Dear respected members of Anne Arundel County Board of Education,
We are the concerned parents and supporters of ESOL students at Anne Arundel County Public Schools. We request you to please increase your support for all ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) programs in the county, especially at elementary and middle schools. We are the most under-represented group of parents in the county, because of lack of knowledge about channels of advocacy, language and cultural barriers. Our children are often some of the brightest students and like everyone else, have the right to the best opportunities for successful education.
AACPS currently has 2,444 active ESOL students and 555 released students who are being monitored for 2 years. Our ESOL students speak 64 languages. However, 40% of ESOL teachers have 2 or more schools (mostly at the elementary level). 80% of those teachers have more than 40 students that they serve. If you add RELLs (released students who are monitored), the number is significantly more. The totals for ESOL student enrollment reported to the state for the last 3 years are:
Since 2007, ESOL enrollment has increased by 713 students! AACPS currently has 2,444 ESOL students, which is 36 students more than we had on October 31st, 2009 – only about 2 months ago!
The most disturbing news was perhaps in December, 2009, when Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kevin Maxwell, notified parents of all ESOL students that our county did not meet the AMAO 2 standards, which is the English language proficiency goal set by the No Child Left Behind Act.
Our students’ futures are being compromised by the overwhelming burden on our ESOL teachers. We implore you to please provide adequate financial support for the ESOL department to provide ESOL teachers, resource teachers, and bilingual facilitators to meet the growing population of ESOL students in Anne Arundel County Public Schools. This support is necessary to ensure the development of high levels of academic proficiency, and proficiency in English.
Signed by Concerned parents and parents of ESOL students at AACPS