Category Archives: Homeless youth

Homeless Student Population Rises in Maryland

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COLLEGE PARK – Danny Lamont Jones seems like an average high schooler. He goes to class, and comes home and writes music when he can’t focus on his homework.

But for much of his high school career Jones, 18, wasn’t living like an average student. He attended four different high schools as he moved in and out of homes and shelters in Baltimore city. When he turned 12, he said, he moved into a shelter in for homeless teenagers.

“I had to make me own way from there,” said Jones, who now lives with his uncle.

Jones is one of thousands of students in Maryland who have experienced homelessness. The number of K-12 students identifying as homeless in U.S. public schools hit a record high 1.2 million during the 2011-2012 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education. >>> Read More Capital News Service

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“Ashes to ashes” in PGCPS District Md.

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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.

Ads appear on Prince George’s County school system Web site.

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Visitors to the Prince George’s County school system’s Web site can learn about charter school applications, how to prevent and report bullying, and the implementation of new academic standards. But they also are likely to find advertisements for furniture stores and clothing stores, online university programs and insurance companies.

The ads — on the public school system’s main Web site — are placed by a Google AdSense program and are accompanied by a disclaimer that “Prince George’s County Public Schools does not endorse any messages, products or services presented in the ads below.” >>> Read More Washington Post

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OPINION

The way this article is written appears like Prince George’s County Public schools (PGCPS) Management is doing the right thing. However, a closer scrutiny reveals that, accountability and transparency initiatives started in PGCPS almost two years ago by the Maryland legislature are yet to be enforced. (Read more). Nevertheless,  after talking to several board members, they will tell you that, they themselves do not know what happens to the money once it comes in. As non profit organization, PGCPS which receives public funding should know better including the politicians involved irrespective of their rank.  Furthermore, considered they are on a governmental website, there should be full accounting to the public. We are talking of children money here and money being raised in the name of children only to disappear in thin air. Where is the common decency?

There is growing recognition both among governments, donors and civil society that citizens and communities have an important role to play with regard to enhancing accountability of public officials, reducing corruption and leakage of funds and improving public service delivery. As a result, Social Accountability has become an attractive approach to both the public sector and civil society for improving governance processes, service delivery outcomes, and improving resource allocation decisions. Over the last decade, numerous examples have emerged that demonstrate how citizens can make their voice heard and effectively engage in making the public sector more responsive and accountable. Scales of responsibility apply to all citizens and all institutions including all arms of the government which cannot escape accountability. Those complaining about the government  and civil society pointing out wrongs in PGCPS and Maryland Education system should read the Bible and the Constitution as well to understand what responsibility is all about.

Accountability is defined as the obligation of power-holders to account for or take responsibility for their actions. Power-holders refers to those who hold political, financial or other forms of power and include officials in government, private corporations, international financial institutions and civil society organizations (CSOs).

There might be a glimmer of hope that our society is changing and maturing somewhat. However, we are yet to see the results here in PGCPS District. And if we are able to extend compassion and mercy to fellow United States citizens, we should go one step further and extend it to non-US citizens, in particular migrant workers from other countries who perform arduous and dirty work that many Americans shun.

Civility must grow as society grows. It must become highly mobile and more interactive, be it via the media or through daily personal contact. We must show proper accountability even of the money collected through public websites like in PGCPS.

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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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Dr. Maxwell was appointed to right wrongs but very little appears done to fix issues.

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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.

Figure 1 – Click here to see benefits of social accountability —->>>Figure 1

Figure 2 – Click here to see the Accountability Framework   —>>> Figure 2

Figure 3 – Critical Factors for Social Accountability – See below.

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Md Social Services to review alternative edu…

…programs offered to foster youths.

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The Baltimore Department of Social Services on Monday pledged a comprehensive review of alternative education programs for foster children, after revelations that it paid $40,000 to send students to a school in Philadelphia where they obtained a diploma in one day.

The Crooked Places Made Straight Academy, where 80 youths from Baltimore took a three-hour exam to obtain a Pennsylvania high school diploma, shut down its one-day program Friday after inquiries from The Baltimore Sun.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/blog/bs-md-ci-foster-care-diploma-folo-20131125,0,1575953.story#ixzz2mGi6DSoT

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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.

Jury Trial in Philadelphia Hears Fraud Charges…

…Against Charter Founder

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Charter school founder June Brown is on trial in Philadelphia for collecting multiple salaries from the charter schools and management firms she opened.

Brown is accused of defrauding the four charter schools she founded of $6.7 million and then conspiring with two former administrators to obstruct justice by orchestrating a cover-up.

Meanwhile, business leaders in Philadelphia hope to open more charter schools in that beleaguered city, where the public schools have been decimated by budget cuts and layoffs under embattled Dr. William Hite jr. The money meant to help the poor kids in Philadelphia School District is  being siphoned off through the back door in charter schools using conspirators in the city of brotherly love.

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Beleaguered Dr. William Hite Jr.

Prince George’s school board OKs textbooks…

…that students are already using. Misplaced paperwork caused education items to be distributed prior to approval, officials say

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by Jamie Anfenson-Comeau    Gazette Staff writer

By an 11-to-1 vote, the Prince George’s County school board gave final approval Oct. 24 to begin using two new textbooks — however, the books had already been purchased and distributed to students at the beginning of the school year.

The two textbooks, Algebra II and Geometry, had been approved by the school system’s textbook committees last spring, but were not brought to the board at that time.

The procedures for the school system were not followed adequately in the case of the … Algebra II and geometry textbook adoption,” said school system CEO Kevin Maxwell. “They were approved [by the textbook committee] back in the spring, but there was a delay in bringing them to the board.”

Maxwell said the purchasing department ordered the books and delivered them to the schools in advance of final board approval.

The school system’s Administrative Procedure 6180.1 states that textbook selections are to be presented to the school board for approval by the end of March and prior to purchasing.

The procedural lapse occurred prior to the Aug. 1 start of Maxwell’s tenure.

The cost of the textbooks, $1.3 million, had already been budgeted into the current year budget.

Chief Academics Officer A. Duane Arbogast said the new textbooks are needed as they are aligned more closely with the Common Core education standards being adopted by Maryland.

“We felt that our old books were so far off the mark from where we needed to be with Common Core, we just needed to replace them,” Arbogast said.

Arbogast said that normally the school system replaces textbooks every eight to 10 years, and the previous Algebra II and geometry books should have been replaced a few years ago, but hadn’t been due to school system budget cuts. >>> Read More Gazette.

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Let’s face it. Criticism has…

…become a dirty word.

CRITICISM. Magnifying glass over different association terms.

Pick up any thesaurus and you’ll find “criticism” in the company of “nit-picking, objection, disapproval, and objection.”

The truth is criticism doesn’t have to be a dirty word.

In the last several months now, we have given perspectives on Prince George’s county public schools whenever we can. This is in line with democratic ideals. A democracy is a government of the people, for the people and by the people. Thus, the public opinion is an important aspect. The people in turn could hold the government accountable and change it, if they knew what they were doing is wrong. Our voice through the social media and this blog mobilized lawmakers and yielded HB1107.

In this regard, there is a need to inform the people of issues of concern around them so that there are proper checks and balances on the government of the day especially within the county and the Maryland state Board of Education. Media plays a vital role in this area and that is why we must keep advocating for the people through constructive criticism. So far there are several things of concern and we will be outlining our views shortly after our sincerity agenda to transform the county was hijacked by dark forces. The dark forces trying to take over our reform agenda here in PG county are on a revenge mission (Keep checking our concerns here in our blog). It is important to look at our work and appreciate our perspectives. We are not going to rest until proper changes are in place through criticism. This is what makes democracy work!

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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 and received an F grade for Common Core meetings so far.

In a broader context, criticism is an assessment, review or observation that can even be in the form of appreciation. Nobody seems to ever talk about that one: When the criticism is good, we don’t call it criticism, we call it approval. We call it praise. We call it being appreciated.

And who doesn’t enjoy sincere appreciation for their work?

Anyways, for constructive criticism to occur three things have to happen: There should be interest on the part of the criticizer and the criticized, there should be bonding and trust that the discussion is for the right reasons, and the criticism should be presented as a discussion.

When the criticism meets these three criteria, there is a strong foundation for learning to occur, and for both members to benefit from honest criticism.

Here are the three advantages to constructive criticism:

Gives New Perspective & Valuable Insight

When someone invites our criticism, we have the opportunity to help that person by giving our perspective or insight into the situation.

For example, say someone asks us to check out an article they’ve written to get our opinion. Chances are the person really wants to know what we think so that they can make it the best it can be.

Our objective reading of the article can give the person valuable insight into how they can improve the article. If they weigh the importance or usefulness of the criticism, they can rewrite or revise the article to make it better

Thus, the writer and article become more valuable due to the constructive criticism.

Here’s the real kicker: different people have different perspectives and knowledge about the way the world works. Each person brings a unique perspective to the table. If we listen and try to understand their perspective, we can apply that perspective to our work to make it better.

Think about it. Say someone wants to improve the design on their website. Who could provide beneficial criticism? Web designers? Regular readers? Casual readers?

Everyone provides a unique perspective.

Furthers Bonding and Trust

If we’re able to give our honest opinion on something, and the other person finds it valuable, we can increase our bonding and trust with that person.

Giving constructive criticism shows the other person that we value his or her work. The result is an increased level of respect between us and the other person.

If we’re lucky enough to have really cool friends that reciprocate coolness, they will provide their valuable perspective to us.

Let’s say that we help our friend out by reviewing his article and improving the spelling and grammar so people can read it easier.

He says, “Wow, that sure is swell. I can’t believe I have such knowledgeable and cool friends willing to help me.”

So when we want to make sure one of our articles is near perfect, we can send it on to our friend and ask him for his honest opinion.

More than likely, he’ll return the favor to help us out.

As Jim Rohn said, “Giving is better than receiving because giving starts the receiving process.”

If we give our valuable perspective, others might be inclined to return the favor.

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Maryland State Board of Education President Dr. Charlene Dukes shown here has demonstrated corrupt leadership and continues “a culture of pay to play” and manipulation.

No Hurt Pride or Resentment

So, when we offer even the slightest disapproval of others or their work without them inviting us to, we are basically asking for them to hate us.

Hans Selye said, “As much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation.”

Constructive criticism is different in that we only give it when we’re invited to give it. We give constructive criticism to people that we know and trust, and the people we are criticizing know our true intentions. We present constructive criticism as a discussion, and that our viewpoint is only one perspective and isn’t necessarily fact.

As well, constructive criticism is more about giving an overall view of things: what’s going well, what could be improved upon, etc.

In return, the people we criticize are thankful that we’ve provided valuable feedback to improve themselves or their work.

Your turn: In what situations do you think constructive criticism could be particularly helpful? How do we avoid people getting angry with us for offering feedback? When is it not appropriate to give criticism?

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