Category Archives: Public Corruption in Education

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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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

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!!

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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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Crossland HS student fatally shot in Pr. George’s Saturday

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Prince George’s County police have identified the person found dead in a parking lot in Suitland over the weekend as a 17-year-old freshman from Crossland High School.

Patrol officers found Brandon Ramone Johnson after answering a welfare check at about 3:15 a.m. Saturday in the 4900 block of Suitland Road, police said. They found Johnson suffering from a gunshot wound when they arrived and declared him dead at the scene.

Detectives were not able to identify Johnson until Sunday because he didn’t have identification on him, said Lt. William Alexander, a spokesman for the Prince George’s police.

Police detectives are working to determine suspects and motives, but do have leads they’re investigating, Alexander said.

Police say anyone with information should call 1-866-411-TIPS.

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Baltimore Teachers tell Dance they are frustrated…

… by Common Core, other reforms

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Baltimore County teachers at a town hall meeting Thursday night told  Superintendent Dallas Dance they are desperately trying to keep up with the fast  pace of state-mandated educational changes that have brought them more work and  much frustration.

Teachers, some in tears and some angry, said the first year of the county’s  introduction of its new curriculum tied to the Common Core had significant  problems that have yet to be addressed. More than 100 teachers attended the  forum, the first Dance has held with teachers.

Vicki Charikofsky, a Millbrook Elementary School teacher, said she is an  experienced teacher who had mentored colleagues but that she was having  difficulty with the workload.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/blog/bs-md-co-teacher-town-hall-20131205,0,3602063.story#ixzz2mgvtBaoV

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In Prince George’s County, things are not getting better either. Please read Opinion concerning Common Core directives issued by CEO Maxwell recently. Click here >>> OPINION

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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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.

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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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Maryland Youth earn diploma in a day!

… in Philadelphia under suspicious circumstances

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A recent article, “Baltimore  foster care youths get diploma in a day in Philadelphia,” Nov. 23) describing the referral of youths in foster care to a high school diploma program in Pennsylvania, highlights one of the glaring  deficiencies in Maryland’s educational programs — the lack of educational  options for students in high school. While Maryland may have the “highest ranking  school system” in the nation, its one-size-fits all approach to educating high school students leaves many of our most at-risk students without reasonable options for securing a high school diploma.

In the case of older teens living in foster care, many of them have attended  many different schools in multiple school systems. Because they lack a  consistent education, they fail to earn credit in courses they are otherwise  capable of passing. At 18 years of age, many of them still need 2-3 years of  schooling to meet Maryland graduation requirements. Many other teens placed at risk because of poverty, unmet mental health needs or educational disabilities,  face similar challenges.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-foster-care-diplomas-20131123,0,6270528.story

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OPINION

In PGCPS District, there are still problems involving homeless youth and the issues are not always addressed properly. Read more >>> PGCPS Mess

If you want a more effective, and less corrupt, School Board, citizen needs to get involved in our political system.

We need great candidates to run in 2014. We need to financially invest in them and make a change. We need to knock on doors for them. We need to wake the sleeping electorate and help them understand that without their informed vote, partnership with schools, and protection of their significant taxpayer investment in the public schools, it hurts all of us. An underperforming school system run under corruption and lack of transparency consistently hurts the image of the county and Maryland as a State. It limits our ability to attract good economic development and it is a drain in our purses. Poor education of our youth leads to limited professional opportunities and increased crime. We are all hurt by those outcomes. As many of you know, many children do not attend the public schools because of fear of crime.  Many parents in Maryland and in Prince George’s County in particular are still waiting for the schools to get better, and at this point prefer a faith-based private schools for their children. However, we strongly believe in the value of high-quality public schools, and know we cannot move forward as a county and State without making sure that we have this problem solved first. That is a challenge we must all own and collectively tackle together, and until we do that, there’s not going to be significant achievement on any other front. Corruption as a way of life here in Maryland must be eliminated.

Political corruption is the use of power by government officials for illegitimate private gain. An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties, is done under color of law or involves trading in influence.

Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement. Corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking, though is not restricted to these activities. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by private persons or corporations not directly involved with the government.

The activities that constitute illegal corruption differ depending on the country or jurisdiction. For instance, some political funding practices that are legal in one place may be illegal in another. In some cases, government officials have broad or ill-defined powers, which make it difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal actions. Worldwide, bribery alone is estimated to involve over 1 trillion US dollars annually. A state of unrestrained political corruption is known as a kleptocracy, literally meaning “rule by thieves”.

Some forms of corruption – now called “institutional corruption” – are distinguished from bribery and other kinds of obvious personal gain. Campaign contributions are the prime example. Even when they are legal, and do not constitute a quid pro quo, they have a tendency to bias the process in favor of special interests and undermine public confidence in the political institution. They corrupt the institution without individual members being corrupt themselves. A similar problem of corruption arises in any institution that depends on financial support from people who have interests that may conflict with the primary purpose of the institution.

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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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