Tag Archives: Prince

PGCPS CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell meets with Md. State Board of Education to discuss grade-fixing audit

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Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell

Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell
BALTIMORE – The head of Prince George’s County Public Schools faced the Maryland State Board of Education Tuesday, the first time since a troubling state audit showed grade-fixing and policy violations allowed students to graduate without meeting state requirements.

At the hearing, state board members pressed Dr. Kevin Maxwell on the root causes of the findings and whether there has been a shift in culture in the school system.

“It seems like something is going on here,” said Maryland State Board of Education President Andrew Smarick. “I don’t want to go too far, but it seems like some signal, something is happening to suggest to schools, to teachers, to someone, ‘We gotta graduate these students irrespective of some of these rules we have.’ And that is what I have been grappling with here.”

Smarick noted some of the most outstanding audit findings — grade changes that could not be verified, late changes to student transcripts and students graduating despite more than 50 unexcused absences.

In response to questions about the driving forces behind the audit findings, Maxwell spoke about staff confusion on grade change forms, lack of automation, high staff turnover and people who were not clear on policies. He emphasized the audit found no intimidation or fraud by him or his staff.

After the hearing, FOX 5 asked him again about the underlying causes of the problems uncovered.

“The audit, I think, gave us a very good roadmap to the fact that there are some issues that need clarification, there are some procedures that need to be updated, there is a lot of training and there are some compliance issues,” Maxwell said.

At one point, a school board member asked whether emphasis on graduation rates by the state and federal government was to blame, but Maxwell did not agree that outside pressure was a factor.

Maxwell and his staff outlined their plan to correct what was found by the audit and the ways the school district is tightening up policies, putting more oversight in place and retraining staff.

Janna Parker, a Prince George’s County community member who attended the meeting, said the plan is a good first step, but feels what she did not see from Maxwell was accountability at the top.

“I think when you base any plan on not fully accepting accountability or placing the accountability on who and where it needs to be, it’s flawed plan,” Parker said.

When asked about Gov. Larry Hogan’s recent statement that some of what is going on in Prince George’s County Public Schools is criminal, Maxwell said he did not agree with the governor.

Smarick said the state board is now going to decide how and if the state will intervene in the school system and what is legally possible. He said there should be decisions made by the next meeting in February.

There could be another audit, and while there has been no public talk of the state taking over Prince George’s County Public Schools, it is something that’s happened in other states.

After the meeting on Tuesday, the state released graduation rates for districts across the state. Prince George’s County had a record high of 82.7 percent for 2017.

via Fox 5DC Read more >>>Washington Post

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PGCPS Teens Charged in String of Robberies Targeting Cab Drivers

0F37564A-747C-4132-9747-2E708E325FEE.jpegPrince George’s County police say five teenagers are responsible for a string of robberies targeting cab drivers, including a shooting that left one driver critically injured.

The teens charged are linked to two separate robbery sprees, police said Thursday.

Malik Samuels and Robert Walker, both 17, are charged with the attempted murder of a cab driver.

Police say the cab driver went to the 9000 block of Ballard Lane in Clinton, Maryland, to pick up a fare at 2:35 a.m. Wednesday. When he arrived, the suspects approached him. The teens demanded money and then shot the victim, according to police.

Violent Night in Prince George’s Leaves 1 Dead, 1 Injured
Neighbors found the man lying in the street.

“All of a sudden we heard four or five shots. I got up and look out of the window and then I saw the guy lying on the ground,” said Ronald Currie, a neighbor who called 911.

As Currie looked from his window, he said he saw an act of kindness when it was needed the most.

“He brought a blanket and covered him up with the blanket. It all kind of happened at the same time,” Currie said of the neighbor who came to the aid of the victim.

The victim was taken to the hospital in critical but stable condition.

Two hours later, a cab driver expecting to pick up a customer in the area of Woodlawn Boulevard and Torington Place in Largo encountered the teens.

Both boys got into his cab and demanded money and the car. Police say the teens got away with the cab, and the driver was not hurt.

Three other teens are facing charges in a string of similar robberies. Police say the suspects targeted cab and ride-share drivers during the week of Jan. 15.

In each crime, police say one of the suspects posed as a customer and rode in the victim’s car before the crime was committed.

Jose Ponce-Coreas, 19; Demonte Johnson, 16; and Christian Tejada, 18, have admitted their involvement in the crimes, according to police. All three remain in police custody.

via NBC4 Read more >>> Washington post

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Prince George’s County Exec. Vetoes Tax Increase for Parks

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County Executive Baker playing bad politics following the footsteps of his predesor promises veto power. According to Washington Post, the last time in 2003,  Jack Johnson county executive then and the Council adopted a budget that increased the M-NCPPC tax rate by 4.8 cents or 57 percent. Johnson vetoed the measure, calling it “unnecessary” at a time when “our school system is in need of major improvements.” Sound familiar?

For only the second time in his tenure, Prince George’s County executive Rushern L. Baker III said Monday he will use his veto power to reject the Council-backed tax increase for the government’s park and planning agency.

With one of the county’s newest recreational facilities serving as a backdrop in Oxon Hill, Baker said in a news conference he was “appalled” by the Council’s levying a 1.5-cent tax increase that Prince Georgians will pay for a park system that ranks among the best in the country. Meanwhile, the schools are among the lowest-performing in Maryland.

“Look at this facility…I am proud of what we have,” he said. But “it is not fiscally prudent to invest more dollars…It is not necessary. It is not practical, strategic or visionary.”

The Council adopted a budget last month that called for a smaller property tax increase (4-cents) than the one Baker endorsed (15-cents) to pay for an ambitious school reform package of academic programs, increased teacher pay and improved facilities.

Better schools is the missing element of the county executive’s agenda to raise the quality of life in Prince George’s while attracting new families and businesses to the suburb. But the plan was met with outrage from residents still crawling out from under a housing crisis that decimated household wealth.

Lawmakers adopted a slimmed-down budget, calling it a more “fiscally responsible” accounting of the county’s financial constraints. In total, taxpayers will see a 5.5-cent tax increase that Council Chair Mel Franklin (D-Upper Marlboro) says will help solve structural deficits and pay for obligatory teacher pension costs.

In the meantime, Franklin predicted the veto will be overridden by the council immediately.

>>> Read Mashington Post >>>Read Wusa9pgcpslogo_blue-blackPRINCE-large

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Maryland State Audit of Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS )

mdMaryland State Audit of Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS ) is attached below.  This audit conducted last year is very clear — in a $1.8 billion system, PGCPS can’t calculate leave, personnel services, transportation – the list goes on and on. Please read and pass it on!!!

We need an independent audit of the school system. We need for a committee of Prince Georgians to set the parameters of the audit and choose the auditors.

The fox shouldn’t be allowed to guard the chicken house.

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