Category Archives: Education Forum

Federal guidelines address discipline in nation’s schools

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Federal officials Wednesday released guidelines intended to help the nation’s schools create discipline policies that would keep more students in class, avoid unnecessary out-of-school suspensions and reduce racial disparities in punishment.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. are scheduled to jointly discuss the new guidelines Wednesday at Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore, where they will participate in a roundtable conversation with students.

“A routine school disciplinary infraction should land a student in the principal’s office, not in a police precinct,” Holder said in a statement. Both he and Duncan have long emphasized the importance of moving away from an overuse of suspensions, expulsions and arrests in the nation’s schools.

“We need to keep students in class where they can learn,” Duncan said in a statement. “These resources are a step in the right direction.” >>>> Read More Washington Post

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Read more >>> Ashes to Ashes in Prince George’s County School District

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tough questions on charter schools

Are they helping or hurting?

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Donna Montgomery, chief executive officer at Options Public Charter School, arrives at the school.

A senior official at the D.C. Public Charter School Board allegedly received $150,000 to help the former managers of Options Public Charter School evade oversight and take millions of taxpayer dollars for themselves, according to a new court document.

Jeremy L. Williams was the chief financial officer at the D.C. Public Charter School Board, responsible for monitoring the business practices of the city’s fast-growing charter schools. But at the same time he was entrusted with rooting out financial wrongdoing, he also allegedly joined in, according to the document. >>>Read More WashPost

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four-tough-questions-about-charter-schools >>> Read More Washington Post

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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Baker fills vacant seat on Pr. George’s Board of Education

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Ms. Sonya Williams – New Board of Education Member District 9

Upper Marlboro, MD – Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III announced that Sonya Williams has been appointed to serve on the Prince George’s County Board of Education to represent District 9.  Ms. Williams will fill the District 9 vacancy on the Board of Education created by the resignation of former School Board Member Donna Hathaway Beck.

“Ms. Williams will be a great addition to the Board of Education.  We had a strong pool of candidates to choose from and Ms. Williams certainly brings a set of unique skills that will serve our children and the school system well,” said County Executive Baker.  “I was impressed with her innovative ideas to get more parents involved in their children’s education and her commitment to making our schools overall the best they can be.  Her experience as a parent, as President of the Gwynn Park Parent Teachers and Students Association (PTSA), and her skill with development and management of complex projects will be a tremendous asset to the Board.”

Maryland House of Delegates Bill 1107 charges the County Executive with appointing a member to the Board of Education whenever a vacancy occurs. Although the law does not require it, County Executive Baker conducted an open search to fill this vacancy and provided residents of District 9 with an opportunity to apply for the position. Since this vacancy was created as a result of an elected board member leaving office, the County Executive’s appointee must be a resident of District 9.

Ms. Williams is the second appointee to replace an elected Board of Education member under the new education reform law in Prince George’s County.  The County Executive previously appointed Lyn Mundey to the District 7 vacancy in September of this year. >>> Read More Washington post

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Prince George’s schools charge PTAs that use buildings

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The John Hanson Montessori Parent Teacher Student Association has offered after-school dance and chess lessons for years, believing that the enrichment programs help engage Prince George’s County students. The group charges a small fee to pay the course instructors, and until now had been using space at the school for free.

Or so the PTSA thought. Nicole Nelson, the PTSA’s vice president, said she recently received a bill from the school district asking for $2,502.70 in rental fees. Nelson believed it had to be a mistake, as the PTSA has barely $1,500 in its treasury, money it plans to use to honor teachers and to celebrate graduates. >>> Read more Washington Post

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OPINION

 PG Board of Education which continues to practice “pay to play” culture should NOT include after-school activities for their children. The essence of a good PTA is to supplement what teachers and students do in schools. Parental involvement is a child’s education is foremost, but there are many other aspects of PTA activities. After-school programs, like the classes mentioned in their article, is one. Then there are the traditional bake-sales; wrapping paper sales, plant sales, etc used to generate funds for PTA-sponsored activities. The money raised should be kept in a transparent manner. This should include proper accountability of the money raised by athletics Department throughout the county without proper checks and balances.

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Superintendent involved in a Conflict of Interest

…Dance has consulting job with company doing business with schools

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Several months after the Baltimore County school system signed an $875,000 contract with a professional development company in Illinois, Superintendent  Dallas Dance took a part-time job with that company to coach Chicago school  principals.

Dance is allowed under his employment contract to do private consulting work with prior approval of the school board as long as it does not interfere with  the superintendent’s job. However, Dance acknowledged in an interview Friday  that he had not yet sought the board’s approval, even though he took the job with SUPES Academy over the summer.

Dance’s second job prompted questions about the propriety of his working for a company that does business with the school system, training its principals. It also raised concerns about the superintendent taking the time to train educators in other states when Baltimore County schools are undergoing changes that have  drawn complaints from teachers.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/blog/bs-md-dance-coaching-contract-20131213,0,1762346.story#ixzz2nT2k5Ait

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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?

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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Nelson Mandela

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Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday at age 95, fully deserved the legendary stature he enjoyed around the world for the last quarter-century of his life.

He was one of the most extraordinary liberation leaders Africa, or any other continent, ever produced. Not only did he lead his people to triumph over the deeply entrenched system of apartheid that enforced racial segregation in every area of South African life; he achieved this victory without the blood bath so many had predicted and feared.

And, as South Africa’s first president elected by the full democratic franchise of all its people, he presided over a landmark Truth and Reconciliation process that finally allowed apartheid’s victims a measure of official recognition and acknowledgment of their suffering.

Mr. Mandela’s enormous strength of character steeled him for his long struggle and ultimate victory over apartheid. Even deeper resources of political wisdom and courage steered him toward the course of constructive reconciliation over destructive vengeance.

Mr. Mandela did not, of course, achieve all of this on his own. The movement he led, the African National Congress, was sustained by lesser-known activists and martyrs, many of whom did not live to see the day of victory they had dreamed of for so long. And the country’s peaceful transition owes a huge debt to the apartheid era’s last white president, F. W. de Klerk, who in 1990 ordered an end to Mr. Mandela’s 27-year imprisonment and negotiated with him and others the terms of the political transition. Three years later, Mr. Mandela and Mr. de Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize. >>>Read More New York Times

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OPINION

The world has lost a moral example of selfless leadership, a man of courage, principle and honour.  Humanity is poorer without Nelson Mandela.

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