Category Archives: Embattled Superintendent

PGCPS submit report to MD lawmakers…

…on governance structure.

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The Prince George’s County school system — operating under a new governance structure for the past six months — has hired a new superintendent, gained six new school board members and is pushing forward with plans to reinvent itself, according to a new report submitted to state lawmakers.

Following last year’s overhaul initiated by County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), the county schools now plan to reestablish a parent and community advisory council to increase parent engagement, hire a board liaison to work with the community and the administration, and work with the county government to create a legislative agenda and reduce spending. >>> Read more Washington Post

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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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Md. says it will include more special ed students…

…in national test

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Acknowledging that scores on a national reading test may have been inflated, Maryland education officials changed course this week, saying they will work harder to reduce the number of special education students excluded from taking the test.

State school Superintendent Lillian M. Lowery said she would discuss the issue with local superintendents, testing directors and special education supervisors across the state in the coming year, putting more pressure on the local school districts to limit the practice. Recently released memos also show that state Department of Education officials have encouraged school systems over the years to include more children on the national test.

“I am concerned about people having a good baseline of information on how we as a state are performing,” Lowery said.

Read more:  http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/bs-md-special-ed-accommodations-20131126,0,1108318.story#ixzz2mB7X6k5C

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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.

Maryland ranking Scandal…

 …gubernatorial candidate Ron George calls for a General Assembly hearing.

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron George has called for a General  Assembly hearing into whether Maryland’s exclusion of a high percentage of  special education students from standardized testing artificially inflated the  score of the state’s schools in national rankings.

George, a state delegate from Anne Arundel County, issued a statement Tuesday  in which he called for answers on what he called the O’Malley administration’s  “reading test cheating scandal.”

The  Sun reported last week that Maryland may have achieved its No. 1 ranking on  Education Week’s ranking of state school systems in part by excluding a higher  percentage of special education students from reading testings than any other  state. By excluding special ed students at such a high rate, the state appears  to have gained 5 points in eighth grade reading score and 7 in fourth grade.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/blog/bal-george-calls-for-hearing-on-school-ranking-20131126,0,6066290.story#ixzz2lncaXOlN

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OPINION

We always thought conjuring the illusion of quality education when the whole nation has seen several decades of watered down teach to the test standards was just pure deception used to bait the unsuspecting and the affluent into Maryland. Now it seems deceiving the public wasn’t enough, Maryland had to cheat its way to the top of the educational dung heap in conspiracy in order to mislead citizens.

We need more than an investigation, we need to look at how watered down our education system has become here in Maryland. It’s time for Dr. Lilian lowery and Dr. Charlene Dukes and others in Maryland State Board of Education to prepare themselves for the next chapter of their lives and create a new way for innovative leadership.

Everyone we have spoken with in the community is saying this is wrong. We’re treating these educators like they’re criminals, like they’re drug dealers, like they’re gangsters. Racketeering, conspiracy, making of false statements interalia should be the basis for a proper investigation. It’s time to break the cycle of corruption here in Maryland and let the chips fall where they may!

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

dukes

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.

Md. test exclusion rate raises questions

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Maryland superintendent Lillian Lowery is on the spot for several bad things including poor leadership skills.

When Maryland officials recently trumpeted the performance of their students on national reading tests, they failed to mention one thing: The state blocked more than half its English language learners and students with learning disabilities from taking the test, students whose scores would have dragged down the results.

Maryland excluded 62 percent of students in two categories — learning-disabled and English learners — from the fourth-grade reading test and 60 percent of those students from the eighth-grade reading test. >>> Read More Washington Post

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Violation of the constitution and the laws of the land.

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Dr. Lillian M. Lowery Maryland State Superintendent  of schools has been criticized for showing very poor leadership skills in various ways including discriminatory conduct and received an F grade for Common Core meetings so far.

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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.

Two individuals in our opinion have emerged as the faces of this new tyranny in Prince George’s county – Dr. Charlene Dukes and Dr. Lilian Lowery.

We have one message for them – you are living in the past. Your modern day repressive tactics will collapse.

The constitutional rights that Prince George’s county citizens are enjoying are a product of their struggle. These rights are not privileges bestowed by the state but are inherent by virtue of birth. The transition Committee controlled by these two individuals are holding the county at ransom through instilling a culture of fear, manipulation and corruption. Only a despotic regime without legitimacy deploys such tactics.

Their actions may be a pointer that the regime being fronted is in no mood to obey the constitution and the laws of the land. The Executive has no powers to unilaterally take away the rights and liberties of Prince George’s county citizens. It must demonstrate to the satisfaction of all that Prince George’s County is a total disaster under severe threat and ascertains it in accordance with the constitution. Individual liberty is indivisible. A citizen or any other resident for that matter should only be deprived of liberty only after a proper judicial process but not because of a political decision.

Prince George’s county citizens should remember Edmund Burke’s words, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. It is the high time we took this emerging tyranny heads-on.

Please do not let Maryland go the way Prince George’s County Public Schools, (PGCPS) and the School District of Philadelphia, because they were caught off guard by the deceitful and conniving Board of Education. Parents, students, concerned citizens have to hold their school board representatives responsible. If they do not reform, let us show them the door. There is no future without responsibility and time representation.

This is a warning to Maryland citizens and Prince George’s County in particular – do not be complicit in the establishment of a dictatorship-in-the-making disguised as democracy. A tyrant cannot be a tyrant without a victim. Bystanders are necessary for the tyranny to emerge because thirst for power invariably accompanies one for publicity. Democracy is not about regular elections. Elections are necessary but not sufficient conditions for a true functioning of a robust democracy. What happens between elections and how the government of the day handles fundamental concerns of interest to the public matters greatly.

The new school leadership of Dr. kevin Maxwell – regardless of who is county Executive in the future – must demonstrate its commitment to getting rid of the rampant impunity which continues to undermine the rule of law, justice and security of Prince George’s county citizens. Dr. Maxwell came in promising to work with advocates of change and innovate the county through good ideas. However, the citizens who helped put him in power have been way laid and sidelined through unorthodox means.  Reforms which we advocated for seem to have effectively stalled and taken over by special interest led by one Dr. Charlene Dukes who is a suspect in corruption involving top leadership. To advance the cover up, PGCPS has enlisted the co-chair of Dr. Lilian Lowery Maryland state Supritendent of schools creating a conflict of interest.  Hence, advocates for good governance are being undermined by those who want to restore old order and emasculate changes. Maryland legislature must hold a hearing to verify what is going on. This must be their first task on their agenda in 2014. The time to act is now.

As articulated before,  We have got a runaway state board of education with no oversight, not subject to election, and doing reforms not subject to legislative review.  All without citizen input nor consent.  And wielding a billion dollar budget.

As expressed in the past, Mr. Rushern Baker’s biggest test is creating a smooth transition within the schools to include transparency and avoid appointing leaders from the old regime who caused problems in the first place. However, if he wants to pass this test, he must persuade every single PG County citizen that he has sincere intentions that transcend his own political interest, for the wellbeing of the County to include other groups into the change management with the New CEO.

The elected officials – both at the national, state and county levels – must live up to their oaths of office in which they promised to defend and protect the constitution. They must ensure they engender policies which will ensure that all will access services without discrimination. The new leadership in Prince George’s County public schools led by Dr. Kevin Maxwell and mid-wifed by County Executive Rushern Baker must prevent human rights violations. Prince George’s County citizens in United States want a transformed county!

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Dr. Kevin Maxwell

>>> Attend Opponents Common Core protest at MSDE…on November 18, 2013. Call your elected officials now and the media. Demand changes due to Maryland State Board of Education leaders involved in corruption and abuse of power. (video)

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“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.” — Ben Okri

Maxwell addresses the Prince George’s County Council

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In his first public appearance before the Prince George’s County Council, Schools Chief Executive Officer Kevin Maxwell said Tuesday that he is evaluating the district’s specialty programs, surveying underutilized schools and analyzing how grades are distributed in schools.

Maxwell said the district, which has experienced a drop in enrollment over the last several years, has a number of schools that are under capacity, and “there is some question of whether they should be closed.” >>> Read More Washington Post

OPINION:

School consolidation either fixes budget shortfalls and creates great schools or destroys a sense of community and adversely impacts local economies. An examination of the pros and cons reveals that each argument has it strengths and weaknesses. The issue of money and what makes a great school cuts both ways in the school consolidation discussion. We hope the agenda in Prince George’s County public school is not to sell any of them but to preserve as many as possible incase parents who have left with their children decide to come back. Closer examination sorts out the thrust of the pros and cons of consolidation.
1.      Education Quality
  • Proponents of school consolidation use the quality of education as a selling point. When two or more small schools consolidate, the resulting school will be able to offer more courses and hire more diverse faculty with teaching expertise in specialized areas. In particular, specialized courses that appeal to only a handful of students will likely generate interest from more students, allowing the school to offer them. This would include advanced classes in mathematics and science, and other areas of study such as drama or non-traditional foreign languages such as Russian or Japanese. Let us hope the Prince George’s County Public schools CEO and the Board members have a plan.

2.      Money

  • The ability to save money is another big selling point for schools considering consolidation. When schools are consolidated, unused school buildings can be sold or used for other purposes, and utility and maintenance costs are reduced, especially if the consolidated school is newer and more energy efficient. Transportation costs are also reduced as fewer school buses will be needed to cover overlapping routes.[I’d have to disagree on this one; most studies show an increase in transportation costs as students are bused past closed schools to the new one. -Ed] Employees needed for non-academic services such as office personnel, cafeteria workers and custodial services can also be reduced. That means, there is going to be job loses if the issue is taken heads on. We hope the Board of Education members will be transparent on this one.

3.      Loss of Identity

  • Local communities identify themselves with their school. Consolidation normally involves some smaller towns losing a school. While saving money is a pro, the loss of the school becomes a con. Parents want their children to attend the same small school they did. For community residents, the closing of the school they attended in the name of consolidation registers as a negative. They fear their children will be lost in the large consolidated school, and they feel they won’t be able to identify with the new school.

4.      Economic Impact

  • Some of the money saved as a result of consolidation is a result of cutting jobs. Small-town schools are often one of the largest employers in the town, and when a school closes it can have a negative effect on the community. School workers who are laid off will face much stiffer competition for those same positions in the consolidated school and face a good chance of not getting hired. David Thompson, a Kansas State University professor in education leadership, points out that the money spent on schools is partially returned to the local community as school employees spend their salaries at local businesses; by shuttering smaller schools, consolidation takes that money out of the small-town community.

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