PGCPS Board member asked to resign, as new county leader seeks change

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Donna L. Wiseman Ph.D. University of Missouri-Columbia – assumed the duties of Dean of the College of Education at the University of Maryland in May 2008. She served as interim dean of the college during the 2007-08 academic year.

By Reform Sasscer Staff

Dr. Donna L. Wiseman who was accused of advancing questionable schemes in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) by hiring Dr. Segun Eubanks as part of her team in the University of Maryland has been requested to resign. We previously covered part of the story on November 29th, 2018 (see here). There has been allegations that University of Maryland College Park specifically Department of Education under Dr. Wiseman was engaged in quid pro quo and hired Dr. Segun Eubanks as part of a questionable deal. This conflict of interest is said to have had major dissent which led some board members to question the rationale in a scheme which is currently ongoing.

A conflict of interests (COI) is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests, financial or otherwise, and serving one interest could involve working against another. Typically, this relates to situations in which the personal interest of an individual or organization might adversely affect a duty owed to make decisions for the benefit of a third party.

The presence of a conflict of interests is independent of the occurrence of impropriety. Therefore, a conflict of interests can be discovered and voluntarily defused before any corruption occurs. A conflict of interests exists if the circumstances are reasonably believed (on the basis of past experience and objective evidence) to create a risk that a decision may be unduly influenced by other, secondary interests, and not on whether a particular individual is actually influenced by a secondary interest.

Based on our previous reports as received in the community, it appears the new county Executive Ms. Angela Alsobrooks has begun to address the issues heads on. However, Only time will tell whether the new county Executive’s optimism is justified in a way that her predecessors have not.

We reprint the report by Washington Post below:

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County Executive Angela Alsobrooks wants “her own representation on the board,” her spokesman said. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

By Donna St. George

Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks this month sought the resignation of a school board member appointed by her predecessor, in another sign of efforts to chart a new course for the Maryland school system.

Donna L. Wiseman, a former dean of the University of Maryland’s education school, was selected for the school board in 2017 by County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D). She submitted a resignation letter as requested, officials said, and it was received Dec. 10.

Alsobrooks (D) opted for the change as she works to ensure collaboration between her administration and the school board, a spokesman said. She took office Dec. 3.

“Ms. Alsobrooks would like to have her own representation on the board,” her spokesman, John Erzen, said. While a replacement has not been named, the goal is to have a member in place and “ready to go” before a board meeting in January, he said.

Wiseman, who led the U-Md. education school for a decade and remains a professor there, said in an interview she was surprised by the change and had hoped to serve longer on the county school board. Her term was scheduled to end in 2021.

“I felt like I was just gaining my legs and learning the ropes, and I was kind of taken aback,” she said. “But on the other hand, I understand her wanting her own appointment.”

The Prince George’s board is a hybrid of appointed and elected members. Three of 14 members are appointed by the county executive, and one by the county council, while nine are elected. The board also has a student member.

In recent weeks, Alsobrooks has made two board appointments.

For chairman, she chose Alvin Thornton, a retired Howard University professor widely known for his work leading a state commission on education funding. Thornton, 70, served on the Prince George’s board in the 1990s and was chairman for three one-year terms.

Alsobrooks’s other board pick was Paul Monteiro, who worked in the Obama administration and later made a bid for county executive in Prince George’s. He works as chief of staff in the office of the president of Howard University.

The board changes follow a rocky period for Prince George’s school system, which has faced scandals over pay raises, a collapsed federal grant and inflated graduation rates.

Its previous chief executive stepped down amid controversy, and this summer the deputy superintendent for teaching and learning, Monica Goldson, was tapped for a one-year appointment as interim chief executive.

Alsobrooks has not commented on the school board’s vote this month for Edward Burroughs III as vice chairman. Burroughs was leader of a minority bloc that brought attention to problems in the school system, including inflated graduation rates.

Alsobrooks previously said she would let the board pick a vice chairman. “I don’t see any reason to think she won’t move forward with what she has already told the board,” Erzen said.

via Washington Post

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Dr. Segun Eubanks resigned after many years of conflict of interests. Eubanks’ venture was a total failure.

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