Monthly Archives: December 2013

Prince George’s schools chief attracts criticism…

…After adding more executive-level positions

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Dr. Kevin Maxwell

Prince George’s County Schools Chief Executive Kevin M. Maxwell, who came to the district as part of an overhaul of the school system, has added four new executive-level positions to his administration, hires he said will improve academic achievement.

Maxwell, who took the school system’s top job in August, has spent $1.53 million to hire a chief of staff, a diversity officer, a health officer, a performance and evaluation officer and 10 employees to assist them. He said the hires were necessary because he noticed that some jobs were not being done adequately and children were not being properly served because there was less coordination. Read More >>> Washington Post

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COMMENTARY

Why are Prince George’s County citizenry averse to tax hikes? Besides the obvious reluctance to pay more, at least as far back as 2003, the Board and its superintendent (including at least one convicted incumbent) have struggled mightily. With all due respect to Dr. Kevin Maxwell, he is only the next in a long list of touted outsiders who will once again hire “experts”, with the same sad results because they do not understand Annapolis and its corrupt connection.  During the past 12 months, politicians have argued, debated and lamented about how to reign in the county government’s out of control spending without much success. All in all, everything starts and ends with the Chief Executive Officer.

In our view, Maxwell is doing the same things Dr. William Hite did and the results will be the same…an under performing school system will continue to under perform because the fulfilling the academic needs of the students is secondary to creating organizational structure! Why is it necessary to hire a bunch of highly paid people whose functions appear to have nothing to do directly with the academic performance of the county students? The County’s residents should be outraged because very scarce funding is being used to pay do nothing bureaucrats rather than hire principals, classroom teachers and support staff who can effect the changes necessary to make the schools’ performance better! All the while, Sasscer administration is on a shopping binge, spending money we do not have on things we do not absolutely need, ……Instead of cutting wasteful spending, more money was added each day in 2013 to our national debt, which now exceeds $17 trillion.

The year 2013 will be remembered in PGCPS as a period of unrest as outraged by high spending led by one Monica Goldson and others whom we asked the new administration to replace. Regardless of your personal political persuasion, ask yourself: Would you agree with Sasscer that the $1.53 million to hire staff represent county priorities or would you agree that these reflect the wasteful spending habits that threaten to bankrupt the future of the county Dream? As articulated in the article, We are seeing the same pattern of out of control spending enacted by embattled Dr. William Hite jr during his brief tenure in the county. Surely, these employees could have been hired for much less than they are earning. As we celebrate Christmas with many of our county youth facing homelessness, let us ask ourselves if this is a wise move by the Board of Education in the middle of a recession.

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Cartoon of Income Inequality

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Happy Holidays!

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We all wish you a
happy holiday season
our sincere thanks for
your goodwill and loyalty
throughout the past year
we look forward to meeting you and being of greater service next year!

cheers!

~ Reform Sasscer Movement for Prince George’s County ~

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Teen Shot, Killed after House Party

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Prince George’s County police said a teenager is dead after being shot early Saturday morning in Upper Marlboro, Md.

Officers arrived in the 11700 block of North Marlton Avenue shortly after midnight and found Rashad Andre Pinkney, 19, of Capitol Heights, Md., shot. Pinkney was taken to the hospital, where he died.

Police said officers had been in the area about an hour earlier for reports of gunshots and discovered hundreds of partygoers from a house part in the 11800 block of North Marlton Avenue out in the street.

According to NBC 4 News crew, an  officer who was attempting to control the house party scene was assaulted by a 17-year old. As the officer tried to arrest her, she pushed the officer, breaking his leg and twisting his ankle.

The suspect is facing assault charges.

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Baker fills vacant seat on Pr. George’s Board of Education

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Ms. Sonya Williams – New Board of Education Member District 9

Upper Marlboro, MD – Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III announced that Sonya Williams has been appointed to serve on the Prince George’s County Board of Education to represent District 9.  Ms. Williams will fill the District 9 vacancy on the Board of Education created by the resignation of former School Board Member Donna Hathaway Beck.

“Ms. Williams will be a great addition to the Board of Education.  We had a strong pool of candidates to choose from and Ms. Williams certainly brings a set of unique skills that will serve our children and the school system well,” said County Executive Baker.  “I was impressed with her innovative ideas to get more parents involved in their children’s education and her commitment to making our schools overall the best they can be.  Her experience as a parent, as President of the Gwynn Park Parent Teachers and Students Association (PTSA), and her skill with development and management of complex projects will be a tremendous asset to the Board.”

Maryland House of Delegates Bill 1107 charges the County Executive with appointing a member to the Board of Education whenever a vacancy occurs. Although the law does not require it, County Executive Baker conducted an open search to fill this vacancy and provided residents of District 9 with an opportunity to apply for the position. Since this vacancy was created as a result of an elected board member leaving office, the County Executive’s appointee must be a resident of District 9.

Ms. Williams is the second appointee to replace an elected Board of Education member under the new education reform law in Prince George’s County.  The County Executive previously appointed Lyn Mundey to the District 7 vacancy in September of this year. >>> Read More Washington post

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Homeless Student Population Rises in Maryland

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COLLEGE PARK – Danny Lamont Jones seems like an average high schooler. He goes to class, and comes home and writes music when he can’t focus on his homework.

But for much of his high school career Jones, 18, wasn’t living like an average student. He attended four different high schools as he moved in and out of homes and shelters in Baltimore city. When he turned 12, he said, he moved into a shelter in for homeless teenagers.

“I had to make me own way from there,” said Jones, who now lives with his uncle.

Jones is one of thousands of students in Maryland who have experienced homelessness. The number of K-12 students identifying as homeless in U.S. public schools hit a record high 1.2 million during the 2011-2012 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education. >>> Read More Capital News Service

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“Ashes to ashes” in PGCPS District Md.

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School board says Dance should have gotten its OK

…before taking consulting job

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Baltimore County Superintendent Dallas Dance should have sought the school  board’s approval before taking a consulting job with a company that had a  contract with the system, board President Lawrence Schmidt said Tuesday  night.

Schmidt said in a statement that the board has directed Dance to let members  know in advance of any proposed consulting work in the future.

The board has reviewed Dance’s contract and the school system’s ethics policy  and has found that “there is no indication that Dr. Dance’s performance as  superintendent was in any way adversely impacted” by the consulting, according  to Schmidt.

The board spoke with Dance at a closed-door meeting Tuesday about his  part-time job with SUPES Academy, an Illinois-based company that provides  training for administrators.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/blog/bs-md-co-board-statement-dance-20131217,0,4187135.story#ixzz2npqQlyd3

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OPINION

Coming from the TOP school official, this looks real bad for Maryland State Board of Education and Mr. Dallas Dance. If he skirts the rules, who is to say what other unethical endeavors has he taken on.

This clearly is a slap in the face of the board who hired him, who was too young to lead Maryland teachers and implement his new Common Core philosophy. Many of the parents we spoke with are ashamed and embarrassed to live in Maryland more and more. The ignorance at every level of Maryland is really starting to show by allowing people unqualified to lead, hire, re hire and expand. Entitlement has gotten Maryland into a world of stupidity on a national level and showed America which state is most dependent on federal Government to maintain lifestyles.

No chief executive in the private sector would be allowed to do this. Donating 2/3 of the compensation does not mitigate the conflict of interest here.  Either Superintendent Dance gives up the employment with the company or the company gives up its contract with Baltimore County.  End of discussion.

The funny thing is that, teachers can’t tutor a student in their building for pay, even if that teacher doesn’t teach that student in any regular class.

So a teacher can’t pick up an extra $25 an hour for legitimate educational work, but the superintendent can take tens of thousands of dollars from a company that paid nearly a million dollars in taxpayer money?

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Call your elected officials now and the media. Demand investigations and initiation 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.

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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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Superintendent Dallas Dance quit a consulting job Saturday amid questions  over the propriety of his work for a company that does business with the  Baltimore County school system.

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Read more ~~~>> Part I and Part II of the double standards involving Maryland School system Education leadership involved in corruption and the tax payer funds.

Carroll BOE asks for expanded timeline…

…on education reforms

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Carroll County commissioners (from left to right) Dave Roush, Doug Howard, Haven  Shoemaker and Richard Rothschild listen to a presentation during the  commissioners forum on the Common Core State Standards Monday

The Carroll  County Board of Education is asking the state delegation to support an  expanded timeline for the implementation of state-mandated education reform  initiatives, including the Common Core State Standards, during the upcoming  General Assembly.

In a letter to State Sen. Joe Getty, the board reaffirmed its commitment to  implementing the reform initiatives, including the Common Core, PARCC  Assessments, and teacher and principal evaluations.

But the board also said there is waning public support to implement the  initiatives, due in part to “significant misinformation regarding the reform’s  scope and the extent of local control we have implementing the reform  efforts.”

To address the issue, the board has requested the delegation support a number  of positions during the upcoming legislative session, including:

• Ensure that full public awareness and participation is embedded into the  process prior to approving additional mandates for curricular changes.

• Expand the timeline for implementation of additional academic standards  connected to science and social studies include sufficient time and resources to  provide teachers with the professional development needed to learn best  practices for instruction.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/carroll/ph-boe-letter-20131212,0,4425465.story#ixzz2npnKLegs

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Prince George’s schools charge PTAs that use buildings

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The John Hanson Montessori Parent Teacher Student Association has offered after-school dance and chess lessons for years, believing that the enrichment programs help engage Prince George’s County students. The group charges a small fee to pay the course instructors, and until now had been using space at the school for free.

Or so the PTSA thought. Nicole Nelson, the PTSA’s vice president, said she recently received a bill from the school district asking for $2,502.70 in rental fees. Nelson believed it had to be a mistake, as the PTSA has barely $1,500 in its treasury, money it plans to use to honor teachers and to celebrate graduates. >>> Read more Washington Post

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OPINION

 PG Board of Education which continues to practice “pay to play” culture should NOT include after-school activities for their children. The essence of a good PTA is to supplement what teachers and students do in schools. Parental involvement is a child’s education is foremost, but there are many other aspects of PTA activities. After-school programs, like the classes mentioned in their article, is one. Then there are the traditional bake-sales; wrapping paper sales, plant sales, etc used to generate funds for PTA-sponsored activities. The money raised should be kept in a transparent manner. This should include proper accountability of the money raised by athletics Department throughout the county without proper checks and balances.

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Superintendent involved in a Conflict of Interest – Part II.

Dance quits consulting job with company doing business with school system

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Superintendent Dallas Dance quit a consulting job Saturday amid questions  over the propriety of his work for a company that does business with the  Baltimore County school system.

In an email Saturday to school board members, Dance said he had called the  Illinois- based SUPES Academy and told them that he would no longer coach  Chicago public school principals.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/sun-investigates/bs-md-dance-second-job-20131214,0,3238787.story#ixzz2nV4pkKBQ

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OPINION

Coming from the TOP school official, this looks real bad for Maryland State Board of Education and Mr. Dallas Dance. If he skirts the rules, who is to say what other unethical endeavors has he taken on.

This clearly is a slap in the face of the board who hired him, who was too young to lead Maryland teachers and implement his new Common Core philosophy. Many of the parents we spoke with are ashamed and embarrassed to live in Maryland more and more. The ignorance at every level of Maryland is really starting to show by allowing people unqualified to lead, hire, re hire and expand. Entitlement has gotten Maryland into a world of stupidity on a national level and showed America which state is most dependent on federal Government to maintain lifestyles.

No chief executive in the private sector would be allowed to do this. Donating 2/3 of the compensation does not mitigate the conflict of interest here.  Either Superintendent Dance gives up the employment with the company or the company gives up its contract with Baltimore County.  End of discussion.

The funny thing is that, teachers can’t tutor a student in their building for pay, even if that teacher doesn’t teach that student in any regular class.

So a teacher can’t pick up an extra $25 an hour for legitimate educational work, but the superintendent can take tens of thousands of dollars from a company that paid nearly a million dollars in taxpayer money?

Call your elected officials now and the media. Demand investigations and initiation 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.

0

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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dance

Superintendent Dallas Dance quit a consulting job Saturday amid questions  over the propriety of his work for a company that does business with the  Baltimore County school system.

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Nelson Mandela’s funeral : arrival in Qunu – South Africa

QUNU, South Africa

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A hearse carrying Mandela’s body drove into his hometown in rural South Africa ahead of burial Sunday, returning the country’s peacemaker to the place where he had always wanted to die.

It was here in Qunu that Mandela roamed the hills and tended livestock as a youth, absorbing lessons about discipline and consensus from traditional chiefs. From here he embarked on a journey _ the “long walk to freedom” as he put it _ that thrust him to the forefront of black South Africans’ struggle for equal rights that resonated around the world. May He Rest in Peace.

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NELSON MANDELA ~ REST IN PEACE

I  learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The  brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that  fear.  ~~ Nelson  Mandela

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Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience  the oppression of one by another. ~~ Nelson Mandela

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A  good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the  end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t  have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and  uninformed. ~~ Nelson  Mandela ###

There  is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through  the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the  mountaintop of our desires.~~Nelson Mandela

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The  titanic effort that has brought liberation to South Africa, and ensured the  total liberation of Africa, constitutes an act of redemption for the black  people of the world. ~~Nelson Mandela

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