Category Archives: Corruption in PGCPS

Donnie Dukes, special education teacher in Prince George’s, being placed on leave

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Donna Montgomery, chief executive officer at Options Public Charter School, arrives at the school.

A special education teacher in Prince George’s County is being placed on administrative leave after school officials learned Wednesday that he pleaded guilty to overbilling the District for bus rides that his company never provided to students.

Donnie Dukes, who previously worked as a compliance officer in the District and operated a student transportation business, admitted on Wednesday that he charged the city for $300,000 worth of rides that were never given.

Dukes, who also previously worked as a principal of Options Public Charter School, was hired in Prince George’s in August 2012. Dukes works at Parkdale High School in Riverdale Park, school officials said. >>> Read more Washington Post

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Parkdale High School in PGCPS District is affected by Options Public Charter School fiasco in Washington DC.

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Read more about previous coverage here >>>> Embezzlement in Education using charter schools in Washington DC and Maryland with Donna Montgomery, chief executive officer.

Former PGCPS Board Member Exposed The Truth About Our School Board…

…However, despite efforts to expose the issues of worry, concern continues to persist. Only this time, there is cover up than real solutions.

‌‌Corruption in the public sector  hampers the efficiency of public services, undermines confidence in public institutions and increases the cost of public transactions. Integrity is essential for building strong institutions resistant to corruption.  We deserve better! Let us continue to advocate for what is right and save PGCPS.

One way in which we can help the school system and other institutions  is ensuring that the integrity of government decision-making is not compromised by public officials. private interests is a growing public concern and is affecting communities not only in PGCPS District but around the world. New forms of partnership between government and the private and non-profit sectors present new challenges for policy-makers and public managers.

Effectively managing conflict of interest requires a balance. A too-strict approach to controlling private interests may conflict with other rights or be unworkable or deter experienced and competent potential candidates from entering public office or public service.

However, to be successful,  a modern approach to conflict-of-interest policy seeks to strike a balance by: identifying risks; prohibiting unacceptable forms of private interest; raising awareness of the circumstances in which conflicts can arise; and ensuring effective procedures to resolve conflict-of-interest situations. As we move forward into the future in the next several months, we will be highlighting some of the areas which we feel deserves attention. We deserve better solutions and proper accountability mechanism rather than band aid. Those who speak the truth and protect us all, must be rewarded irrespective of their background.

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1 Samuel 18:30

‘Every time the commanders of the Philistines attacked, David was more successful against them than all the rest of Saul’s officers.’

– David was a man who enjoyed the blessing of God on his life.
– As a result he saw more success than those around him.
– Trust God for His blessing on your life – ask Him to do it.
– Then expect to walk in that favour regardless of the circumstances.

PRAY: Lord, You know exactly what I am facing and going through. I take a moment right now to ask for Your hand of blessing on my life. Amen.

Have a great Thursday.

Future of the County –

…Heroes of tomorrow.

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 An Opinion.

Today we found ourselves visiting with several parents to monitor our children in several schools within the county to monitor progress made so far. We visited schools surrounded by people living in some of our most neglected communities in Oxon Hill, Capital Heights, Riverdale, Langley Park and Hyattsville. It is an interesting coincidence that got us thinking of the work that the heroes of yesterday began, and that our children and their children have to carry on with. Our county has had great men and women standing up at different times, but towards the same goal, of ensuring liberty, prosperity and justice for all.

The freedom fighters risked all to liberate us from the colonial yoke. After independence, another generation stepped in and risked everything when the very dreams that inspired the freedom fighters were being rolled back. These are the heroes of the first Liberation who faced numerous challenges including racism and segregation machines ultimately they reclaimed the rights and freedoms that were being taken away. For which they paid a great price. The heroes of our first, second, third, etc. Liberations have brought us this far. Some of these Heroes were Black, Indians, Whites, Latinos, and Asians amongst races. We are immensely indebted to them.

In July 2014 the United States of America turns 238 years old and counting. As we remember the heroes of the past centuries, we must focus on the next 50 years ahead and ask ourselves, who will be our heroes of that period and what will make them?

Listening to various leaders including governor O’Malley of Maryland, County Executive Rushern Baker, Senator Joan Benson of Prince George’s County speak about their challenges and promises of their respective areas, we found ourselves thinking of our country’s next fifty years, its old challenges that we have been unable to subdue and the new ones we are yet to start tackling.  It occurred to us that the heroes of the years ahead might be made in our county if we get it right.

Our county is certainly set to be the next theatre of action, opportunities, challenges and growth. That is why Washington, D.C. metropolitan area is  the most affluent metropolitan area in the United States. Prince George’s county in particular has been a magnet for international immigration since the late 1960s. It is also a magnet for internal migration (persons moving from one region of the U.S. to another). Many students in Prince George’s county bear great potential and promise for the future but they are never challenged for greater capabilities. What can we do to make their world mean something or rewarding?

In southern Maryland, NASA records the strongest all-round the year wind blowing in the same direction and capable of generating electricity for all of Prince George’s County. It has never been exploited. Like many other counties in Maryland, Prince George’s county is changing fast but transforming too slowly. The economy is growing, but so are poverty levels. Despite new challenges and new opportunities, outdated mindset  full of discriminatory tendencies persists. The heroes of the next fifty years of our county will be men and women who accept that we cannot create the future by clinging to the past. We should embrace diversity and work together for good of the county and the United States of America.

Prince George’s County and especially the County school system has a chance to open a new chapter with the coming of devolved units after HB1107. Already, a number of our county representatives are toying with grand visions but we should not let the old ways crop back in through the back door.

In the struggles of these representatives whether it is a senator, delegate or Board of Education member, we see a journey to determine the county’s future by expanding our county’s productivity. In this regard, the county carries great potential in determining our county’s next heroes. Unfortunately, the passion of the governor or other representatives or even the county Executive alone is not enough. Every defining moment in a nation’s history needs a champion at the center.  Abraham Lincoln stepped in to save the union that remains standing as the USA. He remains our country’s hero to date.

United States and especially Prince George’s County, needs people to champion and save devolution and secure our next fifty years. There is a simple logic that makes us passionate about the future of the county. The logic is that when we try to empower and make our neighbors rich, we create room for sharing, trading and making life rewarding for my neighbor, ourselves and myself.

Here in Prince George’s county, we still need to work hard to create better relations between our various ethnic groups. To win the battle against colonial powers, our founding fathers pulled together, in one direction. Today, we are falling apart at the seams. The heroes of the years ahead will be the men and women who will recognize this fact and act to permanently patch up the widening cracks between our ethnic groups whether white or black, Latino or Asian among other groups by addressing honestly and candidly the things that are setting various ethnic groups against another here in the county must be addressed. Let the leadership of the county Government be the model for others to follow. Let us challenge the state agencies like Maryland state Board of Education when they fail to perform in their duties properly and request proper accounting. Many of us paid a big price for advocating for change. We should not let the old ways of doing business continue unchallenged.

But we must also never forget that the struggle for freedom never ends. Future heroes will be men and women who remember the words of Ronald Reagan that…”Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on…”

Finally, whether we are ready for it or not, the world is moving into the era of innovation, science and technology.  Economists tell us that the world is getting smaller, but it is not coming together. The nations that innovate are going to rule the world.

United States as a whole has pioneered many things including planes, cellphones, internet, computers, etc. The planes are a unique United States contribution to the world. While it shows the capacity of United States to innovate, it may not be long before somebody comes up with something better. The heroes of the coming years will have to be men and women who keep United States of America on the front row through innovation, science and technology.  We live in an era when some corporations are richer than entire nations. We are confident that if we invest in them, the United States youth will give us the Sony, Citicorp, Philip Morris, Yahoo and Google of the next century and make them our heroes. The choice is ours.

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PGCPS submit report to MD lawmakers…

…on governance structure.

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The Prince George’s County school system — operating under a new governance structure for the past six months — has hired a new superintendent, gained six new school board members and is pushing forward with plans to reinvent itself, according to a new report submitted to state lawmakers.

Following last year’s overhaul initiated by County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), the county schools now plan to reestablish a parent and community advisory council to increase parent engagement, hire a board liaison to work with the community and the administration, and work with the county government to create a legislative agenda and reduce spending. >>> Read more Washington Post

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PGPD Urges Drivers to Lock Doors

…at Gas Stations

MESSAGE FROM PRINCE GEOGE’S COUNTY POLICE
It’s a crime of opportunity and takes just seconds.  You’ve got your back turned while pumping gas and a thief snatches valuables from your unlocked car.  Before you know what’s happened, the thief is long gone.
We’re unfortunately seeing this crime time and again and it’s entirely preventable.  Since early December, we’ve investigated at least 30 thefts from cars at gas stations in our county.
The Prince George’s County Police Department produced this important safety message. Take a few minutes and watch the video. Please also share with your friends and family.
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tough questions on charter schools

Are they helping or hurting?

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Donna Montgomery, chief executive officer at Options Public Charter School, arrives at the school.

A senior official at the D.C. Public Charter School Board allegedly received $150,000 to help the former managers of Options Public Charter School evade oversight and take millions of taxpayer dollars for themselves, according to a new court document.

Jeremy L. Williams was the chief financial officer at the D.C. Public Charter School Board, responsible for monitoring the business practices of the city’s fast-growing charter schools. But at the same time he was entrusted with rooting out financial wrongdoing, he also allegedly joined in, according to the document. >>>Read More WashPost

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four-tough-questions-about-charter-schools >>> Read More Washington Post

Criticism of Teacher Unions in 2013.

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Anthony Cody a teacher who spent 24 years working in Oakland schools, 18 of them as a science teacher at a high school reviews his own sharp criticism of teachers’ unions during the past year for their support of the Common Core standards in 2013.

Cody questions why teachers have no one to support them when they question the validity of the Common Core.

He doubts that a one-year moratorium on high-stakes testing of the Common Core will matter much.

In a column that he cites, he wrote:

In effect, the Common Core tests will refresh NCLB’s indictment of public schools and teachers, with supposedly scientific precision.

Teachers – and union leaders — may feel as if they should get on board, to try to steer this process. However, I think this is a ship of doom for our schools. I think its effect will be twofold. It will create a smoother, wider, more easily standardized market for curriculum and technology. This will, in turn, promote the standardization of curriculum and instruction, and further de-professionalize teaching. The assessments will reinforce this, by tying teachers closer to more frequent timelines and benchmark assessments, which will be, in many places, tied to teacher evaluations. And the widespread failures of public schools will be used to further “disrupt the public school monopoly,” spurring further expansion of vouchers and charters and private schools.

We must move beyond not only the bubble tests, but beyond the era of punitive high stakes tests. Only then will we be able to use standards in the way they ought to be used – as focal points for our creative work as educators. I would be glad to have a year’s delay for the consequences of these tests, but I think we need to actively oppose the entire high stakes testing paradigm. The Common Core standards should not be supported as long as they are embedded in this system.

He calls upon the unions to exert leadership–not just in helping to impose CCSS–but in thinking critically about the corporate agenda and CCSS’s role in that agenda.

He holds out hope for change in 2014, a hope that we all share.

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Read more >> Union Accountability needed in PG County

Read more>>>Violation of the Grievance system

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Cartoon of Income Inequality