Dr. Kevin Maxwell got a hefty $90,000 hand shake on the way out from Anne Arundel County Public Schools and $1 million sign up with guess whose pot cash bonuses? – PGCPS. What does this guy promise to do for us? Is this performance based appointment? Even wall street sets performance goals. The last time we checked with our school performances, we cannot surely in this economy blow cash on these willy nilly appointments for sure. Dr. Maxwell was indirectly a subject of the Maryland legislature in the last session for the $90,000 he took with him. (Read more)
After more than seven years at the helm of the Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS), Superintendent Kevin Maxwell resigned to become head of the Prince George’s County public schools, effective August 1, 2013. What was his AACPS legacy?
Many encomiums have been written about Maxwell’s AACPS legacy as a champion of children. Those who have so praised Maxwell are undoubtedly far more qualified than a reporter with Eye on Annapolis News paper, a mere parent, to make such a judgment who wrote this report.
Instead, when he wrote the report, he wanted to write about something far less important than Maxwell’s championship of children but that he was more competent to comment on: Maxwell’s legacy of undermining AACPS’s democratic institutions. Here, as a citizen and attentive student of such matters, he wrote and suggested that, Maxwell’s record, to put it mildly, is nothing to be proud of. Read the entire piece here>>> Eye on Annapolis…A continuation of the same is partly pasted below.
Let me qualify such an evaluation. I’m not talking about Maxwell’s verbal commitments to democratic norms, which I think have been outstanding. I’m simply talking about his actions.
I’m also not criticizing Maxwell’s political skills, which I also think have been outstanding; indeed, arguably the best in the County. Instead, I’m criticizing the use to which he put those skills.
Finally, I want to acknowledge the controversial assumption that democratic norms are appropriate in a public school system. Many people believe that the public, including parents, are too incompetent and selfish to judge what’s best for children. Instead, the schools should be run by experts who have the children’s best interests at heart. As a general matter, rule by disinterested experts (usually advocated by autocrats and their supporters) has had many distinguished supporters over the last few thousand years, including Plato and Aristotle. But I believe that AACPS has carried this governing philosophy too far.
With these caveats out of the way, we can turn to Maxwell’s not-so-pretty political legacy. Here are a few of the highlights. Maxwell:
1) Rewrote the AACPS Policy Manual to Take Power from Citizens
Nancy Mann, the interim superintendent before Maxwell took over, launched a massive rewrite of the AACPS policy manual that incoming superintendent Maxwell finished and implemented. The policy manual is the compilation of the rules the Board of Education approves for the governance of AACPS. It is akin to the statutes a legislature passes or the ordinances a municipal council passes. The policies are then implemented as regulations by the Superintendent and other AACPS staff.
The rewrite radically shifted power from the Board of Education to the Administration by turning a large fraction of the policies into vague motherhood and apple pie mandates. This was consistent with the Board’s commitment not to micromanage the Superintendent and his staff: the Board would hire and evaluate the superintendent, and then let him use his expertise to do what was best for the children. But it’s one thing for a school board to make a verbal commitment not to micromanage. It’s another thing when they actually institutionalize such a commitment. One of the most interesting features of this radical shift of power from a more democratic institution (the Board of Education) to a less democratic one (school administrators) is that it was never covered in the press.
2) Created Vague, Secret, and Arbitrarily Enforced Administrative Law
One way to shift power to administrators is to let them draft and approve regulations without meaningful constraints set by Board of Education approved policies. Another way is to pass poorly drafted regulations, such as regulations containing jargon, in such a way that administrators can make of them whatever they want in relation to the parents and students. Consider the grading policy passed in June 2012:
The previous policy for assigning an “A” was:
Any student receiving an “A” should show exceptional achievement on concepts, skills, and processes presented. In so doing, the student should be consistent in exhibiting leadership and independence in the classroom. The student’s response, written or oral, to questions and testing situations should be consistently accurate, logical and rational. The student’s interest, attitude, retention, initiative, originality and responsibility toward assignments, class work, evaluations, research, and projects are consistently at the highest level of achievement for course standards. — No one can make this stuff up>>>> Read the entire piece here Eye on Annapolis.
Mr. Rushern Baker –The all powerful current County Executive for Prince George’s County is known not to be a man of his word according to Prince George’s County NAACP Chapter. He makes promises he cannot keep and is deeply involved in the scandal comprising Dr. kevin Maxwell. (Read more Major scandal Developing in Upper Marlboro).
Ms. Monica Goldson Public Enemy Number 1 – Chief Operating Officer for Prince George’s County controls millions of dollars on behalf of other conspirators. She is the Architect of mismanagement involving public funds currently underway in Prince George’s county Public schools which is facilitated by ASASP Union (the union) fueling the fire.
Dr. Segun Eubanks (Courtesy of the National Education Association)…is brother – in -Law to Mr. Rushern Baker. Talent usually runs in families but this one takes the cake. If this is a sample of Top Executive team that Mr. Baker has assembled for Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), then GOD HELP US. Only a miracle can rescue us from this mess. Dr. Segun is identified with weak financial controls within Prince George’s county school District and has been smiling all the way to the Bank for the last nine (9) months. (Read more)