Monthly Archives: November 2013

PGCPS asks seniors for proof of residency

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Members of the senior class at Northwestern High School in Prince George’s County were recently summoned to the auditorium to discuss what they needed to do before getting their diplomas in the spring.

They received information about what scores they needed to pass the Maryland High School Assessments exam, what they could expect to pay in senior dues and how to prepare for college. Then, before they left the auditorium, they were handed a letter demanding verification of their residency.

According to the letter, students whose families did not provide a current lease or mortgage statement and a utility bill, pay stub or other proof of legal residence within the Hyattsville school’s boundary would be forced to withdraw. They had two weeks to respond.>>>Read More Washington Post  >>>Read More The Wild Cat Press

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OPINION

There is nothing wrong with requiring proof of residency, but telling seniors, halfway through the year, that they have two weeks and a parent must personally bring the documents to the registrars office is a little too much. It is clearly another case of incompetent PGCPS taking a perfectly reasonable premise or idea and blowing it way out of proportion. Usually in many jurisdictions around the country, at the beginning of every school year, students always bring home a bunch of papers for parents to fill out. That is the correct time to request proof of residency. Springing this on everyone at this time, well into the school year, would tell me that the administration of this school is not knowledgeable, or at least inefficient. The way most audits work is to examine a random sampling. If there is a significant number of students who are shown not to be correctly enrolled, then broaden the audit. Why, on a whim, should over 500 families be inconvenienced out of the blue? Most kids at Northwestern are majority Hispanic / African immigrants if there is a problem with accountability, expand the exercise to the whole district. Otherwise, it will be unfair to target only this one school because of high levels of immigrant population.

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Jury Trial in Philadelphia Hears Fraud Charges…

…Against Charter Founder

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Charter school founder June Brown is on trial in Philadelphia for collecting multiple salaries from the charter schools and management firms she opened.

Brown is accused of defrauding the four charter schools she founded of $6.7 million and then conspiring with two former administrators to obstruct justice by orchestrating a cover-up.

Meanwhile, business leaders in Philadelphia hope to open more charter schools in that beleaguered city, where the public schools have been decimated by budget cuts and layoffs under embattled Dr. William Hite jr. The money meant to help the poor kids in Philadelphia School District is  being siphoned off through the back door in charter schools using conspirators in the city of brotherly love.

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Beleaguered Dr. William Hite Jr.

Maryland ranking Scandal…

 …gubernatorial candidate Ron George calls for a General Assembly hearing.

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron George has called for a General  Assembly hearing into whether Maryland’s exclusion of a high percentage of  special education students from standardized testing artificially inflated the  score of the state’s schools in national rankings.

George, a state delegate from Anne Arundel County, issued a statement Tuesday  in which he called for answers on what he called the O’Malley administration’s  “reading test cheating scandal.”

The  Sun reported last week that Maryland may have achieved its No. 1 ranking on  Education Week’s ranking of state school systems in part by excluding a higher  percentage of special education students from reading testings than any other  state. By excluding special ed students at such a high rate, the state appears  to have gained 5 points in eighth grade reading score and 7 in fourth grade.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/blog/bal-george-calls-for-hearing-on-school-ranking-20131126,0,6066290.story#ixzz2lncaXOlN

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OPINION

We always thought conjuring the illusion of quality education when the whole nation has seen several decades of watered down teach to the test standards was just pure deception used to bait the unsuspecting and the affluent into Maryland. Now it seems deceiving the public wasn’t enough, Maryland had to cheat its way to the top of the educational dung heap in conspiracy in order to mislead citizens.

We need more than an investigation, we need to look at how watered down our education system has become here in Maryland. It’s time for Dr. Lilian lowery and Dr. Charlene Dukes and others in Maryland State Board of Education to prepare themselves for the next chapter of their lives and create a new way for innovative leadership.

Everyone we have spoken with in the community is saying this is wrong. We’re treating these educators like they’re criminals, like they’re drug dealers, like they’re gangsters. Racketeering, conspiracy, making of false statements interalia should be the basis for a proper investigation. It’s time to break the cycle of corruption here in Maryland and let the chips fall where they may!

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Call your elected officials now and the media. Demand investigations and initiation of changes… There is no smoke without fire!!

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In our opinion, We aver and therefore believe Maryland State Board of Education President Dr. Charlene Dukes shown here has demonstrated a culture of corrupt leadership style and continues “an integrated pattern of pay to play” and manipulation during her tenure. Both leaders need to resign to create room for new leadership.

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Dr. Lillian Lowery Embattled State Superintendent is currently presiding over deep-seated corruption in Maryland school system. She has demonstrated a culture of discrimination and racism while on the job.

 

Common Core resistance growing in Maryland

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Dr. Lillian Lowery Embattled State Superintendent is currently presiding over deep-seated corruption in Maryland school system. She has demonstrated a culture of discrimination and racism while on the job.

As Maryland moves ahead with school reform and the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, state officials are facing growing resistance among teachers, lawmakers and others who are concerned that too much change is being forced onto schools too soon.

The issue in Maryland has become political. In the next legislative session, House Republicans plan to push for the state to withdraw from the Common Core initiative; and Harford County Executive David R. Craig, a Republican gubernatorial hopeful, has said the Core is too costly and gives too much control over Maryland classrooms to national testing organizations, my colleague John Wagner reported here. >>> Read More

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Call your elected officials now and the media. Demand investigations and intiation of changes… There is no smoke without fire!!

dukes

In our opinion, We aver and therefore believe Maryland State Board of Education President Dr. Charlene Dukes shown here has demonstrated a culture of corrupt leadership style and continues “an integrated pattern of pay to play” and manipulation during her tenure. Both leaders need to resign to create room for new leadership.

Md. test exclusion rate raises questions

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Maryland superintendent Lillian Lowery is on the spot for several bad things including poor leadership skills.

When Maryland officials recently trumpeted the performance of their students on national reading tests, they failed to mention one thing: The state blocked more than half its English language learners and students with learning disabilities from taking the test, students whose scores would have dragged down the results.

Maryland excluded 62 percent of students in two categories — learning-disabled and English learners — from the fourth-grade reading test and 60 percent of those students from the eighth-grade reading test. >>> Read More Washington Post

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PGCPS Board narrowly approves…

…Maxwell’s budget request

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CEO Kevin Maxwell

The Prince George’s County Board of Education narrowly voted Thursday to support a request by the schools chief to make significant changes to the district’s $1.7 billion budget.

The 5-2-2 vote allows Schools CEO Kevin Maxwell to proceed with his request to transfer $18 million from various accounts in the budget to pay for several executive level positions, enhancements in the art program, security improvements and other initiatives. The County Council now must approve the request for the proposal to take effect. >>> Read more

OPINION.

CEO Kevin Maxwell is being premature in evaluating and faulting the Hybrid School Board of Education for the budget change in the Prince Georges County Public Schools System (PGCPS). The budget which was initiated by the County Executive and the power elite in order to grab power seem to have had a different agenda. The power grab now appears to have been for the sake of grabbing power rather than in order to initiate sincere reforms. When the Reform Sasscer Movement (A grass roots advocacy group) encouraged for changes, our hope was to see actual reforms and proper management of resources rather than cover ups and squander. However, proper and transparent reforms is not what we are seeing at the moment. Several grass roots pressure groups concerned with PGCPS corruption have been completely disenfranchised from the process.

In the article above by the Washington Post, Ms. Wiggins conveniently left off the salaries for Maxwell’s new senior staff. The three new appointees hired recently are making nearly $1 million. Maxwell’s friend is making $220,000 a year while teachers have to buy their own paper and classroom supplies! This is unacceptable. …. We do not mind a little increase but spending tax payer money like this is not being wise. Prince George’s county council needs to scrutinize the new raises and send back the entire package to the Hybrid Board to fix the remunerations.

Call your elected officials now and the media. Demand changes…

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More states delay Common Core testing…

…as concerns grow

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Massachusetts and Louisiana, both seen as important in the world of school reform, have decided to delay the implementation of high-stakes standardized tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards in the face of  growing concern about the initiative. The two states follow nearly 10 others — including Florida, the pioneer of corporate-influenced school reform — to slow or rethink Core implementation, actions coming amid a growing movement led by educators and parents who have become skeptical of the standards and the new related standardized tests.

Meanwhile, Maryland just took over as fiscal agent for PARCC; State Superintendent Lillian Lowery said in a release last Thursday that Maryland “is strongly committed to the success of PARCC.”  However, her statement didn’t mention growing resistance among educators and parents in Maryland about the way the Core is being implemented in the state. >>>Read more

A November 21 Baltimore Sun article summarizes a briefing held by the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee on the implementation of the Common Core curriculum standards, a new statewide testing system, and a new teacher evaluation system.  The article reports that Committee members questioned State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery on whether the amount and pace of the education reforms are putting unnecessary stress on teachers.  From the article:

“A lot of [teachers] have talked about tremendous stress,” said Sen. Ronald N. Young, a Frederick County Democrat, adding that some teachers say they’re ready to give up and others now take medication for stress.  …

Lowery responded that the state has already sought ways to slow down the reforms, delaying when the new teacher evaluation system tied to student achievement takes effect and when new tests will be used to measure the state’s education system.  …

“This is one of the worst program implementations I have ever seen, in terms of educating parents and families,” Sen. Ed Reilly, an Anne Arundel County Republican, said to Lowery and other top state education officials. “Public relations is part of your job — all of your jobs — and it’s been done very poorly.”  …

Sen. Bill Ferguson, a Baltimore City Democrat and former teacher, compared the educational reforms to the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act and health exchanges. “If we don’t do this right,” he said, the state may have “a bad image on a great concept.”

Sen. Ed Reilly has almost got it here. Once you understand Maryland’s great schools are just an illusion conjured by incompetent leaders like superintendent Lowery. Understand our quality of education has been dropping for 40 years and Common Core is compost than you can ask real questions. Questions like what have we been paying you folks for and why haven’t you people educated our children? >>> Read more

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Dr. Lillian Lowery Embattled State Superintendent is currently presiding over deep-seated corruption in Maryland school system. She has demonstrated a culture of discrimination and racism while on the job.

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Parents demonstration at Maryland state Board of Education

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Parents demonstration at Maryland state Board of Education and the leadership of Dr. Lowery