Education

Civil Rights Group Opposes Plans for Maryland English-Learner High Schools

By Corey Mitchell — December 04, 2014 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The Prince George’s County, Md., NAACP chapter is mulling legal action to halt plans to open two new high schools for the community’s growing population of immigrant students and English-language learners.

NAACP chapter leaders have questions about whether the district’s plans run counter to Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 decision that declared that separate public schools for black and white students violated the Constitution, said Bob Ross, president of the Prince George’s NAACP.

“We want programs open to all residents,” he said. “Once you spell out a specific group of people a school serves, that’s where the problem comes in.”

Officials in Prince George’s, a school system of 125,000 students just outside Washington, plans to open the high schools in fall 2015. The district, along with CASA de Maryland, an immigrant advocacy group and the International Network for Public Schools, a network of high schools that serve ELLs, secured a $3 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to help pay for the new schools.

The schools will join 18 others across the country and two similar programs in the Washington region that are part of the Internationals Network for Public Schools and Carnegie’s Opportunity by Design initiative. T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria opened an academy in 2012, and Cardozo High School in the District opened one in August.

According to The Washington Post, Prince George’s schools chief Kevin Maxwell said he is unaware of any legal dilemmas with any of the other schools.

Tehani Collazo, senior director for schools and community engagement at CASA, said the district’s large comprehensive high schools haven’t adequately met the needs of English-language learners.

Each of the new schools is slated to open with 100 9th graders and will add 100 students each year until the schools reach their maximum capacity of 400 students.

In Prince George’s, almost 30 percent of the district’s students are from other countries, and nearly half of those students have limited English proficiency. About 63 percent of the students in the county who receive ELL support services graduate from high school in four years, nine percentage points lower than the county’s overall graduation rate.

“We have work to do and we expect these schools to be part of the solution,” Collazo said.

One school, to serve recently-arrived immigrant students, will open on the Largo High School campus as a “school within a school.” The second school will be a new, neighborhood high school in Langley Park, which is home to a large Central American immigrant community. Prince George’s officials have not revealed the site, but could so early next month, Collazo said.

The Washington Post reports that some parents at Largo High School are upset about plans to make the building one of the locations because the district has not adequately addressed concerns about the quality of education for students who already attend the school.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Accelerate Learning with Project-Based Learning
Earlier this year, the George Lucas Educational Foundation released four new studies highlighting how project-based learning (PBL) helps accelerate student learning—across age groups, multiple disciplines, and different socio-economic statuses. With this year’s emphasis on unfinished
Content provided by SmartLab Learning
School & District Management Live Online Discussion Principal Overload: How to Manage Anxiety, Stress, and Tough Decisions
According to recent surveys, more than 40 percent of principals are considering leaving their jobs. With the pandemic, running a school building has become even more complicated, and principals' workloads continue to grow. If we
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Building Teacher Capacity for Social-Emotional Learning
Set goals that support adult well-being and social-emotional learning: register today!


Content provided by Panorama

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Gunman in Parkland School Massacre to Plead Guilty
The gunman who killed 14 students and three staff members at a Florida high school will plead guilty to their murders, his attorneys said.
4 min read
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP
Education California Makes Ethnic Studies a High School Requirement
California is among the first in the nation to require students to take a course in ethnic studies to get a diploma starting in 2029-30.
4 min read
FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2020, file photo, Democratic Assembly members, from left, James Ramos, Chris Holden Jose Medina, and Rudy Salas, Jr., right, huddle during an Assembly session in Sacramento, Calif. Medina's bill to make ethnic studies a high school requirement was signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
Education California Requires Free Menstrual Products in Public Schools
The move comes as women’s rights advocates push nationwide for affordable access to pads, tampons, and other items.
1 min read
Tammy Compton restocks tampons at Compton's Market, in Sacramento, Calif., on June 22, 2016. California public schools and colleges must stock their restrooms with free menstrual products under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.
Tammy Compton restocks tampons at Compton's Market, in Sacramento, Calif., on June 22, 2016. California public schools and colleges must stock their restrooms with free menstrual products under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP
Education Florida to Dock School District Salaries for Requiring Masks
Florida is set to dock salaries and withhold funding from local school districts that defied Gov. Ron DeSantis' ban on mask mandates.
2 min read
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at the Doral Academy Preparatory School in Doral, Fla.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at the Doral Academy Preparatory School in Doral, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP