By Eva Sumano, Frank Patinella, and Owen Silverman Andrews

Labor Day weekend, we began the work of forming a grass-roots coalition to monitor, provide input to and improve the policy recommendations of the Workgroup on English Language Learners in Public Schools, which was created by the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future/Kirwan legislation and housed within the Maryland State Department of Education.

We notched some wins in the fall, successfully pushing MSDE to publish the workgroup’s appointed members list, meeting notes and schedule on its website, as well as shift meetings from private Google Meet sessions to public sessions streamed and recorded on YouTube, as was likely required all along by the Maryland Open Meetings Act.

Even as the grass-roots effort blossomed into a coalition, which we are now calling the Community Workgroup on ELLs and includes multilingual students and parents, ESOL and Spanish teachers, labor, and immigrant and education justice advocates, MSDE continues to evade even a basic level of transparency, equitable community input and accessibility.

Read the full OpEd on Maryland Matters