Tag Archives: Maryland

Governor Hogan refuses to sign off on Maryland education plan

Larry Hogan

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan poses with a bill during a bill signing ceremony in Annapolis, Md., Tuesday, April 12, 2016, the day after the closing of the 2016 legislative session. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Gov. Larry Hogan is refusing to endorse the Maryland school board’s plan for helping low-performing schools, saying state board members were hamstrung by a new law limiting what the plan can include.

The General Assembly passed legislation this year that limits ways the state can try to reform its lowest-performing schools — those in the bottom 5 percent. The Republican governor vetoed that bill, but the Democratic-controlled legislature overrode him.

In a letter sent this week to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Hogan wrote that the state board could not craft a sufficient plan under the “impossible circumstances” imposed by the state law. All states must submit plans for improving low-performing schools to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

Hogan’s signature is not required for state education officials to send the plan to the federal government for review. They still intend to submit the plan Monday, a spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Education said.

The Protect Our Schools Act passed by the Assembly this year prohibits the state school board from requiring test scores to count for more than 65 percent of a school’s performance ranking. And it would prevent the state from taking several actions to improve those schools, including converting them to charter schools, bringing in private management, giving the students vouchers to attend private schools or putting the schools into a special statewide “recovery” school district.

In a letter to state school board President Andy Smarick, Hogan wrote that the legislation resulted in a plan that will preserve “the status quo in failing schools.”

But some education advocates were quick to criticize the governor for not backing the school board’s plan.

By not supporting the plan, Hogan is disregarding months of feedback from parents and nonprofit organizations, said Sean Johnson, legislative director of the Maryland State Education Association, the union for public school teachers.

Maryland board approves new rating system for schools
“I hope the strong support from all of those stakeholders makes clear that Maryland is really committed to meaningful and positive education reforms — even if it’s not the privatization and test-and-punish approach that I guess Larry Hogan would rather champion,” Johnson said.

Some state school board members, nearly all of whom were appointed by Hogan, have chafed at the legislation and supported Hogan’s veto. Some members had suggested using more radical measures to reform failing schools, including turning them over to charter school operators.

Smarick said although members disagreed with the Protect Our Schools Act, they “had to follow the letter of the state and federal law. That was our job.”

Senate Minority Leader J.B. Jennings said the state law unfairly limits options for improving struggling schools.

“The Democratic leadership pushed through a horrible piece of legislation that, in my mind, didn’t put kids first. It put special interests first,” said Jennings, a Republican who represents parts of Harford and Baltimore counties.

The U.S. Department of Education reviews each state’s plan for improving struggling schools and can recommend changes. Though Hogan’s signature is not required on the document, its absence will signal to federal officials that he doesn’t support it.

Hogan vetoes bill limiting Maryland school reforms
Gov. Larry Hogan visited Baltimore Collegiate School for Boys to announce his veto of legislation that would limit some school reforms. (Baltimore Sun video)
“I worry that he’s, in a sense, encouraging Betsy DeVos to reject the plan, which puts $250 million worth of federal funding at risk,” said Del. Eric Luedtke, a lead sponsor of the Protect Our Schools Act. He’s also a former public school teacher.

DeVos has been a champion of offering families alternatives to traditional neighborhood public schools, such as charter schools and vouchers that allow students to attend private schools.

The federal government so far has not rejected any state plans, but has suggested changes to some.

“More fundamentally, he’s kind of doubling down on this right-wing school reform agenda,” said Luedtke, a Montgomery County Democrat. “I think somebody needs to explain to the governor there are more ways to improve schools than privatization.”

Sen. Craig Zucker, another sponsor of Protect Our Schools, suggested that the governor is favoring politics over schoolchildren.

“This has always been about Maryland educators and Maryland students. This isn’t about the governor. This is about the future of our children,” said Zucker, a Montgomery County Democrat. “This was a well-thought-out piece of legislation where Maryland can be a leader in terms of education reform.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker similarly refused to sign his state’s plan for low-performing schools.

“Your bureaucratic proposal does little to challenge the status quo for the benefit of Wisconsin’s students,” Walker wrote to state superintendent Tony Evers. Evers is one of several Democrats running for Wisconsin governor in 2018 against Walker, a Republican.

via Baltimore Sun

Maryland+State+Board+of+Education+Office+SealMaryland_map***

Advertisements

Lawmaker wants to censure Md. Senate President Mike Miller for Bad leadership.

An African American state senator from Maryland wants to censure Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. for his defense of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, author of the infamous Dred Scott decision, whose statue was removed from the State House grounds last week.

Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-Prince George’s), who is running for county executive in 2018 and would give up his Senate seat if he won, said the legislative chamber needs to send “an unequivocal message” to Miller (D-Calvert) that it does not agree with his support of Taney. The justice’s 1857 opinion said blacks could not be U.S. citizens and had no rights other than those given by whites.

“In light of the tragic and violent events in Charlottesville and concerns about promoting and inciting a climate of racial hatred and division in our nation, I would hope that the majority of my colleagues will join me in strongly rebuking the senate president’s remarks as well as those expressed by President Trump and others who would defend what Justice Taney stood for,” Muse, who introduced a measure to remove the statue last year, said in a statement.

Jake Weissman, a spokesman for Miller, declined to comment.

Miller, the longest-serving Senate president in the country, is a member of the Maryland State House Trust, the four-member panel that voted 3 to 0 last week to remove the 145-year-old statue. The 46-year lawmaker, who has long defended the statue as an important piece of Maryland history, refused to vote.

He sent a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan (R) arguing that the panel, which traditionally votes by email, should have held a public meeting to discuss removing the statue.

Miller, an avid reader of history, also defended Taney’s character, describing him as a man with a “complex” past.

“Unlike George Washington who freed his slaves upon his death, Taney freed his slaves early in his life,” the letter said.

“Roger Brooke Taney was not a Confederate officer and he remained loyal to the Union until his death in 1864,” Miller wrote. “Many historians have debated the conflicting anti-slavery words and works of Roger Brooke Taney.”

Miller said he agreed with an 1864 editorial in the New York Times that Taney’s decision, “wrong as it was, did not spring from a corrupt or malignant heart.”

Via Washington Post 

hogan11

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has been changing Maryland for the better. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, author of the infamous Dred Scott decision, whose statue was removed from the State House grounds last week, the removal of the statue is the step in the right directions.

11a-UNCONSTITUTIONAL-Miller-Mike-JS1-copy-600x330

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., the longest-serving Senate president in the country, is a member of the Maryland State House Trust, the four-member panel that voted 3 to 0 last week to remove the 145-year-old statue. The 46-year lawmaker, who has long defended the statue as an important piece of Maryland history, refused to vote. Under Miller, institutional racism has been very high especially within state agencies.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

21078336_10212843895639869_4903029015981614522_n.jpg

MarylandMap2

***

Maryland delegate Dereck E. Davis must resign over corruption in the county schools. 

9-0770

Delegate Dereck E. Davis (Seen here) sparked widespread controversy after he engaged in a  double-dealing in which his wife and close family friends are benefiting unjustly in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) at the expense of the county children. 

Upper Marlboro —A Maryland delegate is facing mounting pressure to resign after unleashing kleptocracy in Prince George’s (PG) County for some time now.  Prince George’s County’s Reform Sasscer Movement and PG Parents are calling for Maryland Delegate Dereck. E. Davis, who is the Chairman for Economic Matters Committee in Maryland, to resign with immediate effect from the Maryland General Assembly and from his Prince George’s County government position.  Prince George’s County has been abuzz with allegations that officials within the Maryland delegation have engaged in racketeering, money laundering, and other criminal activities—including scheming to enrich themselves at the expense of the children of the county and the wider population.

Troubles for Democrat Dereck E. Davis began after reports surfaced that he had used the new Maryland law HB1107 as a bargaining chip to reward himself and his wife as part of a cartel involving state judges and other county employees connected to them. The county’s public corruption with ties to the kleptocracy is a looting machine which has become a routine fiasco for the county over the years.

More than a dozen corruption scandals have erupted in recent weeks and have shown how the questionable leadership has been moving illicit funds elsewhere, as the Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) and other agencies in Maryland suffer. The scale of the political elites’ involvement in similar situations such as this was laid starkly clear in the “Panama Papers,” a leak revealing many of the clients of the law firm Mossack Fonseca. These very partial revelations implicated 140 politicians from 50 countries as exploiters of offshore finance, mainly as a means to sequester illicit funds. There is no difference in what is occurring under the current regime of our local Prince George’s County government than elsewhere around the world.

Challenges to democracy vary widely across many countries around the world, as does the Reform Sasscer Movement approach. In developed countries such as the United States, there exists struggling democratic counties such as Prince George’s. The Reform Sasscer Movement projects target the institutional weaknesses that underlie political instability, such as corruption, governance, rule of law, and opaque policy-making processes.

The institutional dynamics that underlie the corrupt politics, economy, and society of Prince George’s county must change if democratic norms and practices are to take root in the county. Based on our own experiences, these challenges are numerous and complex, and no single initiative will solve them all. Corruption, however, is paramount among these challenges. In Prince George’s County, public perceptions and allegations of corruption undermine public faith in the institutions of democracy to such an extent that democratically-elected local government has lost legitimacy in the eyes of competing segments of the state of Maryland.  PG Parents’ principle strategic focus, and the best way to address PG County democratic deficiencies within the PGCPS system, is asking Delegate Dereck E. Davis to resign his position due to corruption in the Maryland legislature and the county government.

A PG county blogger on Facebook called the incident “reprehensible,” and said he is demanding for Delegate Dereck E. Davis to resign his positions due to corruption in the county and in the Maryland legislature.

Delegate Dereck E. Davis, who sparked widespread controversy after he engaged in double-dealing, colluding with his wife and close family friends, is benefiting unjustly at the expense of the children of PGCPS and must be banished. At the same time last year, he introduced a bill to ban counties and cities from increasing minimum wage in their individual jurisdictions. This bill was a proposal that pitted progressive Democrats, who have embraced a national push for a $15 hourly wage, against the party’s center- and right-leaning members. However, this is not why we are asking him to resign, his conflict of interest goes deeper than that. 

The recent events began with a Facebook post after a meeting with PG County delegation at Largo in which Prince George’s County School CEO Kevin Maxwell was questioned by the Prince George’s Delegation Education Committee on a series of issues such as graduation rates, grade changes, and teacher sexual assault allegations. During the meeting,  Del. Dereck Davis said he has tried to stay out of it since his wife is one of Maxwell’s top deputies. However, he could not resist commenting that day, calling the controversies brought forth by BOE members a “minstrel show.” With overwhelming evidence of a kleptocracy curse, The Maryland Democratic Party should demand his immediate resignation.

The Maryland Democratic Party seems like an unstoppable train rattling downhill in Maryland at break-neck speed with Del. Davis as part of it. If there was ever an example of when the more than 200-year-old party formed in 1792 needed to apply the brakes it is here. But the people are likely to punish these leaders in 2018 and again in 2020 if something is not done.

Del. Dereck Davis use of horrific, discriminatory activities, engagement in racketeering, and selfish interests towards members of the [PGCPS] Board of Education and others in Maryland—who disagree with him and his wife—is disgusting, unacceptable, and has no place in our democracy or our society.

The current disrespect of Board members and county staff who oppose county leadership involved in kleptocracy locally should not be tolerated.

The recent mistreatment of Mr. Edward Burroughs III (Board member), who was not allowed to address a graduating class in his district, sparked nationwide outrage. Critics accused the police of stifling constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. Mrs. Davis, who was at the center of these violations after making students cry, has never apologized, despite a petition asking her to do so. Mrs. Davis has followed the beckoning of her superiors–including her husband.

Del. Dereck Davis has been conspiring with the Maryland Attorney General, Brian Frosh, who did not disclose to the Maryland General Assembly that his office has been violating federal laws willfully in Maryland for many years. The office has been colluding with the corrupt state and union officials operating in Maryland to the detriment of many citizens. The office is also involved in tortious interference of lawyers hired by employees in conspiracy with the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA), ACE-AFSCME Local 2250, AFSCME International and other officials in the Maryland Democratic party.

Long before the four Board members wrote to the Maryland governor concerning widespread fraud in PG county, this blog covered the same issues on February 16, 2017 concerning work of fiction and misrepresentation by the county schools after an “all-time high graduation rates” article in the local newspaper. 

Ladies and gentlemen, this is an unprecedented event in which we demand the resignation of Del. Dereck Davis. Don’t take it lightly.

More to come.

 

image14

Mrs. Dereck Davis is a top deputy Superintendent in PGCPS.

IMG_0772.PNG

***

IMG_0773.PNG

It has been a long week. Like others, it had its own challenges. But our God is always faithful that he allowed us to go through the storms. Next week, We will have a special blog post dealing with similar issues currently in the courts and how we can tackle issues heads on with your support to face the future in a united way.  Be blessed and stay involved.

***

Kleptocracy_and_You18319093_1938801313023870_4147465431665089645_o.jpg***Kleptocracy64Med_300***princegeorges1***

Democrats in Disarray; Delegate Calls Miller and Zirkin “Democrats in Name Only”

IMG_9557.JPGDemocrats have fallen into complete disarray as they’re now turning fire on each other. More than a dozen House Democrats walked off the floor today and held a press conference outside of the State House to fight for the “Maryland Trust Act” also known as the Sanctuary State Bill.

Delegate Joseline Pena-Melynk (District 21, Prince George’s County) went after Senator Bobby Zirkin (District 11, Baltimore County) and Senate President Mike Miller (District 27, Southern Maryland). This is a clear case of mainstream Democrats looking for bipartisan solutions by listening to the people being taken hostage by an increasing number of extremists in their party.

She said, “Senator Bobby Zirkin is a DINO, a Democrat in Name Only. As 2018 approaches, people you are going to hear us tonight in the news. Who lives in his district? Shame him. We don’t need a Democrat like that. We need someone who is going to protect everyone. Who’s not going to compromise. How can you not be a true Democrat? You killed the bill. Shame on you and I hope your district takes you out.”

“Senator Miller, this is a priority for the Democrats…Did we need an issue like this, absolutely so the people know what we stand for. Act like a Democrat. We don’t need anyone who’s not a true Democrat. These people behind me have a spine and not everyone can say that.”

It’s unfortunate that extremist Democrats have held reasonable ones hostage because they listened to their districts. When Senate President Miller looks like the most reasonable person in the room, how extremist are the Maryland Democratic Party now?

IMG_9556.JPG

Maryland’s Senate president said a bill that added protections for people in the United States illegally won’t pass the Senate in its current form. 

You can watch the whole video here: https://www.facebook.com/bpsears/videos/10154449969122286/

maryland-map

***

Maryland House OKs bill limiting school testing

md_general_assemblyThe Maryland House of Delegates approved a bill Tuesday that would limit the amount of time school districts can spend on testing.

The Less Testing, More Learning Act sailed through with minimal debate on a 139-0 vote.

The bill would limit schools to spending 2 percent of classroom time on tests that are required by the federal government, the state or the school district, including standardized tests. Tests and quizzes developed by individual teachers are not included in the 2 percent cap.

The 2 percent limit equates to about 21.6 hours per year in elementary and middle schools and 23.6 hours in high schools, according to the Maryland State Education Association, which has been pushing for the bill.

Advocates are hopeful that they’ll also be able to get the bill through the Senate, where 31 of 47 members are cosponsors. The bill is currently in the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.

A similar bill last year was passed by the House but died in the Senate in the last few weeks of the 90-day General Assembly session.

Gov. Larry Hogan has previously expressed concern that students are subject to too much testing in school.

Via Baltimore Sunmarylandmap2

***

State BOE has primary jurisdiction over Howard County Superintendent – Dispute with the Local Board.

bal-howard-county-schools-superintendent-sues-school-board-20170113

Dr. Renee Foose, superintendent of Howard County Public School System (File photo)

1-7a6caee6b9

2-d8d4a9ec15

3-ebf9a818c04-f4e68a51b85-8849ec9c4f6-7e6ee01f32

msde_store_front

***

Update on HB1565 – PGCPS Bill on Reform.

img_8982

Prince George’s House Delegation Education Committee hearing on HB1565 to address issues with the school board structure was held yesterday.

Reform Sasscer Movement for Prince George’s County verified with several delegates concerning the bill HB1565. There are amendments currently pending including by Delegate Howard, Delegate Jay Walker. A possible hearing is supposed to take place next week on Wednesday March 8th, 2017 at 9am. However, delegates are not sure if the date conflicts with other hearings. In any event, it will take a while to decide if the bill dies in the committee or not.

According to delegate Howard, all senators from Prince George’s County except Senator Muse are against bill HB1565. She indicated she was fighting for the bill to be debated and is supportive. We will share the latest once amendments become available.

Remember , we must fight to help  stop….” Prince George’s County Public Schools diverting money through illegal procurement practices and stop using the annual school budget to create black holes to hide money that is later diverted to pet projects, bonuses and salaries of employees for central office staff. When the CEO of Schools, his executive staff and appointed board members are allowed to break the law; cover up the abuse and sexual molestation of children; lose a $4 million grant; fire whistle blowers reporting waste using manufactured evidence; give bonuses and salary increases to executive staff while only giving teachers a 2% cost of living increase; attempt to fund school background checks in the FY18 budget at $600,000 when the FY17 expenditure is projected to be less than $80,000; and consistently have more than $30 million in unplanned spending for non school-based programs or services, it’s difficult to make a legitimate argument that $20 million split between 24 counties is going to hurt our systems bottom line”… ( Tonya Wingfield via facebook)

princegeorges1

***