Tag Archives: testing

Prince George’s offers plan to tighten grading controls after claims of fraud

MAXWELL-1672x1254Prince George’s County officials will tighten practices for changing student grades, monitoring absenteeism and certifying graduation requirements under a plan that follows an investigation of alleged fraud in graduation rates.

The 40-page plan, slated for discussion by the county school board Tuesday evening, is expected to go to state officials by month’s end, in answer to wide-ranging problems detailed in a state report last month.

That report found nearly 5,500 grade changes in the days before commencement in 2016 and 2017 in the Maryland school system. A sampling of records showed that about 30 percent of students with late grade changes lacked documentation that justified graduation or were clearly ineligible, according to the report.

“We’re making a lot of significant changes,” said Kevin Maxwell, chief executive of the school system, the state’s second-largest. “It’s a serious issue and this is going to help us make sure we are doing everything possible to make sure that our students are ready to graduate on time and that the processes and procedures are followed.”

 The plan calls for stricter controls on access to student records, added training for employees and elimination of controversial “packets” of make-up work given to students hoping to recover from failing grades.

The district will move toward electronic grade-change forms, starting in a handful of schools in spring, to strengthen monitoring. Next school year, graduation certification also will be done electronically, rather than manually through “tally cards” — a change that officials said will improve and automate the process.

The district also will revise procedures for tracking attendance and clarify how unexcused absences will affect student grades. Students in jeopardy of failing a course may still enroll in credit recovery through an online program.

An outside firm will be hired to review how the district of more than 132,000 students has implemented recommended changes. Later, an outside firm will also audit a random selection of student grades and graduation requirements.

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) ordered the investigation in Prince George’s after a minority bloc on the school board urged that he look into evidence from whistleblowers that grades and credit counts were manipulated.

A D.C. firm — Alvarez & Marsal Public Sector Services — conducted the seven-week inquiry, looking into complaints, examining records and doing interviews at the county’s 28 high schools.

[Firm hired to probe graduation rates in Prince George’s County schools]

Four-year graduation rates in Prince George’s climbed from 74.1 percent in 2013 to 81.4 percent in 2016. While the rate is still lower than last year’s state average of 87.6 percent, the gain over that period was the largest of any school system in Maryland.

Maxwell had cited improvement in graduation rates as a signature accomplishment.

In an interview, he said he did not think the changes being made would reduce graduation rates in coming years.

“I certainly hope not,” he said, adding that educators are working hard to make sure students get the support they need.

The state-ordered report that was released in November did not find any improper action was ordered by school system leaders.

Asked what went wrong, Maxwell spoke about longtime procedural issues and high turnover among administrators in schools and the central office. He noted that some schools used out-of-date forms to make grade changes.

Others have said in recent weeks that more investigation is needed.

Edward Burroughs III, a member of the Board of Education’s minority bloc, said this month that the audit did not go far enough. He hinted that there were other complaints that were not explored.

Maxwell said he saw no reason to examine the issue further, calling the investigation a “very, very thorough” review that provided useful information about a serious matter.

Raaheela Ahmed, also a member of the board’s minority bloc, said she thinks accountability for improper action is important but wants to ensure the school system focuses on those who called the shots, not those who may have been pressured.

“I want to make sure the right people are being held accountable for the situation we’re in, and not the foot soldiers,” she said. “It’s a very complex situation, and you don’t want someone to be held responsible for something they were told to do by someone else.”

Curtis Valentine, a member of the board majority on this issue, said he appreciated the urgency Maxwell and other leaders gave to the problems identified in report, adding that they were proactive in addressing issues on credit recovery before the report came out. “This is one step, and I think another step is that parents and educators feel comfortable enough to come forward with any concerns about the implementation of the changes,” he said.

Via Washington post


PGCPS CEO Dr.Maxwell orders police to arrest School Board Member Edward Burroughs

Watch raw video from Prince George’s County Board of Education member Edward Burroughs III as he is prevented from sitting on the stage at a graduation ceremony in his district by school security and police officers.



Trial of former PGCPS aide facing child porn charges postponed


Deonte Carraway


The trial of a former elementary school volunteer accused of producing dozens of pornographic videos of students and other children has been postponed until next year.

Deonte Carraway was scheduled to go to trial in Prince George’s County Circuit Court on Nov. 1, 2016 but attorneys on both sides will likely ask for a continuance this week to have more time to prepare, said John Erzen, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office.

According to court documents, Carraway coerced the children to perform sexual acts so he could record videos of them. The videos show Carraway engaging in sex acts with the children as well as the children engaging in sexual behaviors with each other.

Carraway volunteered as a school aide at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School in Glenarden and also led a children’s choir in the community where he met many of his victims.

He was indicted on state charges of child sexual abuse and other sex offenses in Prince George’s County. Police and prosecutors say he handed out cellphones to children and communicated with them through an anonymous social media app to solicit recordings and photos of children performing sexual acts at an elementary school, private homes and other sites.

A new date for Carraway’s trial in Prince George’s Circuit Court has not yet been set. Carraway’s trial in federal court is currently scheduled for March 2017.

>>>Read more





Rep Donna F Edwards


On October 15, 2016, Congress woman Donna F Edwards is hosting our 8th Annual College and Career Fair at Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

The fair will feature over 150 exhibitors and presenters from community colleges, universities, military academies, and liberal arts colleges from across the country. Additional attendees include corporations, government agencies, nonprofits, and associations that will offer information about internships, and full & part-time summer employment opportunities as well.


Students and parents can also attend workshops on the college admissions process, SAT/ACT prep, the Service Academy nomination process, financial aid, life after college, and more.

To see a list of participating Prince George’s County Public School bus routes and times to the college fair, please click here.

To see a list of exhibitors, speakers, and a workshop schedule, please click here.


To RSVP for the 8th Annual College and Career Fair, please email 4MDDistrictRSVP@mail.house.gov  or call 301-516-7601.

For more details on the 8th Annual College and Career Fair, please see below:

What: College and Career Fair & Forum
When: October 15, 2016
8:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Where: Oxon Hill High School
6701 Leyte Drive
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
Map It!
Click here to sign up!


En Español






Standardized Tests Under Fire in Maryland


ROCKVILLE, Md. — The Maryland School Assessments, a set of standardized tests for elementary and middle-school students, are under fire by some parents, teachers, lawmakers and school officials who say the tests are outdated and meaningless in the age of Common Core academic standards.

Two state lawmakers from Montgomery County say they’re drafting bills asking the state to seek a waiver this school year from a federal requirement to give standardized tests.

“I’m just not convinced that giving a test for the sake of giving a test is the right thing,” state Sen. Nancy King, D-Montgomery, told The Washington Post.

Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery opposes the move.

“Absolutely not,” Lowery said. >>> Read More CBS News


Read our previous coverage here concerning a Montgomery County Teacher Ms. Tiferet Ani who started a Petition to stop Maryland School Assessments (MSA) this year.  As exhibited in her blog, the MSA tests are outdated and meaningless in the age of Common Core academic standards and a waste of Tax payer money. >>>Read More and sign up >>  Teacher of the Year.


Call your elected officials now and the media. Demand investigations and initiation of changes within the Maryland State Board of Education. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire!


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.


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.



Read more about the homeless youth population on the rise in Maryland as their leaders above squander their money. >>Homeless Youth