach,” she said, are necessary.
Other recommendations include native language instruction in core subjects like math and requiring all students take courses that expose them to other cultures.
Ahmad says they also plan to increase access to specialty programs like advanced placement and Career and Technical Education.
“It’s our hope that through this process of learning, we’re able to build a sense of unity,” Ahmad said.
The recommendations have been approved by the board, will be rolled out beginning next fiscal year and will continue to be phased in through 2030.