Monthly Archives: December 2017

PGCPS performed internal audit on student records, documents show

– Documents obtained by FOX 5 DC show that more than a year ago, Prince George’s County Public Schools performed its own internal audit that found student records were not being properly maintained as well as “non-compliance with state mandates” pertaining to graduationrequirements.

The existence of the audit reveals top brass at PGCPS knew about deficiencies and problems with records of graduating seniors prior to a state-mandated audit that started over the summer. The state audit was prompted by a FOX 5 investigation into PGCPS staff members claims that teachers were being told to change grades so failing students would graduate, as well as allegations by several board members that there was top down corruption to boost the high school graduation rate.

The PGCPS internal audit has never been made public and was never presented to the full school board.

“It is extremely troubling to know there was a prior audit done that showed we were graduating students that didn’t meet state requirements and our records weren’t properly managed,” said board member Edward Burroughs, one of the members who requested the state audit. “What else don’t we know? Based on this report, it is very clear board leadership is actively withholding information from the full board.”

FOX 5 obtained a nine-page document as well as a 13-page document with a memorandum from the auditor, Michele Winston, to Student Service Associate Superintendent Gwendolyn Mason and Executive Director of Student Services Adrian Talley that details the internal audit findings, recommendations and subsequent action plan.

One recommendation says high school guidance counselors must be required to tally graduation credits for students prior to submitting the list of graduates.

Another states, “(The Office of Student Records, Transfers and Archival Services) should also continue to identify schools with disorganized and incomplete records.”

The internal audit raises new questions about how much schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell knew of the troubles with student records prior to the state audit which showed students are graduating without meeting state requirements.

FOX 5 reached out to PGCPS for a response Monday evening, but still has not heard back. Dr. Kevin Maxwell has agreed to an interview Tuesday afternoon.

A spokesperson for Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker says he did not know about the prior internal audit.

Via Fox5DC


Tuesday, Dec. 19 two important PGCPS meetings Concurrent

2014-15-BOE-Map-December---UseTuesday, Dec. 19 two important meetings simultaneously.

1.  Special Board Meeting – 7:00 P.M.

PGCPS Response to MSDE Graduation Rate Audit Report online now
2.  6-8  Prince George’s County Educators’ Association (PGCEA) Fireside Chat  on school board structure.  Invite below.

———- Forwarded message ———
From: PGCEA <>
Date: Thu, Dec 14, 2017 at 11:59 AM
Subject: Fireside Chat***


Juwan Blocker to run for PGCPS School Board in District 3 in the 2018 election!


Juwan Blocker (seen above) is scheduled to run for PGCPS School Board in District 3 in the 2018 election!

Former student Board Mr. Juwan Blocker who helped bring accountability measures in Prince George’s county Public schools, will be running for the PGCPS School Board in District 3 in the 2018 election! The incumbent is Ms. Dinora A. Hernandez, Esq. an attorney who served as Mr. Baker’s Latino liaison before assuming the current role.

Mr. Juwan Blocker announced his decision to run for the school board in a facebook post seen by Reform Sasscer Movement earlier this afternoon from Collington Maryland. He stated that, ” It is time for major reform in our county and I will continue working to be apart of the solution. However, I can’t do it without your help. He requested members of the public to consider donating to our campaign here:


Former student Board Mr. Juwan Blocker center with his colleagues in a past photo.

Commitment to Public Education
A school board member takes on one of the most important citizen responsibilities: overseeing the education of the community’s youth. In these challenging times for public education, school boards are seeking men and women who find excitement and satisfaction in confronting tough challenges and working collegially to rise above them and help students in their communities succeed.

The board of education is a uniquely American institution. It oversees and manages the community’s public school system. It ensures the public schools are flexible and responsive to the needs of the community.  School boards are comprised of volunteers within the community who dedicate their time to better public education. Except for those appointed by the County Council and the county Executive after enactment of Maryland HB1107, generally board members are elected.

The size of a school board depends on the type of  school district but generally ranges between three and nine members. With limited exceptions, school board members serve three- four- or five-year terms. Terms are staggered so all board positions are never open at the same time. Voters have the power to change the size of the board as set forth within the law.

Responsibilities of a Board Member
With schoolchildren always their ultimate focus, school board members act officially at the board table, working with other board members to serve students and accomplish the following:

  • Create a shared vision for the future of education
  • Set the direction of the school district to achieve the highest student performance
  • Provide rigorous accountability for student  achievement results
  • Develop a budget and present it to the community, aligning district resources to improve achievement
  • Support a healthy school district culture for work and learning
  • Create strategic partnerships with the community stakeholders
  • Build the district’s progress through continuous improvement
  • Adopt and maintain current policies
  • Hire and evaluate the superintendent
  • Ratify collective bargaining agreements
  • Maintain strong ethical standards

Characteristics of a Board Member
Below are attributes that all effective board members should possess.

  • Effective Communicator: Can describe what he or she wants and describe what others want; a good listener
  • Consensus Builder: Capable of working toward decisions that all can support and willing to compromise to achieve goals
  • Community Participant: Enjoys meeting a variety of people, can identify the community’s key communicators and reaches out to the community
  • Decision Maker: Is comfortable making decisions and can support group decision-making
  • Information Processor: Can organize priorities and schedules to handle large amounts of verbal and written information
  • Leader: Willing to take risks, be supportive of board colleagues, district staff and community
  • Team Player: Helps promote the board’s vision and goals.

Running for Your Local School Board
Once you have made the commitment to run for your local school board, there are requirements, deadlines, and processes that must be adhered to.

Eligibility Requirements
Generally, school board candidates must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old, qualified voters in the school district and able to read and write. They must be residents of their districts continuously for one year (as little as 30 days or as long as three years in some city school districts) before the election.

We encourage many more citizens to run for various offices including delegate, council and governorship in 2018. This is our commitment to you.



Inspire: Bowie State University student activist confronts big issues


Juwan Blocker, a Bowie State University freshman, has been wearing a suit to class since he was a sophomore in high school. Grounded by a sense of civic duty, he’s dressing for the job he wants, and confronting issues from education to voting rights in his community.

Mr. Blocker is a man who brings a lot of hope for our future in the county! Thank you for your willingness to take a stand early and often! As you prepare to run for an elected school Board post in 2018, Reform Sasscer Movement will stand behind you in every step of the way to help bring reforms in the county.

Hear more from Blocker in the clip below, part of Michelle Marsh‘s Inspire series.


Angry parents call for PGCPS CEO to step down


Prince George’s County NAACP President Bob Ross addresses reporters following a meeting with Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford about grade-change allegations in the county. (Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post)

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — Parents in Prince George’s County are calling for Prince George’s County Public School CEO, Dr. Kevin Maxwell, to step down after an independent audit revealed thousands of students had their grades changed to boost graduation rates.
This comes after Governor Larry Hogan held an hour-long meeting with the Prince George’s County NAACP and parents about the audit’s findings.

“The CEO must go! He does not care about our children. The CEO must go!.”, shouted a parent during a news conference following Governor Hogan’s meeting, calling for accountability in the grading scandal that has rocked PGCPS.

“That investigation turned up wide-spread corruption and wrongdoing.”, said Governor Hogan.

An independent audit commissioned by the Maryland State Board of Education found that thousands of graduates from 2016 and 2017 had failing grades for at least one quarter, which were later changed after the cutoff dates.
It further stated that over 150 students graduated in 2017, despite having over 50 absences for the school year.

Yolanda Rogers is a parent with five children who have attended PGCPS schools, of whom three have graduated.

She said the grading scandal has had a huge impact on her kids.

“I have two children that’s graduated with A’s in English, B’s in Math and when they tested in college, they tested for remedial English and remedial Math. That’s problematic for me.”, said Rogers.

Many are now calling for Prince George’s County Executive, Rushern Baker, to get rid of the current chairman and superintendent.

In a statement, John White, spokesperson for PGCPS pointed out that the school system was not invited to today’s meeting, but says Dr. Kevin Maxwell and his leadership team have taken the state audit findings and recommendations very seriously.

PGCPS has until the end of the month to respond to the audit and submit a plan of action.

Officials from Prince George’s County Public Schools have said that an action plan is in the works to improve grading and graduation certification.

County Executive, Rushern Baker could not be reached for comment.

via DCW50 >>> Read more >>> Fox5 DC maryland-map


Md. Gov. Larry Hogan meets with NAACP leaders about P.G. County Schools grade fixing


Prince George’s County NAACP President Bob Ross addresses reporters following a meeting with Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford about grade-change allegations in the county. (Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post)

The Prince George’s County NAACP told Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Tuesday that it wants to initiate an audit of the county school curriculum and overturn a state law that gave County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) the power to select the schools superintendent.

Bob Ross, president of the county branch of the NAACP, said the organization is also considering filing a civil rights lawsuit against the school district, which is the second-largest in the state.

Ross met for nearly an hour with Hogan, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford (R) and members of the governor’s executive staff to discuss the state’s probe of alleged grade-tampering and fraudulent graduation rates in Prince George’s.

Ross said the NAACP asked Hogan to meet with them to discuss “what [the governor] can do at his level” to overturn the state law and launch a curriculum audit.

In the end, they were told: not much.

Hogan told the members of the NAACP and several parents who joined their meeting that he supports them and their efforts. He suggested they contact their state representatives and local officials and urge them to take seriously the findings of a recent state audit, which found that grades were changed days before graduation for nearly 5,500 students during the past two years.

County and school officials are scheduled to release a corrective plan next week.

The governor has repeatedly criticized Baker, one of eight Democrats seeking the nomination to run against him next November, over what he says is a lackluster response to the audit.

On Tuesday, after several parents called for the removal of Kevin Maxwell, Baker’s handpicked schools chief, Hogan said, “They have lost confidence in leadership.”

A spokesman for Baker said Maxwell and his staff “have been working diligently to correct” problems identified in the audit.

“We take our children and their futures very seriously, which is why we are working to correct any deficiencies,” spokesman Scott Peterson said.

Hogan declined to say whether he thought Maxwell should be ousted, calling it a decision for Baker.

Ross said his members, who sought the meeting with the governor, planned to meet him in Annapolis, but instead were told Hogan would come to Prince George’s, Baker’s home area.

There are reports according to Mr. Delvin Champagne that, Policy makers and community leaders were totally supportive of expanding School Choice Vouchers to maximize options and opportunity in Prince George’s County.

Via Washington Post,  >>>ABC7’s Brad Bell has more on this story in the video >>> here.

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Good meeting today at NAACP headquarters in Prince Georges County Maryland, with President Bob Ross, Governor Hogan and fellow Howard Bison alum Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford to discuss PGCPS issues. Policy makers and community leaders were totally supportive of expanding School Choice Vouchers to maximize options and opportunity in PGC.


Governor Larry Hogan with NAACP County Branch Education chairperson Dr. Juanita Miller.


NAACP headquarters in Prince Georges County Maryland, with President Bob Ross, Governor Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford to discuss PGCPS issues.



Prince George’s County NAACP Branch and Maryland Governor Hogan To Meet.


Branch President Bob Ross.

Upper Marlboro, MD, December 11, 2017 – Prince George’s County Branch NAACP will meet with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan on Tuesday, December 12, 2017. Two weeks earlier, the Branch reached out to Governor Hogan asking to meet regarding the injustice to the students of Prince George’s County Public Schools. Writing that it is deeply concerned about the Prince George’s County Performance Audit of graduation grade changes, Branch President Ross wrote the Governor that, “the Branch and county now needs to see that our Governor cares about our children and our future. The audit was just the first step.”

Ross wrote that the Branch believes education is the Civil Rights issue of our time. Every single graduate who was issued a diploma without meeting the basic requirements and/or not demonstrating adequate attendance has had his or her Civil Rights violated. The level of duplicity exhibited within the school system leads the Branch to believe that a deeper investigation needs to occur and that more state involvement is necessary. The students impacted will suffer greatly for the rest of their lives because of the neglect and selfishness of our school system’s leadership. Prince George’s County cannot be left alone to handle this matter.

The meeting will focus on making sure the audit’s recommendations are implemented accurately and expediently. It will also focus on determining why any educators in the school system would consider that there would even be the necessity to pass children that are failing. Whether students are passed or failed, too many students are not prepared to effectively contribute to the economy. NAACP Education members, parents and community leaders will meet with the Governor at the local Branch office.

The Prince George’s NAACP recognizes that this meeting with the Governor is unprecedented. However, the Prince George’s County public school system handing out diplomas to students who haven’t made the grade and the systematic failure of our students in our public schools and beyond has necessitated the Governor’s involvement at the local level.”

Media Contact:
April Martin, Communications Chairperson
Prince George’s County Branch NAACP


BOE Member Sonya Williams In major water as Arun Puracken joins the 2018 race – as people’s choice – District 9

81744AA3-C8FD-4F91-8B22-BEC03F92ACCAWe finally have a Teacher Running for Board of Education. This is the way to go Mr. Arun Puracken. Education matters and it is the key to life. It should matter now more than ever.

Mr. Arun Puracken school board campaign launch was more lit than some delegate, Senate, and Council campaign launches. There is lots of love and support from the community and the board members themselves starting with Mr. Edward Burroughs III, Mr. David Murray and Ms. Raaheela Ahmed our “rebellious, fearless leaders”.

we encourage more teachers and others to step up to run for various political offices and lead the way forward in Maryland. This is one way to shake up the state and the county Leadership in order to make a difference in the future.

Nominate a Leader to be Featured in Education Matters

Do you know a leader in your community supporting our schools and making a difference in the lives of children both in and out of school? We are seeking nominations for individuals to be highlighted in our Leadership Spotlight segment. Nominees could be principals, superintendents, teachers, teacher assistants, guidance counselors, parents, students, business leaders, community volunteers, afterschool providers, and more.

Here are Some pictures from Mr. Arun Puracken Friday December 8th, 2017 event.

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PGCPS Administrator on Leave After Charge He Chased Student for Littering

2922C06D-8418-4B58-A30A-498C85EB3CF3.jpeg administrator for Prince George’s County Public Schools is on administrative leave after he was accused of chasing a student and grabbing her because she allegedly threw garbage out of a school bus window and it hit his car.

Associate Superintendent Mark Fossett is on administrative leave pending an investigation, officials confirmed.

“We expect all of our administrators to behave professionally, which is why we’re investigating,” PGCPS spokesman John White said.

A source with knowledge of the investigation told News4 that on Friday, Dec. 1 a student at Wise High School in Upper Marlboro was headed to school on a bus when she threw some trash, possibly an empty potato chip bag, out of a window.

Fossett happened to be driving behind the bus. The trash hit his car, White said school officials were told.
Once the bus got to the school, Fossett got on board and yelled at the students, the source said.

The teen who allegedly littered got so upset that she jumped off the bus and started running to the school.
Fossett then chased her, and the student said he grabbed her by the arm, the source said. He denied that he grabbed her, according to the source.

White declined to comment on the specific charges and said an investigation is underway.

via NBC4


Major Fundraiser for Mr. Arun Puracken’s Campaign Kickoff scheduled – for B.O.E, District 9.


Mr. Arun Puracken

A candidate for Board of Education seat Mr. Arun Puracken (shown above) is planning a major fundraising event for Board of Education (B.O.E), District 9, according to an invitation obtained by PG Parents blog.

The fundraiser is scheduled for December 8th, 2017 starting at 7pm to 9pm at

8709 Allentown Rd,
Fort Washington,
MD 20744-2332,
United States.

The appeal is supported by many citizens of the county. Campaign finance records show  county residents have donated money to both Democratic and Republican campaign committees towards the 2018 election cycle. Major changes in the management of the county schools are expected in the future.

We hope many of you can attend!