Category Archives: Education Forum

PGCPS Officials add security at multiple area schools after online threats

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This was part of the drawings circulated earlier in social media.

UPPER MARLBORO – Officials earlier today added additional security at multiple area schools on Monday after threats circulated on social media over the weekend. Some of them had drawings showing various areas in which they claimed to have planted bombs.

Prince George’s County Police Department is working with school administration for security of those schools and determining the validity of those threats. Arlington County schools were also mentioned in threatening posts.

“We have been made aware of the threats to schools throughout the area. Out of an abundance of caution, as an increase to our school resource officers, we have increased patrols around schools during arrivals and dismissals,” said Ashley Savage, PIO for the Arlington County Police Department. Although officials took the threat very seriously, schools remained open on Monday.

In addition, Fairfax County Public Schools also tweeted about the subject saying that they are aware of the threats and that police do not believe the threats are credible.

At this time, parents are requested to provide proper guidance to their children to avoid a repeat of what occurred today.

Earlier today the PGCPS Office of Communication issued the following statement:

In response to several threats circulating on social media aimed at specific Prince George’s County schools, local law enforcement has deployed additional officers at schools throughout the county as a precaution.

Schools are open today as scheduled. We take threats to our students very seriously and we will continue working with Prince George’s County Police Department to investigate these threats.

To report any suspicious activity, please contact Prince George’s County Police Department at 866-411-TIPS.

MENSAJE ACERCA DE LAS AMENAZAS EN lAS REDES SOCIALES 

En respuesta a varias amenazas que circulan en las redes sociales dirigidas a específicas escuelas del condado de Prince George, las fuerzas del orden público locales han desplegado a agentes adicionales en las escuelas a lo largo del condado como medida de precaución.

Las escuelas están abiertas hoy como estaba previsto. Tomamos muy en serio las amenazas a nuestros estudiantes y seguiremos trabajando con el Departamento de Policía del Condado de Prince George para investigar estas amenazas.

Para reportar cualquier actividad sospechosa, por favor póngase en contacto con el Departamento de Policía del Condado de Prince George llamando al 866-411-TIPS.

 

This story is developing. Stay with PGCPSMESS, pgparents and Reform Sasscer blogs for the latest.

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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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Bill seeks halt to state testing for this year

Maryland State House Dome

Two Maryland legislators are sponsoring a bill to halt giving the state’s  annual tests this year as opposition to the testing grows among teachers,  parents and local superintendents.

A bill introduced in the House by Del. Eric G. Luedtke, a Montgomery  Democrat, would force state education officials to seek a waiver from the  federal law that requires the annual standardized tests, which are given in  March. The sponsors say that the Maryland School Assessments would serve no  purpose this year because students are being taught a new curriculum but tested  on the old one.

“Parents are in an uproar over this all across the state. There is a lot of  support for the bill,” said Sen. Nancy J. King, a Democrat who plans to  introduce a similar bill in the Senate.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/blog/bs-md-msa-bill-20140114,0,5292378.story#ixzz2qRRRlmug

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Federal guidelines address discipline in nation’s schools

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Federal officials Wednesday released guidelines intended to help the nation’s schools create discipline policies that would keep more students in class, avoid unnecessary out-of-school suspensions and reduce racial disparities in punishment.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. are scheduled to jointly discuss the new guidelines Wednesday at Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore, where they will participate in a roundtable conversation with students.

“A routine school disciplinary infraction should land a student in the principal’s office, not in a police precinct,” Holder said in a statement. Both he and Duncan have long emphasized the importance of moving away from an overuse of suspensions, expulsions and arrests in the nation’s schools.

“We need to keep students in class where they can learn,” Duncan said in a statement. “These resources are a step in the right direction.” >>>> Read More Washington Post

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Read more >>> Ashes to Ashes in Prince George’s County School District

BLACK

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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.

Superintendent involved in a Conflict of Interest

…Dance has consulting job with company doing business with schools

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Several months after the Baltimore County school system signed an $875,000 contract with a professional development company in Illinois, Superintendent Dallas Dance took a part-time job with that company to coach Chicago school principals.

Dance is allowed under his employment contract to do private consulting work with prior approval of the school board as long as it does not interfere with the superintendent’s job. However, Dance acknowledged in an interview Friday that he had not yet sought the board’s approval, even though he took the job with SUPES Academy over the summer.

Dance’s second job prompted questions about the propriety of his working for a company that does business with the school system, training its principals. It also raised concerns about the superintendent taking the time to train educators in other states when Baltimore County schools are undergoing changes that have drawn complaints from teachers.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/blog/bs-md-dance-coaching-contract-20131213,0,1762346.story#ixzz2nT2k5Ait

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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 have they 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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Maryland has far to go in testing…

…and teaching special education students

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Excluding children with disabilities from assessments artificially inflates  state rankings and reveals instruction issues

The Baltimore Sun gets high marks for uncovering the shameful fact that  Maryland ranks first nationally in improperly excluding  students with disabilities from taking the leading national test of reading  ability (“Md. excluded large number of special-education students in national  test,” Nov. 16). These exclusions inflate the state’s test scores. They also  deflate Maryland’s reputation as the No. 1 education state as ranked by  Education Week.

The exclusions help to reveal how certain practices ruin many, if not most,  chances that students with disabilities have for academic success. But they are  only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the lack of understanding — not  just about testing but about overall instruction of students with  disabilities.

Maryland has excluded so many students mainly because, under the rules  governing the test (known as the National Assessment of Academic Progress),  students with disabilities cannot have the test questions read aloud to them.  Without this “read-aloud accommodation,” as it’s known under federal law, many  students with disabilities would fail the test, lowering Maryland’s national  ranking.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/bs-ed-special-ed-20131205,0,3427384.story#ixzz2mgmn5mpS

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OPINION

  • Here is Prince George’s County we must emphasize that, real improvements in a school system like ours take time and hard work. Miraculous sudden improvements in student achievement reported today by Washington Post, when there were so many problems last year is likely the result of outright fraud or a rigged evaluation system designed to produce desired results.>>>> (Read More Washington Post )
  • We must demand election reform. We must move away from a system that enables elected officials here in Maryland  and party insiders to ensure that their preferred candidates always win down ballot races, such as elections for Board of Education members. Slates formed by incumbent elected officials and their “sample ballots” must go.  We deserve to have real elections where all candidates must sink or swim based on their own merits.

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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