Monthly Archives: March 2015

Maryland Senate panel approves watered-down charter school bill.

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A Maryland Senate committee voted Tuesday to approve a watered-down version of a bill proposed by Gov. Larry Hogan (R) that was designed to increase the number of charter schools in the state.

Hogan’s original bill made sweeping changes to the state’s charter law, giving schools the ability to hire and fire teachers, doing away with a requirement that charters fall under state collective bargaining rules and giving charters more say over who can attend.

The amended bill does not change hiring rules, but it does provide some leeway on enrollment. It also offers some flexibility regarding certain state educational requirements for charter schools that have been in existence for at least five years, are in good financial shape and have a student achievement record that exceeds the local school system’s. Those charters would be exempt from specific requirements about scheduling, curriculum, and professional development.

“The bill isn’t perfect, but it offers a path toward giving charter schools more flexibility — a definite improvement from the current law,” said Erin Montgomery, a spokesman for Hogan. “The governor plans to work with legislators in the House to strengthen the law.”

>>> Read more 

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Video Shows School Security Guard Pushing Student to Floor.

At Laurel High School.

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News 4’s Prince George’s County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins gets reaction from parents and school officials about a video showing a Laurel High School security guard forcing a female student to the floor.

Read more on NBC 4 WRC.

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Dwayne Jones (seen above) is involved in a major conflict of interest involving a certain female security guard at Laurel High School. Parents and Prince George’s County administration should not allow this situation to continue any longer. One of the parties needs to go in another location or leave the county all together. The said relationship has been fueling conflicts. This saga has been going on for too long.  Staff, students and parents needs to demand an end to it >>> Read more 

Call your elected officials now and demand an end to this non sense.

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Teachers push for Los Angeles charter chain management to stay neutral in union drive.

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Some teachers at a charter chain in Los Angeles want to organize a union. They have asked management to stay neutral as they move forward. At first, they thought management agreed, but it has created an anti-union video to discourage them.

Any keen observer knows that the charter business model relies on low wages and teacher turnover; much of the money behind the charter industry is staunchly anti-union.

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Vouchers and Tax Credit Scholarships in the US.

2015 – The future of public education in the United States is at a critical crossroads.  Watch this video to learn how the growing trend of sending public money to private schools through vouchers and tax credit scholarships threatens public education.

It is worth your while to watch it especially now with state of Maryland gearing towards charter schools.

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Database: Search the wages and overtime paid to public educators in the Baltimore City Public Schools.

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Database: Search the wages and overtime paid to public educators in the Baltimore City Public Schools. http://bsun.md/1DL70qH

This is a searchable database of wages and overtime paid to public educators in the Baltimore City Public Schools. To set search parameters, enter an employee name, job title or a range for total earnings (by moving the sliders).
Some especially large total compensation numbers may reflect severance or accrued leave for departed staffers.
Figures may differ from some previous city schools salary data because they often reflected projected salaries. The city school system recently provided The Baltimore Sun with actual earnings of its employees, which is shown in this database.

>>> Read related Lawmakers call for change on city schools leave pay

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Teacher Who Pleaded Guilty to Sex Assault

Not on Sex Offender Registry.

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Garnold Maurice King, Social Studies Teacher

A Prince George’s County middle school teacher who previously pleaded guilty to an inappropriate relationship with a student has now been given a second chance.

A judge struck down Garnold King’s guilty verdict on Friday only nine months into his five-year probation sentence. Judge C. Philip Nichols’ action allows King to request that his record is expunged in five years and that he does not have to register as a sex offender.

King’s defense attorney, Dana Jones-Oliver, said that his original plea paved the way for King’s conviction to be thrown out. King entered an Alford plea, a claim where a defendant maintains their innocence but admits that the prosecution has enough evidence to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

“With respect to this case, do I believe justice was had?” asked Jones-Oliver. “Absolutely.”

King faced fourth-degree sex assault charges for assaulting Dana Williams’ 13-year-old daughter while he taught at Isaac Gordine Middle School. Williams said her daughter thought King was in love with her. Calling the court’s decision devastating, Williams said her mission now is to protect other children.

Despite King’s new verdict, the State’s Attorney’s Office expects King will not be able to teach again in the Prince George’s County Public Schools or possibly the entire state of Maryland.

While King may feel liberated, Williams feels anything but. Her daughter moved to another state after the ordeal to get a fresh start. She said it feels like she lost a child.

“My family is broken,” she said.

>>> See more NBC 4 News 

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Maryland Senate expected to vote on allowing parents to opt out of Common Core tests.

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Maryland Governor Larry Hogan

A Maryland senator is proposing an amendment to the state’s fiscal 2016 budget that would allow parents to opt their children out of Common Core tests with impunity to the students and the schools — and the Senate is expected to vote on it as early as Thursday.

Sen. Justin Ready, a Republican, is placing the amendment on the Senate floor, according to his chief of staff, Aaron Jones, to make it easier for parents to choose whether their children can take the PARCC Common Core test next year.  There is now no way for parents to opt out, and schools are deciding for themselves how to handle such requests, with some insisting that children take the tests and others allowing students to leave school with parents or sit somewhere in the school with no assigned schoolwork, Jones said.

Maryland schools have been implementing the Common Core State Standards for several years, and the state is a member of the Partnership for the Assessment of the Readiness for College and Career, one of two multistate consortia created to design new assessments aligned to the Common Core with some $360 million in federal funds. Students have been taking the PARCC in Maryland, as well as in a number of other states, amid a growing protest movement across the country against high-stakes standardized testing. Thousands of parents are opting out their children from taking Common Core exams and a small but growing number of teachers, principals and superintendents are publicly protesting the exams as being detrimental to effective teaching and learning.

[Related: Some parents across the country are revolting against standardized testing]

The Maryland Department of Education said it could not immediately comment on the issue.

>>> Read more

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