Monthly Archives: January 2017

Hogan warns that a ‘culture of corruption’ could be taking root in Annapolis

Larry Hogan

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan poses with a bill during a bill signing ceremony in Annapolis during the last legislative session. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) declared Thursday that the State House was at risk of succumbing to a “culture of corruption” and proposed a package of bills he said would help weed out unethical behavior and improve public trust.

Hogan’s Integrity in Government Initiative comes in the wake of recent scandals in Annapolis, including the guilty plea of a former state lawmaker who admitted to accepting bribes and kickbacks in exchange for official favors and the indictment of a Baltimore Democrat, who had been nominated for a General Assembly seat, on charges of violating campaign finance laws.

The guilty plea, entered by former delegate William A. Campos (D-Prince George’s), was a result of an ongoing bribery probe centered on liquor sales in Prince George’s County. Federal prosecutors say additional elected officials in Annapolis have been implicated.

“We cannot allow the unethical behavior of the few to tarnish the goodwill of the many in our state capital,” Hogan said during a news conference in front of the State House. “Marylanders are now asking how many more public officials have to be indicted before we are finally going to take the actions necessary to clean up this mess.”

Hogan offered few specifics about the legislation he would propose. But he said he wanted to make it harder for lawmakers to influence bills affecting industries in which they have a financial interest and also wanted legislators accused of ethics violations to be investigated by the State Ethics Commission, rather than the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics.

 Sen. James E. “Ed” DeGrange III (D-Anne Arundel), who co-chairs that committee, pushed back against Hogan’s characterization of the state capital and defended his panel, saying the lawmakers do hold their colleagues accountable.

In recent years, the committee recommended reprimanding a delegate for pushing a law that would have helped him regain his real estate license and stripping Sen. Ulysses Currie (D-Prince George’s) of committee assignments for failing to disclose his work consulting for a grocery chain. In 1998, the committee recommended the expulsion of a senator accused of misusing his office for private gain.

“I’m baffled why he would think that legislators can’t do their job as they’ve done many times before,” DeGrange said.

“To say there’s a culture of corruption in Annapolis is just beyond me,” he said. “It’s no different than any other profession, if you will. You’ll have a percentage, which is a very small percentage, that don’t do things right, and those things are addressed as they come up.”

But with the federal bribery investigation still underway and speculation rampant in the capital about who else may be involved, Hogan’s proposals seemed likely to gain traction.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) released statements saying they looked forward to working with the governor on ethics reform, which Miller said would be a “major topic in the 2017 legislative session.”

Miller and Busch declined to answer questions about the governor’s proposals on Thursday, saying they had not seen the legislation.

 Hogan said he wants to overhaul how liquor board commissioners are chosen in Maryland, which he called one of the “last vestiges of the patronage system.” The federal probe includes bribery charges against then-Prince George’s liquor board commissioner Anuj Sud and commission executive director David Son.

Under current rules, local party central committees, along with local senators, recommend liquor board members to the governor, who appoints the boards. Hogan proposed removing the party committees from the process and requiring nominees to undergo criminal background checks.

Hogan also said he had allocated $1.2 million in the state budget to allow all General Assembly meetings to be live-streamed. Maryland is one of only seven states not to provide that service already, he said.

Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, the executive director of Common Cause, applauded the move, noting that her group long has pushed to have legislative meetings publicly broadcast. “There is a possibility that we will see a dozen bills that Common Cause has worked on for five or 10 years presented with a bow on it, and that is incredibly exciting,” she said.

But Bevan-Dangel also said she was eager to see more details of the legislation. “It is a little ironic that a press conference on transparency did not have transparency, including details on the legislation,” she said.

Hogan’s ethics reform proposals appear aimed in part at addressing a controversy surrounding the legislature’s foremost champion of medical marijuana, who continued pushing for bills related to the industry after being hired as a consultant to a medical marijuana business.

State ethics laws generally allow lawmakers to vote on bills that broadly affect the industry in which they work, and Del. Dan K. Morhaim (D-Baltimore County) has maintained he did nothing wrong because none of his legislative actions was specific to the dispensary in which he was involved.

Corruption is in full swing in the Maryland Judiciary!


The Maryland Court of Special Appeals in Annapolis.

The latest graft disclosures in the Maryland Judiciary, in which documents filed with the court disappear and judges ignored overwhelming misconduct of attorneys involved in cases, underscores just how complicated the war on corruption in Maryland and elsewhere has become. We have heard that a person can buy their case in most Maryland courts if they have the money, or the connections.

This unfortunate incident is a painful reminder of a reality that points to a general collapse in the war on corruption in the state of Maryland and in Prince George’s County in particular. Other counties such as Montgomery County are the epicenter of the misconduct alleged here with connection to other counties.

The war on graft in the Judiciary is not isolated from the national war on corruption that is currently in progress in Maryland and throughout the country. We must continue to request help and work closely with the U.S State attorneys and other leaders committed to reforms in various parts of the country.

For effective war on corruption to be waged, we need all the three arms of government working in sync: This is because, for effective delivery of service, these arms of the state must interact.

For example, if the Executive decided to fight corruption to the exclusion of either the Judiciary or Legislature, the likelihood is that the other two will sabotage such an endeavor. We have seen this first hand after several Maryland delegates in Prince George’s County joined forces to ruin our careers in conspiracy with others.

Much as the Judiciary is an independent arm of government, judicial officers do not have the individual independence to immunize themselves from corruption.

Corruption erodes the independence of our courts. Most judicial officers do not want an independent Judiciary because it reins in their desire to be corrupt.

A wholesome effort is necessary, but the challenge comes once it is clear that society worships the beneficiaries of corrupt dealings. Rather than become an expensive, nauseating enterprise, more people are being attracted to this enterprise because it provides one with the ‘sweet’ opportunity of scaling the economic ladder.

In Prince George’s County, the U.S Attorney office tried to wage this complex war during the tenure of former County Executive Jack Johnson, but from the look of things the County, the Judiciary and personnel connected to the executives are back to being its former true self.

These latest disclosures concerning Federal bribery charges filed over Prince George’s County liquor licenses suggest that corruption is still in full swing in Prince George’s County and in the state of Maryland. Further investigations will review that, the same arm of government that is supposed to fight corruption without any reservations might be heavily involved in some circles. As citizens, we must request for anyone involved to resign their seats.

The tragedy in all this is that, as bad as these events are, the local state Judiciary has not shown a single person with the fire in the belly who can lead the war on corruption and so effectively.

What is needed is a person who can cultivate respect among peers and instill fear in errant judicial and state officers throughout Maryland and set an example for others to follow.

We need new judicial leaders in Maryland who can make cartels and officers engaged in professional misconduct and fraud throughout howl with pain. On these issues, we have been actively trying to get the attention of the Baltimore Sun, the Washington Post, WUSA 9, NBC4 etc for some of these issues, but have been told by many that the politics behind newspapers has stopped some good local stories from being reported there first. So perhaps they will jump on the bandwagon once another one writes first?

All eyes are on Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr in the next few months concerning these issues if the highest courts in Maryland fail to act. As stated in the New Year message, a clean, competent, caring, accountable, inclusive and honest local government is what we must expect. If you missed it, read our new year message here.

Dr. Martin Luther King challenged our nation many years ago to live out that sacred truth: to banish the evils of bigotry, segregation and oppression from the institutions of society and the hearts of men.  He was indeed a champion of great principles, laboring mightily and in the end sacrificing his life to advance the cause of equal rights for all. At the level of first principles—in his commitments to natural rights, democratic government, and the irrelevance of race to moral personhood and just social deserts—King’s political thought might properly claim a consensus among virtually all American citizens.

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Four arrested in shooting of Md. rapper found dead in his home


Four people were arrested in the killing of local rapper Khalil Wiggins, who police believe was killed in his home during a robbery.

Responding to a call on December 29 at about 8:40 p.m., Prince George’s County Police officers found a man shot multiple times in his home in the 3900 block of Byers Street in Capitol Heights.

Four people have admitted their involvement in Wiggins’s killing, according to Prince George’s County police: Michael Stevenson III, 22, of Southeast Washington; Quran Middleton-Bey, 22, of Cheltenham; and Kierra Williams and Damond Foster, both 23 and both of Alexandria.

All four have been charged with first- and second-degree murder and are being held without bond, police said.

Big Lyl and his group, Section 8 Mob, appeared in the movie “Guilty By Association” starring Morgan Freeman in 2003, according to

Khalil Wiggins, 44, was found shot inside his home at about 8:40 p.m. Dec. 29 in the 3900 block of Byers Street in Capitol Heights. He was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Wiggins performed under the name Big Lyl and was active in the region’s music scene, according to tribute pages on social media.

Police believe the motive was robbery. The four suspects admitted their involvement in the murder, police say. All are being held on a no-bond status.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to and submit a tip online.

Read more >>>Former PGCPS Student and Local Rapper Big Lyl Shot to Death Inside His Home.


Khalil Wiggins 44, who performed as Big Lyl, Suffered multiple gunshots wounds – He lived in Capital Heights and was an alumni of Fairmont Heights High School in PGCPS



John Kuhn: The Great Hoax of Texas’ A-F Grades for School Districts


Superintendent John Kuhn gives advice and inspirational words from a podium at the University of Houston

John Kuhn was the superintendent of the small Perrin-Whitt school district in Texas and was recently named superintendent of schools in Mineral Wells, Texas. He is also one of the best informed, most eloquent critics of corporate reform in the nation. He was a lead speaker at the 2011 Save Our Schools March on Washington, where he electrified the crowd. He has recently published two books: Fear and Learning in America and Test and Punish: How the Texas Education Model Gave America Accountability Without Equity. Kuhn says that the Texas A-F school grading system sets up schools that enroll poor kids to fail; A stands for “Affluent.”

Kuhn writes:

Texas Education Agency Releases A-F Grades for School Districts the Same Day It Dismisses Its Own A-F Grade on the National “Quality Counts” Report Card

On January 5, the Austin American-Statesman published the Texas Education Agency’s A-F grades for Texas school districts and campuses. The law establishing this system called for official A-F grades to come out in 2018, so these are “what if” grades, intended to provide to legislators a preview of what the “real” grading system will look like when grades come out officially. In a statement, TEA commissioner Mike Morath cautioned that no “inferences about official district or campus performance in the 2015– 16 school year should be drawn from these ratings.” That didn’t keep public school critics from immediately proclaiming that the A-F grades “transparently and comprehensively represent the performance of districts and campuses statewide.” No surprise there; A-F is seen by many as a tool designed specifically to give anti-public education forces ammunition to aim at the public school system.

In releasing the “work-in-progress” A-F grades to the public (as they were obligated to do), TEA officials ensured that these unofficial scores will become the de facto rating system for Texas schools for the remainder of the year, even though an actual rating system is already in place. This is despite commissioner Morath stating clearly and repeatedly that the grade report “is very much a work-in progress,” that the bases and assumptions behind the grades may change, and that the TEA didn’t take into account local community ratings of districts (statute requires that this local stakeholder input be included as 10% of schools’ final A-F grades). We now have a confusing situation in which the TEA homepage notes in a headline article that 94% of Texas school districts “Met Standard” while public school critics giddily point to another article on the same homepage announcing the release of A-F grades that often label formerly successful schools as sudden failures. In fact, several high-performing schools around the state received D’s and F’s. The Dallas Morning News listed 11 local school districts that received F’s but that were only recently considered as having “Met Standard.” “That’s amazing
when you consider that they all met the standard two weeks ago and the scores, the data, haven’t changed,” Mesquite Superintendent David Vroonland said.

School district officials have called the new A-F system “a big mistake,” “NOT an accurate reflection of quality education,” and “an unfair game,” and have noted that a similar A-F system was rescinded in Virginia after failing spectacularly, and that, since an A-F rollout in Oklahoma, student performance has declined significantly–despite the fact that A-F systems are sold to legislators as a means to improve student performance by holding districts accountable. It is difficult not to conclude that this system is for the most part arbitrary and capricious. In one respect it is very reliable, as it actually very consistently punishes those Texas schools that serve the most economically- and socially-challenged families and students. District A-F grades appear to align exceptionally closely with the percentage of economically-disadvantaged students on school district rosters, a factor that is obviously outside the ability of schools to affect.

As a means of assessing the impact of non-school factors on districts’ A-F grades, I sorted every school district in the state by the percentage of their student bodies made up of economically disadvantaged students, and then I listed their A-F grades out to the side. I took the ten districts with the lowest percentage of economically disadvantaged students that received grades in all four categories and compared them to the ten districts with the highest percentage of economically disadvantaged students. Here are the results:

The 10 Schools Serving the Lowest Proportions of Poor Kids in Texas

A – 20

B – 7

C – 9

D – 2

F – 2

Overall average – B

On the other hand:

The 10 Schools Serving the Greatest Proportions of Poor Kids in Texas:

A – 6

B – 8

C – 11

D – 6

F – 9

Overall average – D+

As you can see, there is a strong and verifiable correlation between districts’ A-F grades and the prevalence of poverty among their students. Meanwhile, there is no verifiable correlation between districts’ A-F grades and the quality of their teachers, which is supposed to be the purpose behind A-F grades even existing. They are supposed communicate to the public which schools are better, not which schools are poorer. We don’t need a measure that communicates which schools have the greatest concentrations of poor kids—we already have that measure (the economically disadvantaged numbers). The A-F system exists to differentiate good schools from bad, not poor schools from rich, and it can’t do it! Major fail.

That latter assertion—that A-F can tell us which schools are better and which schools are worse—was never really anything more than a blind assumption built on ideology and political posturing, rather than on science. This A-F system, despite what the anti-public education lobby will say, is not in the least transparent, not in the least fair, not in the least accurate, and does not serve the need of Texas parents and taxpayers to be informed about the quality of teachers and schools. In fact, if anything, it misinforms them. It amounts to fake news. These are fake grades, non-representative of what they purport to reflect. If your passing school in Texas is suddenly failing today, it’s probably because it educates the wrong kinds of kids: poor ones. The A-F system is carefully-crafted disinformation likely to adversely effect on public support for public education.

If I had time, I would do a similar bit of sorting of districts by residential home values, ratios of students served in special education, ratios of students with limited English, ratios of at-risk students, average teacher salary levels, and school finance revenue levels (because, in case you don’t know, Texas schools are funded at wildly different levels). I predict that each of those exercises would result in a strong correlation with these A-F grades (that, again, purportedly reflect teaching quality and supposedly do NOT merely reflect non-school factors outside the control of the educators being smeared by these grades). I challenge any statisticians worth their salt to examine this system in an independent review and let Texas education stakeholders know what these grades really show.

Commissioner Morath had to release these grades by law, so I don’t blame him for releasing it. However, he badly let down local teachers and administrators by over-promising transparency in the lead-up to A-F and under-delivering with its rollout. In a meeting of school leaders from the Dallas-Fort Worth area in December, Mr. Morath confidently assured school leaders that, out of a sense of fairness, since schools in Texas are funded so inequitably, he would ensure that anywhere the TEA published A-F ratings for schools, the Agency would also publish information related to each school’s relative funding level—so that users of the information would have the full picture, as it is unfair to expect schools with fewer resources to outperform schools that are funded more generously. Having promised that, however, Mr. Morath somehow failed to ensure that the information published by the Austin newspaper included the funding-levels context. As of this writing, I haven’t seen the promised relative funding levels information published anywhere by TEA. As many of us feared, the assurance that appropriate context would be included alongside the published results of the A-F accountability system appears to have been little more than a bait-and-switch. As with every school accountability system in the history of the state of Texas, this system purports to communicate to Texas parents that it represents a fair ranking of schools that are competing on an even playing field. In reality once again, by funding some schools at double and triple the level of others and keeping hush-hush about which schools are flush and which are kept on a shoestring budget, Texas is picking winners and losers and concealing the fact in school accountability system after school accountability system. This A-F system, like all the others, occludes more than it reveals.

In the end, A-F appears to exist primarily as a political tool, designed not to inform but to misinform parents and taxpayers across Texas. The A-F rating system has not been independently assessed for validity. No third party has done an in-depth analysis to establish whether A-F grades for schools tend to significantly correlate with factors outside of schools’ control, such as poverty levels of students, discrepant funding levels, and the like. Until it is established that the system accurately reflects educational quality more than it reflects social realities that schools operate within and cannot control, the system should be considered incapable of serving its stated purpose. No educational quality conclusions should be drawn absent this independent validation.

One last sidebar:

Ironically, on the same day that the TEA released grades for local campuses, it received its own A-F grade from Education Week’s “Quality Counts” report on the education systems in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Texas Education Agency received an overall grade of C- on the national report and wasn’t happy. TEA immediately dismissed the validity of the report, stating that it is “difficult to effectively evaluate the state’s performance from a national report where no state made the highest grade, no state made the lowest grade, and the majority of states were all lumped into the same grade category.”

On the chart below (from, you will see that on the “Quality Counts” ranking, Texas ranked 45th in the nation in school finance. In other words, Texas schools are low-funded compared to other states. However, on the achievement of students, Texas was ranked 24th. To this educator, that means Texas teachers are picking up the slack that lawmakers are leaving. Additionally, on a third measure called “Chance of Success”—which includes circumstances faced by students including family income, parent education, parent employment, steady employment, etc.—Texas ranked 42nd. So, despite long odds and little meaningful help from policymakers, Texas teachers are doing an outstanding job overcoming obstacles placed in front of them and helping our students to learn.


Despite the systemic obstacles like inadequate school funding and insufficient outside-of-school supports available to Texas children, the TEA nonetheless released this grading report labeling 30% or so of Texas schools—as demanded by the bell curve they built the system on—as “D” and “F” schools. Perhaps most incredible of all is the fact that these grades are based almost exclusively on STAAR standardized test results, an exam fraught with problems, about which the Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick once said “we don’t trust this test.”

Despite misgivings about the quality and ability of the test to reflect student learning, and despite the TEA’s own tepid reaction to its A-F grade from Education Week, and despite the prior existence of a school accountability system proclaiming 94% of Texas schools to be satisfactory performers, and despite the fact that the A-F system reflects poverty better than it reflects teaching quality, ultimately, when it comes to A-F grades, the Texas Education Agency apparently believes it is better to give than to receive.

Note:  Spreadsheets with the Texas data can be found here and here.welcome_to_texas_100009357_l***

Happy Martin Luther King Day!


“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King challenged our nation many years ago to live out that sacred truth: to banish the evils of bigotry, segregation and oppression from the institutions of society and the hearts of men.  He was indeed a champion of great principles, laboring mightily and in the end sacrificing his life to advance the cause of equal rights for all.

At the level of first principles—in his commitments to natural rights, democratic government, and the irrelevance of race to moral personhood and just social deserts—King’s political thought might properly claim a consensus among virtually all American citizens.

As stated by many over time including President Elect Donald Trump, “His legacy of freedom is the true memorial to his life: no testimonial can pay better tribute than the faces of young children living out their dreams.” Indeed, When the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., shared his dream with the world atop the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he gave mighty voice to our founding ideals. Few could have imagined that nearly half a century later, his iconic profile would forever be memorialized in stone, standing tall and gazing outward, not far from where he stirred our collective conscience to action. In summoning a generation to recognize the universal threat of injustice anywhere, Dr. King’s example has proven that those who love their country can change it.

But his work is not done: all around us today we see communities and schools falling behind and not sharing in the prosperity of American life as shown here in Prince George’s County due to political cronyism and Corruption. Each of us has a solemn obligation to ensure that no American is left behind — and that all Americans are fully included in the American Dream including new arrived Americans irrespective of their background. When young Americans of color are left on the sidelines, our nation is denied a lifetime of contributions to this society and when any of our American brothers and sisters is forced to live in fear, or poverty, or violence, it is setback for the entire nation.

Just like President Barack Obama told us, “Those who dismiss the magnitude of the progress that has been made dishonor the courage of all who marched and struggled to bring about this change — and those who suggest that the great task of extending our Nation’s promise to every individual is somehow complete neglect the sacrifices that made it possible.” Dr. King taught us that “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

We rise and fall together, and today we must pledge to follow in Dr. King’s footsteps so that all Americans may know the full blessings of this God-blessed land.081111-national-martin-luther-king-memorial-mlk.jpg



The Day Former PGCPS Executive Cornered With Corruption Walked Away.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Metro Schools director Dr. Shawn Joseph (Former PGCPS Executive) ordered his staff not to answer NewsChannel 5’s questions about his hiring practices, planning instead to attack the station’s reporting after a story aired.

That’s according to emails obtained under the Tennessee Public Records Act.

Joseph’s directive came after NewsChannel 5 Investigates questioned the hiring of two individuals with connections to the new schools director.

As previously reported, one of those hires, Kathleen Dawson, was named an executive lead principal to supervise other principals – even though she has never worked a full year as a lead principal in any school. Another hire, Tamika Tasby, was put in charge of professional development for teachers even though she has no classroom experience.

On November 10, in anticipation of that news report, NewsChannel 5 submitted specific questions to the district about the hiring of the two women.

According to the emails, the district’s senior communications director, Janel Lacy, forwarded that request to Joseph and other members of his leadership team.

“I believe it’s in our best interest to respond, since he’s likely to go forward with a story regardless,” Lacy wrote. “The story will be much worse without a response from us.”

Joseph’s chief of staff, Jana Carlisle, responded that same day: “Dr. J is disinclined to engage.”

The next day, Lacy again pushed Joseph’s team to respond to NewsChannel 5’s questions.

“I think at the very least we need to answer whether the positions were posted or not,” she emailed. “If they weren’t posted – and legally didn’t have to be posted – then let’s own that and the decisions to hire them…. Better to address it head on.”

Lacy prepared a draft statement in which Joseph would say he felt “confident that time will show we have the right people in the right places – and that we are moving at a rapid pace to give our students higher quality instruction in every school.”

Joseph responded: “No, I do not like it.”

“I don’t want us to respond,” he continued. “If he does a story, we will follow up with a very direct statement towards his conduct…period.”

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It’s not clear what Joseph intended, but the district ignored NewsChannel 5’s questions and never gave any explanation about why no statement was issued.

Since there was no response to our questions, NewsChannel 5 Investigates filed a public records request for the emails in an effort to determine Joseph’s thinking and understand his refusal to respond.

That attitude followed an earlier on-camera interview in which Joseph had become agitated about questions about his use of district employees as chauffeurs.

Ironically, in a separate exchange, emails show that Metro Council member Russ Pulley told the district’s lobbyist that “taxpayers should be more concerned about the money we are spending answering these open record requests from Phil Williams.”

That comment came after NewsChannel 5 Investigates raised questions about spending by the district under Joseph’s leadership.

Pulley shared his response to a constituent about Joseph’s spending. He told the constituent, “I agree the optics of this or [sic] not the greatest, but the reality is we can do a much better job of finding waste other than this.”

But, then, in an email to the district lobbyist, Pulley showed no concern over “the optics.”

“Please let Dr. Joseph know that he has my full and complete support,” Pulley wrote. “And I also have absolutely no problem with how he conducts his business.”

via NewsChannel 5


Shawn Joseph was the Prince George’s district’s deputy superintendent of the teaching and learning division and oversaw numerous departments, including the early education department that oversaw the Head Start grant in which the federal government revoke a $6.4 million due to teachers mistreating students.

The notice of the revocation, sent to the PGCPS district on Aug. 12, 2016 found that teachers used corporal punishment on children, as well as humiliated them in the county’s Head Start program in the Maryland district, according to a Washington Post report.

Shawn Joseph was not listed in the report or in the notice of revocation. He officially began the Metro Schools job on July 1, 2016 in Nashville. However, emails shared later shown that, Mr. Shawn Joseph was made aware of the issues but failed to act.

The first incident of child neglect was first reported in December 2015, according to the report, and the revocation document says that a 3-year-old boy at a Prince George’s early learning school was forced to mop his urine in wet clothes.

The teacher sent a photo of the student mopping the urine to the parent, the report says. It adds that a family services worker likely discouraged the parent from filing a complaint, which was eventually filed in mid-January 2016.

The deficiencies in reporting the incident of neglect were shown to be corrected in April 2016 during a follow-up visit, according to the report. And Shawn Joseph said the investigation was handled by human resources personnel.

But further incidents occurred on June 10 2016 and June 15, 2016 according to the report, and led to the eventual revocation of the federal Head Start grant. It said efforts to ensure staff followed the standards of conduct training outlined by administrators weren’t effective.

Other issues were also found including during that time where a student left the school’s campus and walked home unnoticed by employees. Staff did not know the child’s whereabouts for more than an hour. Rather than address the issues, Prince George’s County public schools personnel together with others engaged in cover ups rather than address the issues properly.

Just like Tennessee Metro School District under Shawn Joseph,  Prince George’s County Public Schools is run in similar version in which appointments are made based on family or friends without proper regard to their qualifications to positions of authority.

Read more >>>BOE political cronyism-nepotism refresher


PGCPS Student Shot Near Suitland High School; Search for Gunman Underway

A bullet flew through the window of a school building with a student and teacher insidesuitlandhs-_op_8_cp__1484328928845_2539556_ver1-0_640_360

A high school student opened fire near a high school in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Friday afternoon, shooting a fellow student and sending a bullet through the window of a school building, police say.

The student fired multiple shots in an apartment building parking lot within sight of Suitland High School in District Heights, police said.

The search for the shooter is ongoing.

A teen boy was shot in the leg and is expected to recover.
The school was placed on a lockdown that later was lifted.
Many parents rushed to the school, fearful that their children had been shot.

“Police can’t tell you anything, the school can’t call parents and let anybody know anything,” one mother said, nearly in tears. She said she had two daughters who attend the school.

Upon learning that boys had been involved in the shooting, not girls, the mother exhaled and clutched her hand to her chest.
“Thank you,” she said.

According to the initial investigation, a group of students left the school and argued in the apartment building parking lot, a Prince George’s County Police Department spokeswoman said.
One student opened fire and hit the teen. A classmate dragged him into the high school for help.

Prince George’s County police and fire and rescue was called to the scene about 12 p.m. Soon after, they found the victim near the school annex building, which houses art and music classes.
He was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police later found a bullet lodged in the ceiling of that school building. A student and a teacher were inside the classroom but were not hurt.

At least five shell casings were found.

Suitland High is a performing arts school known for its students’ achievements.

A witness told News4 he saw three students involved in the conflict: one who was shot, one who helped the victim and another who ran away.

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor posted on Twitter that this was “NOT an active shooter” situation.

“The investigation has moved into the neighborhoods, where we’re currently searching for the suspect,” Lt. David Coleman said.

Student Kelai’ah Wheelen said she just wanted to go home.
“It was terrifying,” she said.

Anyone with information for police is asked to call 301-772-4910. To leave a tip anonymously, call 866-411-TIPS, send a text message with PGPD plus your message to CRIMES or visit

Source: Student Shot Near Suitland High School; Search for Gunman Underway | NBC4 Washington


Police: PGCPS Student involved in shooting near Suitland High School

– Police say a student was shot after an argument with another student near a Prince George’s County high school.

The incident happened around 12 p.m. at an apartment complex adjacent to Suitland High School in Suitland, Maryland.

Police spokeswoman Jennifer Doneland told the press that police believe two students left the school and walked to the nearby apartment complex when an argument broke out.

One of the students pulled a gun shot the other before fleeing the area. The Injured student made their way back to school for help. The school was placed on lockdown at that time.

The victim is being treated on the scene with what were believed to be non-life-threatening injuries.

A medic treated him on the scene. The victim is now being taken to a hospital.

Police are searching for the suspect at this time.

The school is on lockdown.

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor posted on Twitter that this was “NOT an active shooter” situation.

Suitland High School is located in District Heights, Maryland.

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Rising Corruption in Maryland Politics

img_8086BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Corruption investigations have jolted Maryland with several rising political stars embroiled in scandals.

One is an ongoing and massive federal bribery investigation and has already lead to a guilty plea from former delegate Will Campos, a founder of Maryland’s Hispanic Caucus.

U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein has handled the case, which involves at least 30 months of wiretaps and lawmakers taking bribes for–among other things–liquor licenses– in Prince George’s County.

Rosenstein spoke one-on-one with WJZ about rooting out corruption.

“Corruption is a top priority for us, obstruction is a even more significant priority, that is people are actively attempting to interfere with federal prosecutors– investigators,” said Rosenstein.

Another powerful long-time delegate, Michael Vaughn, resigned less than an hour before the start of the session citing health concerns. According to published reports, he matches the description of a lawmaker currently under investigation.

“Our goal is to put fear into the criminals out there committing corruption,” said Rosenstein.

Rosenstein would not comment on Vaughn. He has long warned politicians they are not above the law.

Another rising star, Gary Brown Jr., a close aide to Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, is under a separate investigation by the state prosecutor.

His swearing in as a delegate has been cancelled. Brown faces an indictment he illegally funneled 18,000 to relatives–then into the mayor’s campaign coffers–violating the limit for an individual donor. Brown still works for the mayor.

“I always stand on the side that people have the right. You’re innocent until proven otherwise,” said Pugh.

Mayor Pugh answered questions about brown for the first time and says she’s reviewing her campaign finances.

“Let me just be real clear. We know that things happen. We raised over $2 million, and if there is anything wrong with the funds that we received, they will go back.”

via CBS Baltimore

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How PGCPS Executives transferred Corruption And got Caught.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation has discovered that Metro Schools Director Shawn Joseph put unlicensed educators in positions of power inside the district.

Now the state has ordered the district to remove any unlicensed principals — and it’s taking a hard look at other top district leaders.

When Joseph took the helm back in July, he brought with him a large group of people with whom he had worked in other states.

But our investigation discovered that, for months, many were not actually licensed to work in Tennessee — and some still aren’t.

Metro Nashville Education Association President Erick Huth says he first heard from teachers back in December that Cumberland Elementary’s Carolyn Cobbs — the highest paid elementary school principal in the district — did not have a Tennessee license.

She finally got it just Tuesday — more than halfway through the school year.

“To me, it was pretty much understood that you had to have an administrator license in hand that was valid in order to be a principal,” Huth said.

“It’s the state’s indication to the public that these individuals are qualified to be administrators. So, in the absence of a license, we don’t know what the qualifications of an individual are.”

We checked and found that Joie Austria, prinicipal at Paragon Mills Elementary, wasn’t licensed. She finally completed the paperwork and got her license just Wednesday.

Keiva Wiley, principal at Antioch High School, still isn’t licensed in Tennessee, nor is LeTrecia Gloster, an executive lead principal who helps supervise other Metro Schools principals.

We took those cases to the state Department of Education.

“We told Dr. Joseph that when we’ve learned about cases where we see a principal does not have the appropriate license that they need to be removed from that role and that somebody with the appropriate license can take that person’s place,” said department spokesperson Sara Gast.

On top of that, NewsChannel 5 Investigates discovered that many of Dr. Joseph’s own leadership team — the people supervising the district’s principals — are not actually licensed themselves in the state of Tennessee.

According to the state, chief academic officer Monique Felder doesn’t have a Tennessee license, although her predecessor did.

Chief of Schools Sito Narcisse doesn’t have a license either, nor does Mo Carrasco — the man who oversees the district’s most troubled schools.

And Dennis Queen, the executive officer for charter schools, is also unlicensed.

“Anyone who is really supervising instructional program, I would say, is supposed to be a licensed administrator,” Huth noted.

The state Department of Education said those positions must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to see if they meet the requirements for licensure.

But, in a written statement, district officials did not deny that all of those people needed licenses — which could potentially create new headaches for the new administration.

“If there is a situation where somebody is serving in a role that we determine needs a license and doesn’t have one,” Gast said, “we would ask the district to find someone else to take that place that has the appropriate license.”

School district spokesperson Janel Lacy issued the following statement:

Tennessee state law does not recognize out of state licenses. There were principals and administrators who were hired over the summer from out of state that needed to get Tennessee licenses. All of them had valid credentials in the districts they came from. All of them, with the exception of the Executive Officer of Priority Schools, have taken and passed the Praxis exam. We are simply waiting on the state to upload their paperwork into the licensure system.

The Executive Officer of Priority Schools has an out of state license but because he has not yet officially received his Tennessee license, he is not currently supervising principals until he receives the Tennessee license. He expects to complete his Tennessee license requirements in the coming weeks.

Two of the administrative positions you asked about – the Executive Director for Professional Development and the Executive Officer of Diversity and Equity – are in support positions (not certificated positions), and therefore, do not require a Tennessee license.

We understand the importance of licensure as required by state law and are taking the appropriate steps to ensure all certificated employees are appropriately licensed. We’ve recently welcomed new leadership to HR. We now have a strong leader who is assessing the state of HR and re-establishing and strengthening protocols.

However, Lacy said that the executive officer for priority schools, Mo Carrasco, would continue to draw his $155,000 salary until he is properly licensed.

Via News Channel5 Tennessee.

Read more >>A Look at How PGCPS Executives transferred Corruption to Tennessee.

Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph – He was  Deputy Superintendent of Schools in PGCPS.


From PGCPS to Metro Nashville Public Schools.