Category Archives: Fight Racism

Common Core generates bill to drop old tests in Md. public schools

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Sen. Nancy King, D-Montgomery, the sponsor of the Senate companion bill she will introduce shortly to scrap the test

Emergency legislation to stop Maryland from administering a federally mandated student assessment test was introduced Thursday in the House of Delegates with strong bipartisan sponsorship.

The Maryland Student Assessment test (MSA) is slated to be phased out after this year, when it will be administered once more this spring. But the test is considered outdated because it doesn’t test for what students are learning in classrooms this year under the state’s new Common Core education curriculum.

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Del. Eric Luedtke

“The MSA tests students on material they aren’t being taught, and takes away valuable teaching time to do it,” said Del. Eric Luedtke, D-Montgomery, the lead sponsor of the House bill. “It’s testing for the sake of testing, and we should not be giving it.”

The bill, which has 10 co-sponsors, including five Republicans, would require the state to request a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education  (DOE) to excuse Maryland from administering the MSA test this year. It costs the state $6 million to give the test.

The Maryland State Education Association (MSEA), a union which represents 71,000 public education employees across the state, asked the state education department to obtain such a waiver, but state officials said DOE offers no such waiver.

Read more:  http://marylandreporter.com/2014/01/09/common-core-generates-bill-to-drop-old-tests-in-md-public schools/#ixzz2q9ATbZw1 Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

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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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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!!

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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.

Open letter to Dr. Lowery and Dr. Charlene Dukes…

…regarding the transition panel

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Attached is an open letter to Maryland state Superintendent of schools Dr. Lillian Lowery and Maryland state Board of Education President Dr. Charlene Dukes by an advocate citizen of change concerning conflict of interest in regards to transitional panel in Prince George’s County schools. >>> Open letter to Dr. Lillian Lowery and Dr. Charlene Dukes

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.

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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.

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A furious storm.

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Matthew 8:24

‘Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat.’

– Have you ever felt like this?
– Like a storm has come from nowhere and has overtaken you?
– God can use the storm to work within you and equip you for service.
– So don’t despise the storm, but look for His purpose in it all.

PRAYER: Lord, when we face the storms of life, it is not always easy. But we know that even in the storm You are there and You are working things out for our good. Amen.

Enjoy the weekend.

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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

scholars blast Common Core…

… Catholic intellectuals in a letter to U.S. bishops

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About 130 Catholic scholars around the country have signed a hard-hitting letter to U.S. Catholic bishops denouncing the Common Core State Standards as doing “a grave disservice to Catholic education” and urging the bishops  to ignore the standards or, in the more than 100 dioceses that have already adopted them, to give them up.

The letter was sent by Gerard V. Bradley, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, to every Catholic bishop in the country, with 132 scholars from various disciplines and institutions signing on.

It blasts the standards, saying they are “contrary to tradition and academic studies on reading and human formation,” and accuses Core proponents of seeking to “transform ‘literacy’ into a  ’critical’ skill set, at the expense of sustained and heartfelt encounters with great works of literature.” (That last part is apparently a reference to suggestions by Core opponents that the standards require English teachers to dramatically cut back on teaching literature, which isn’t true.) >>>> Read more Washington Post

OPINION.

Catholic schools often succeed because they don’t jump on educational bandwagons, such as this one. They rarely adopt change without first trying it out, and that’s a very wise thing to do.

This beautifully written letter, speaks to the heart and soul of what so many in the field are sensing about the so-called reform movement, led in great part, not by scholars but by captains of industry–it sees children not as unique individuals who should determine their own destiny, but as the fodder to be sorted into the job market. The great, irony of course, is that no one can predict what the jobs of the future will be for the kindergarten students of today.

Thank you dear scholars, for so beautifully expressing what the soul of this educator knows. Our society needs and wants TRUE educators, Not brain-washed child psychology hacks.

As articulated before, in essence, Folks, there’s no more doubt. Maryland state Board of Education is its own worst enemy and living to the claims of a state agency. It does not have the capacity and the expertise to do what is right for the children of the state of Maryland.  The time to act is now.  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. The future of Maryland state Board of Education is either radical reforms or a funeral. We must say “NO” to the latest shenanigans.

When you see us pushing for these things, we hope you will understand where we are coming from. We have seen freedoms taken away and opportunities frustrated and killed and we have learnt that if we sit back, nobody will apologize and say sorry. The powerful just move on while the poor and the weak suffer.

>>> 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)   Here’s hoping you will continue reading, getting educated and educating others.

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Weak student achievement in PGCPS…

…new academic standards concern Pr. George’s school board.

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By , Updated: Friday, October 11, 6:47 PM

Only half of students who graduated from Prince George’s County’s public high schools last year enrolled in college, and 90 percent of the graduates in community college are taking remedial classes in math and reading, according to data shared with the county’s Board of Education on Thursday during a presentation on student achievement, secondary-school changes and the new academic standards.

In the 2012-13 school year, more than a fifth of the county’s freshmen had to repeat ninth grade, the data showed, and 40 percent of second-graders did not read at or above grade level.“College and career readiness is built on a foundation that goes all the way back to pre-kindergarten,” said A. Duane Arbogast, the chief academic officer, told the board.After Arbogast’s presentation, board members spent more than an hour asking about professional development for teachers, parental engagement and the implementation of Common Core, a new national curriculum being implemented in most states.>>> Read More Washington Post  >>> Read more about Common core in Maryland

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Former Interim Super now Interin in Alexanderia.

…Dr. Alvin Crawley pictured here almost abandoned ship at sea…

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Dr. Alvin Crawley who took off to the hills after HB 1107 was enacted into the law in Maryland has been selected to serve as Alexandria’s interim superintendent.

Alvin Crawley, who most recently was the interim superintendent in Prince George’s County, Maryland, will begin his appointment Monday. He will serve while the city searches for a permanent replacement. He has had a troubled tenure when several of our students died from violence in 2012, after he failed to perform the proper duties as a Superintendent. He was brought in specifically to cover up corruption by the previous regime which was then led by Dr. William Hite Jr.

According to Doris Reed (ASASP Director of the Prince George’s principals union), she was hoping for a change agent to take the reins of the school system when Hite left, Doris said Crawley’s leadership style during his short tenure did not live up to her expectations.

The Alexandria City school board bought out the contract of previous superintendent Morton Sherman in August amid conflicts between Sherman and the school board.

Sherman was the second consecutive superintendent whose contract was bought out by Alexandria. Rebecca Perry departed as superintendent in 2008 in the wake of an extended controversy over a drunk driving arrest.

Crawley spent most of his career in Arlington. He left Prince George’s County as control of the system shifted from the county board of education to the county executive Rushern Baker. >>> Read more Washington Post

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“We are building the plane as we fly it”

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Many of us have heard this expression hundreds of times. “We are building the plane as we fly it.”

Sometimes at staff development meetings, they show cartoon figures building a plane in mid-air.

Note that the engineers are wearing parachutes.

Note that the passengers–students and teachers–have no parachutes.

Bear in mind that the idea of building a plane as it is in mid-air is insane.

The next time you hear this expression, do one of these things:

Get up and walk out.

Hiss loudly (no one ever knows who is hissing).

Boo loudly (riskier than hissing).

Do not quietly sit by while your leader spouts idiotic platitudes.

This leads us to Baltimore County Superintendent Dallas Dance and what he did which troubled several parents while working closely with the Maryland State superintendent of schools Dr. Lillian Lowery.

As was widely reported elsewhere, Baltimore County Public Schools and Maryland State Department of Education held a Common Core forum recently. When a video was posted concerning Mr. Robert Small being arrested for asking a question out of turn at the local school board forum on Common Core, the video received national attention and garnered a million YouTube hits. Dr. Dallas Dance, the Baltimore County Public Schools superintendent and Dr. Lilian Lowery State Superintendent of schools were presiding over that meeting. (The charges against Robert Small were later dropped after a public outcry.)

In the meantime, Jason Schmidt of Beaverton, Oregon was inspired by the video and decided to stand up and not be “cattle”, to coin a phrase by Robert Small during the encounter. He took the photo shown here and posted it on a website for the cause.

With a rally cry of “Stop Common Core! Save our kids!” the concerned citizens of Beaverton School District held a protest last Thursday before a school board sponsored forum on Common Core. The protest was a success… Mr. Schmidt said in a post,

Here in Maryland, a Baltimore Sun article last week highlighted the perspective of Dr. Dallas Dance concerning complaints from teachers about the new curriculum and it contains the following passage:

Baltimore County Superintendent Dallas Dance acknowledged problems but expressed confidence the glitches would be worked out, and that teachers and students would adjust.

“We are building the plane as we fly it,” he said, adding, “but let’s be clear our passengers are safe.”

Insofar as what they’re doing is destined to fail – except to the extent that they are willfully destroying the public schools, in which case they are far too successful – the analogy holds.

Other than that, it would have been better to say they are building sweatshops/work camps, and using the heads of students and teachers as hammers.  A picture of such a plane as advocated by Dr. Dance and Dr. Lillian Lowery is insane, something one would say to discredit the whole operation not to credit it. Who would want to board such a plane having that kind of knowledge the plane might crush anytime?

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Baltimore County Superintendent Dallas Dance.

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Dr. Lillian M. Lowery Maryland State Superintendent  of schools has shown poor leadership skills in several ways and received an F grade for Common Core meetings recently.

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 (>>See the video <<)

PGCPS Board of Education partners…

…with Panasonic Foundation

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According to Washington Post, The Prince George’s County Board of Education, facing a rocky start in a new era of school governance, has entered into a short-term agreement with a corporate foundation to help ease its transition from an elected board to a hybrid board with government oversight.

Board Chairman Segun Eubanks said the school board voted Thursday night during a closed session to partner with Panasonic Foundation, which works with urban school districts to implement education reforms. He said the partnership is designed to “move [the county’s] agenda forward. “Reports reaching reform Sasscer Movement  according to Mr. Edward Burroughs (District 8), said,  “the new structure has created a situation where there is no accountability to the board because board leadership is appointed.” He said, “for example, that a member of Baker’s administration received a presentation from Panasonic, but most board members were excluded. Still, the board was asked to vote on the agreement.”  Further Mr. Edward Burroughs’s District 8 lost substantial funding due to recent corruption in which money ($1.4 Million) was sent back to Annapolis.  Reform Sasscer movement is against side deals being conducted at night and away from the public. This is the reason why we lobbied lawmaker to create the current Board with a great hope things were going to turn out for the better >>>Read more Washington Post

OPINION:

Without mass media, openness and accountability are impossible in democracies. Our prayer is to make sure that, what we advocated for is a dared to within the school system. We want the medium to be transparent to vision so that we can accurately view what is on the other side. As articulated before, 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. One can well understand why politicians would want to divert attention from information that is detrimental to their interests as open expressed by Mr. Burroughs and others recently. Our interest as media blog is very different as we are interested in transparency and accountability issues on behalf of everyone.  Indeed, the media’s interests are quite different from those of politicians. Nevertheless the media’s collective efforts also subvert the political values of transparency, even – and perhaps especially – when media and politicians view each other as adversaries.  BOE members who caused problems in the first place must be encouraged to resign to create a smooth transition.

Most individuals have only limited time and attention to devote to public issues. Political values of transparency do not demand that citizens spend all of their time on public subjects. Rather, they make information available to individuals so that they can use it if they so choose. But when there is too much information, filtering necessarily occurs. This filtering occurs both in terms of what media decide to cover and what individuals decide to watch. Media companies must pick and choose among hundreds of possible subjects to discuss especially as we move forward in the new era of accountability. Individuals must choose among thousands of hours of potential coverage of public events and we plan to do this in the future.

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Mr. Edward Burroughs whose district is affected by corruption.