Category Archives: Accountability

Former PGCPS Board Member Exposed The Truth About Our School Board…

…However, despite efforts to expose the issues of worry, concern continues to persist. Only this time, there is cover up than real solutions.

‌‌Corruption in the public sector  hampers the efficiency of public services, undermines confidence in public institutions and increases the cost of public transactions. Integrity is essential for building strong institutions resistant to corruption.  We deserve better! Let us continue to advocate for what is right and save PGCPS.

One way in which we can help the school system and other institutions  is ensuring that the integrity of government decision-making is not compromised by public officials. private interests is a growing public concern and is affecting communities not only in PGCPS District but around the world. New forms of partnership between government and the private and non-profit sectors present new challenges for policy-makers and public managers.

Effectively managing conflict of interest requires a balance. A too-strict approach to controlling private interests may conflict with other rights or be unworkable or deter experienced and competent potential candidates from entering public office or public service.

However, to be successful,  a modern approach to conflict-of-interest policy seeks to strike a balance by: identifying risks; prohibiting unacceptable forms of private interest; raising awareness of the circumstances in which conflicts can arise; and ensuring effective procedures to resolve conflict-of-interest situations. As we move forward into the future in the next several months, we will be highlighting some of the areas which we feel deserves attention. We deserve better solutions and proper accountability mechanism rather than band aid. Those who speak the truth and protect us all, must be rewarded irrespective of their background.

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1 Samuel 18:30

‘Every time the commanders of the Philistines attacked, David was more successful against them than all the rest of Saul’s officers.’

– David was a man who enjoyed the blessing of God on his life.
– As a result he saw more success than those around him.
– Trust God for His blessing on your life – ask Him to do it.
– Then expect to walk in that favour regardless of the circumstances.

PRAY: Lord, You know exactly what I am facing and going through. I take a moment right now to ask for Your hand of blessing on my life. Amen.

Have a great Thursday.

Future of the County –

…Heroes of tomorrow.

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 An Opinion.

Today we found ourselves visiting with several parents to monitor our children in several schools within the county to monitor progress made so far. We visited schools surrounded by people living in some of our most neglected communities in Oxon Hill, Capital Heights, Riverdale, Langley Park and Hyattsville. It is an interesting coincidence that got us thinking of the work that the heroes of yesterday began, and that our children and their children have to carry on with. Our county has had great men and women standing up at different times, but towards the same goal, of ensuring liberty, prosperity and justice for all.

The freedom fighters risked all to liberate us from the colonial yoke. After independence, another generation stepped in and risked everything when the very dreams that inspired the freedom fighters were being rolled back. These are the heroes of the first Liberation who faced numerous challenges including racism and segregation machines ultimately they reclaimed the rights and freedoms that were being taken away. For which they paid a great price. The heroes of our first, second, third, etc. Liberations have brought us this far. Some of these Heroes were Black, Indians, Whites, Latinos, and Asians amongst races. We are immensely indebted to them.

In July 2014 the United States of America turns 238 years old and counting. As we remember the heroes of the past centuries, we must focus on the next 50 years ahead and ask ourselves, who will be our heroes of that period and what will make them?

Listening to various leaders including governor O’Malley of Maryland, County Executive Rushern Baker, Senator Joan Benson of Prince George’s County speak about their challenges and promises of their respective areas, we found ourselves thinking of our country’s next fifty years, its old challenges that we have been unable to subdue and the new ones we are yet to start tackling.  It occurred to us that the heroes of the years ahead might be made in our county if we get it right.

Our county is certainly set to be the next theatre of action, opportunities, challenges and growth. That is why Washington, D.C. metropolitan area is  the most affluent metropolitan area in the United States. Prince George’s county in particular has been a magnet for international immigration since the late 1960s. It is also a magnet for internal migration (persons moving from one region of the U.S. to another). Many students in Prince George’s county bear great potential and promise for the future but they are never challenged for greater capabilities. What can we do to make their world mean something or rewarding?

In southern Maryland, NASA records the strongest all-round the year wind blowing in the same direction and capable of generating electricity for all of Prince George’s County. It has never been exploited. Like many other counties in Maryland, Prince George’s county is changing fast but transforming too slowly. The economy is growing, but so are poverty levels. Despite new challenges and new opportunities, outdated mindset  full of discriminatory tendencies persists. The heroes of the next fifty years of our county will be men and women who accept that we cannot create the future by clinging to the past. We should embrace diversity and work together for good of the county and the United States of America.

Prince George’s County and especially the County school system has a chance to open a new chapter with the coming of devolved units after HB1107. Already, a number of our county representatives are toying with grand visions but we should not let the old ways crop back in through the back door.

In the struggles of these representatives whether it is a senator, delegate or Board of Education member, we see a journey to determine the county’s future by expanding our county’s productivity. In this regard, the county carries great potential in determining our county’s next heroes. Unfortunately, the passion of the governor or other representatives or even the county Executive alone is not enough. Every defining moment in a nation’s history needs a champion at the center.  Abraham Lincoln stepped in to save the union that remains standing as the USA. He remains our country’s hero to date.

United States and especially Prince George’s County, needs people to champion and save devolution and secure our next fifty years. There is a simple logic that makes us passionate about the future of the county. The logic is that when we try to empower and make our neighbors rich, we create room for sharing, trading and making life rewarding for my neighbor, ourselves and myself.

Here in Prince George’s county, we still need to work hard to create better relations between our various ethnic groups. To win the battle against colonial powers, our founding fathers pulled together, in one direction. Today, we are falling apart at the seams. The heroes of the years ahead will be the men and women who will recognize this fact and act to permanently patch up the widening cracks between our ethnic groups whether white or black, Latino or Asian among other groups by addressing honestly and candidly the things that are setting various ethnic groups against another here in the county must be addressed. Let the leadership of the county Government be the model for others to follow. Let us challenge the state agencies like Maryland state Board of Education when they fail to perform in their duties properly and request proper accounting. Many of us paid a big price for advocating for change. We should not let the old ways of doing business continue unchallenged.

But we must also never forget that the struggle for freedom never ends. Future heroes will be men and women who remember the words of Ronald Reagan that…”Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on…”

Finally, whether we are ready for it or not, the world is moving into the era of innovation, science and technology.  Economists tell us that the world is getting smaller, but it is not coming together. The nations that innovate are going to rule the world.

United States as a whole has pioneered many things including planes, cellphones, internet, computers, etc. The planes are a unique United States contribution to the world. While it shows the capacity of United States to innovate, it may not be long before somebody comes up with something better. The heroes of the coming years will have to be men and women who keep United States of America on the front row through innovation, science and technology.  We live in an era when some corporations are richer than entire nations. We are confident that if we invest in them, the United States youth will give us the Sony, Citicorp, Philip Morris, Yahoo and Google of the next century and make them our heroes. The choice is ours.

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Fire in the Belly…

…Kudos to our President.

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United States President Baraka Obama.

In a graduation speech published on June 8, President Obama offered this assessment of innovative change politics.

He said that what frustrates him most is the fact that leaders lack the “fire in the belly” needed to make a difference in people’s lives. There is no sense of urgency among those in authority in a country with so many pressing problems.

President Obama is certainly a driven man. He set up Obama for America (OFA) at a time when no other President in the history of United States has ever done such a thing to help people. Under his leadership a lot is being accomplished such as health care reforms. His celebrating victory has since motored on efforts to attract investors to the United States which has many advantages.

A deeper problem with our politics is that leaders don’t always see the need to behave like president Obama because voters don’t always reward such behavior.

The formula for success, as is well known, is simple. One needs to accumulate a huge sum of money once they get into office and align with the right ethnic barons in their home state or county.

After that, it is a short road to victory. You just need several sets of colorful shirts, dance a lot in rallies, pay your campaign mobilisers and you will soon be back in office.

We lament about these leaders a lot but we blame everyone except ourselves. The fact is that voters are the weakest link in this system.

We see politics as little more than a spectator sport. An interesting study would be for someone to research on why Prince George’s County citizens, far more than any other people in the region, spend so much time on social media breathlessly discussing trivial political matters without analyzing their local leaders especially here in our Prince George’s county .

In many other countries, politicians don’t sleep because they know citizens are eternally vigilant about key issues which affect their lives. It was interesting to witness Prince George’s county citizens calling their county a “slum” sometimes last year. What are they going to do to make changes in a county with so much potential?

Governments in India can and have been brought down by the price of onions, a key staple in many Indian dishes.

Last year, amid an onions shortage, India’s Farm Minister Sharad Pawar floated tenders to import the commodity to increase supplies and bring down surging prices.

When it emerged that imports would take several weeks to arrive by sea, he said they should be brought by air.

Price of onions

He has obviously learnt from the fall of the Delhi state government in 1998 and the victory of the Congress Party in the 1980s, all of which came in an environment where voters were angry over high onion prices.

In the Arab world, the price of bread has always been a flashpoint. In 1977 in Egypt, there were bread riots over rising prices and the police and army urged the government to review their policies because they could not contain the crisis.

Today, many dictators are out of their jobs because a young Tunisian man, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire to protest the economic situation in his home country.

In China, the Communist Party leadership began a meeting last year to chart a new course for the country now that growing economic success means that millions of well exposed youths no longer want to do the same factory jobs that their parents toiled in to produce the transformation that country has enjoyed over the last 30 years.

Prince George’s County politicians never need to worry about such things. From the grassroots to the top (Mr. Rushern Baker), they know that the electorate does not care too much whether politicians apply themselves to tackle problems like high youth unemployment, impossible interest rates, high foreclosure rates, school system corruption or crime.

Which is why it is so refreshing to see vibrant President Obama showing that with a little imagination, transformative change can be achieved in the country just as it has in many places around the world over the last few decades.

We don’t know enough about the particulars of the President Obama’s plans to know whether they will work or fail in the future. But at least he has the right attitude.

From Malaysia to Singapore to Turkey, societies have been transformed by leaders with “fire in the belly”. Voters must learn to reward such behavior and identify similar people to take office from the bottom up.

We truly hope you will consider what we have written and keep an open mind when it comes to trying to solve the problems in our county and especially in connection with the failing schools in Prince George’s County and elsewhere.  We can make failing schools better but we can’t keep doing the same things over and over by not getting the right leadership. We cannot keep relying on teachers and schools to solve all the problems. What works in the suburbs or parochial schools does not necessarily work in the inner city. We need to address the other two elements in order to make real change.  We can do it if we change the focus and reward leaders with fire in the belly.

Thank you for your time,

~Reform Sasscer Movement for Prince George’s County~

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Criticism of Teacher Unions in 2013.

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Anthony Cody a teacher who spent 24 years working in Oakland schools, 18 of them as a science teacher at a high school reviews his own sharp criticism of teachers’ unions during the past year for their support of the Common Core standards in 2013.

Cody questions why teachers have no one to support them when they question the validity of the Common Core.

He doubts that a one-year moratorium on high-stakes testing of the Common Core will matter much.

In a column that he cites, he wrote:

In effect, the Common Core tests will refresh NCLB’s indictment of public schools and teachers, with supposedly scientific precision.

Teachers – and union leaders — may feel as if they should get on board, to try to steer this process. However, I think this is a ship of doom for our schools. I think its effect will be twofold. It will create a smoother, wider, more easily standardized market for curriculum and technology. This will, in turn, promote the standardization of curriculum and instruction, and further de-professionalize teaching. The assessments will reinforce this, by tying teachers closer to more frequent timelines and benchmark assessments, which will be, in many places, tied to teacher evaluations. And the widespread failures of public schools will be used to further “disrupt the public school monopoly,” spurring further expansion of vouchers and charters and private schools.

We must move beyond not only the bubble tests, but beyond the era of punitive high stakes tests. Only then will we be able to use standards in the way they ought to be used – as focal points for our creative work as educators. I would be glad to have a year’s delay for the consequences of these tests, but I think we need to actively oppose the entire high stakes testing paradigm. The Common Core standards should not be supported as long as they are embedded in this system.

He calls upon the unions to exert leadership–not just in helping to impose CCSS–but in thinking critically about the corporate agenda and CCSS’s role in that agenda.

He holds out hope for change in 2014, a hope that we all share.

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Read more >> Union Accountability needed in PG County

Read more>>>Violation of the Grievance system

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Cartoon of Income Inequality

Happy Holidays!

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We all wish you a
happy holiday season
our sincere thanks for
your goodwill and loyalty
throughout the past year
we look forward to meeting you and being of greater service next year!

cheers!

~ Reform Sasscer Movement for Prince George’s County ~

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School board says Dance should have gotten its OK

…before taking consulting job

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Baltimore County Superintendent Dallas Dance should have sought the school  board’s approval before taking a consulting job with a company that had a  contract with the system, board President Lawrence Schmidt said Tuesday  night.

Schmidt said in a statement that the board has directed Dance to let members  know in advance of any proposed consulting work in the future.

The board has reviewed Dance’s contract and the school system’s ethics policy  and has found that “there is no indication that Dr. Dance’s performance as  superintendent was in any way adversely impacted” by the consulting, according  to Schmidt.

The board spoke with Dance at a closed-door meeting Tuesday about his  part-time job with SUPES Academy, an Illinois-based company that provides  training for administrators.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/blog/bs-md-co-board-statement-dance-20131217,0,4187135.story#ixzz2npqQlyd3

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OPINION

Coming from the TOP school official, this looks real bad for Maryland State Board of Education and Mr. Dallas Dance. If he skirts the rules, who is to say what other unethical endeavors has he taken on.

This clearly is a slap in the face of the board who hired him, who was too young to lead Maryland teachers and implement his new Common Core philosophy. Many of the parents we spoke with are ashamed and embarrassed to live in Maryland more and more. The ignorance at every level of Maryland is really starting to show by allowing people unqualified to lead, hire, re hire and expand. Entitlement has gotten Maryland into a world of stupidity on a national level and showed America which state is most dependent on federal Government to maintain lifestyles.

No chief executive in the private sector would be allowed to do this. Donating 2/3 of the compensation does not mitigate the conflict of interest here.  Either Superintendent Dance gives up the employment with the company or the company gives up its contract with Baltimore County.  End of discussion.

The funny thing is that, teachers can’t tutor a student in their building for pay, even if that teacher doesn’t teach that student in any regular class.

So a teacher can’t pick up an extra $25 an hour for legitimate educational work, but the superintendent can take tens of thousands of dollars from a company that paid nearly a million dollars in taxpayer money?

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Call your elected officials now and the media. Demand investigations and initiation of changes… There is no smoke without fire!!

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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.

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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.

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Superintendent Dallas Dance quit a consulting job Saturday amid questions  over the propriety of his work for a company that does business with the  Baltimore County school system.

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Read more ~~~>> Part I and Part II of the double standards involving Maryland School system Education leadership involved in corruption and the tax payer funds.

Carroll BOE asks for expanded timeline…

…on education reforms

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Carroll County commissioners (from left to right) Dave Roush, Doug Howard, Haven  Shoemaker and Richard Rothschild listen to a presentation during the  commissioners forum on the Common Core State Standards Monday

The Carroll  County Board of Education is asking the state delegation to support an  expanded timeline for the implementation of state-mandated education reform  initiatives, including the Common Core State Standards, during the upcoming  General Assembly.

In a letter to State Sen. Joe Getty, the board reaffirmed its commitment to  implementing the reform initiatives, including the Common Core, PARCC  Assessments, and teacher and principal evaluations.

But the board also said there is waning public support to implement the  initiatives, due in part to “significant misinformation regarding the reform’s  scope and the extent of local control we have implementing the reform  efforts.”

To address the issue, the board has requested the delegation support a number  of positions during the upcoming legislative session, including:

• Ensure that full public awareness and participation is embedded into the  process prior to approving additional mandates for curricular changes.

• Expand the timeline for implementation of additional academic standards  connected to science and social studies include sufficient time and resources to  provide teachers with the professional development needed to learn best  practices for instruction.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/carroll/ph-boe-letter-20131212,0,4425465.story#ixzz2npnKLegs

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