Category Archives: Lawlessness

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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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 – Part II.

Dance quits consulting job with company doing business with school system
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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.

In an email Saturday to school board members, Dance said he had called the  Illinois- based SUPES Academy and told them that he would no longer coach  Chicago public school principals.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/sun-investigates/bs-md-dance-second-job-20131214,0,3238787.story#ixzz2nV4pkKBQ

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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!!

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.

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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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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!!

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.

0

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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15 Ways To Identify Bad Leaders

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It’s important to realize that just because someone holds a position of leadership, doesn’t necessarily mean they should. Put another way, not all leaders are created equal. The problem many organizations are suffering from is a recognition problem – they can’t seem to recognize good leaders from bad ones. In today’s column  we will address how to identify bad leaders by pointing out a few things that should be obvious, but apparently aren’t.

1. Leaders who can’t see it, probably won’t find it: Leaders without vision will fail. Leaders who lack vision cannot inspire teams, motivate performance, or create sustainable value. Poor vision, tunnel vision, vision that is fickle, or a non-existent vision will cause leaders to fail. A leader’s job is to align the organization around a clear and achievable vision. This cannot occur when the blind lead the blind.

2. When leaders fail to lead themselves: A leader who lacks character or integrity will not endure the test of time. It doesn’t matter how intelligent, affable, persuasive, or savvy a person is, if they are prone to rationalizing unethical behavior based upon current or future needs, they will eventually fall prey to their own undoing. Optics over ethics is not a formula for success.

3. Put-up or shut-up: Nothing smacks of poor leadership like a lack of performance. Nobody is perfect, but leaders who consistently fail are not leaders, no matter how much you wish they were. While past performance is not always a certain indicator of future events, a long-term track record of success should not be taken lightly. Someone who has consistently experienced success in leadership roles has a much better chance of success than someone who has not. It’s important to remember unproven leaders come with a high risk premium. Smart companies recognize potential, but they reward performance.

4. Beware the know-it-all: The best leaders are acutely aware of how much they don’t know. They have no need to be the smartest person in the room, but have the unyielding desire to learn from others. I’ve often said, leaders who are not growing cannot lead a growing enterprise. One of the hallmarks of great leaders is their insatiable curiosity. If a leader isn’t extremely curious about every aspect of their organization, trust me when I say there are huge problems on the horizon.

5. When there’s a failure to communicate: When leaders are constantly flummoxed by those who don’t seem to get it, there exists both a leadership and communications problem. Show me a leader with poor communication skills and I’ll show you someone who will be short-lived in their position. Great leaders can communicate effectively across mediums, constituencies, and environments. They are active listeners, fluid thinkers, and know when to dial it up, down, or off.

6. It’s all about them: If a leader doesn’t understand the concept of “service above self” they will not engender the trust, confidence, and loyalty of those they lead. Any leader is only as good as his or her team’s desire to be led by them. An overabundance of ego, pride, and arrogance are not positive leadership traits. Real leaders take the blame and give the credit – not the other way around. Long story short; if a leader receives a vote of non-confidence from their subordinates…game over.

7. Sing a little Kumbaya: While love and leadership are certainly two words you don’t often hear in the same sentence, We can assure you that rarely does great leadership exist without love being present and practiced. In fact, if you examine failed leaders as a class, you’ll find that a lack of love, misplaced love, or misguided love were a contributing cause of said failures, if not the root cause. Empathy, humility and kindness are signs of leadership strength – not weakness.

8. One size fits all leadership style: The best leaders are fluid and flexible in their approach. They understand the power of, and necessity for contextual leadership. “My way or the highway” leadership styles don’t play well in today’s world, will result in a fractured culture, and ultimately a non-productive organization. Only those leaders who can quickly recognize and adapt their methods to the situation at hand will be successful over the long haul. Think open-source not proprietary, surrender not control, and collaborate not dictate.

9. Lack of focus: Leadership is less about balance and more about priority. The best leaders are ruthless in their pursuit of focus. Those leaders who lack the focus and attention to detail needed to apply leverage and resources in an aggressive and committed fashion will perish. Leaders who are not intentional and are not focused, will fail themselves and their team. Leaders who lack discipline will model the wrong behaviors and will inevitably spread themselves too thin. Organizations are at the greatest risk when leaders lose their focus. Intentions must be aligned with results for leaders to be effective.

10. Death by comfort zone: The best organizations beat their competition to the future, and the best leaders understand how to pull the future forward. Leaders satisfied with the status quo, or those who tend to be more concerned about survival than growth won’t do well over the long-run. The best leaders are focused on leading change and innovation to keep their organizations fresh, dynamic and growing. Bottom line – leaders who build a static business doom themselves to failure.

11. Not paying attention to the consumer: Leaders not attuned to the needs of the market will fail. As the old saying goes, if you’re not taking care of your customers, someone else will be more than happy to. Successful leaders focus on the consumer experience, which in turn leads to satisfaction and loyalty. The best leaders find ways to consistently engage the consumer and incorporate them into their innovation and planning initiatives. If you ignore, mistreat, or otherwise don’t value your customer base, your days as a leader are most certainly numbered.

12. Get Invested: Leaders not fully committed to investing in those they lead will fail. The best leaders support their team, build into their team, mentor and coach their team, and they truly care for their team. A leader not fully invested in their team won’t have a team – at least not an effective one. Never forget the old saying, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care – words to live by for leaders.

13. The “A” word: Real leaders are accountable. They don’t blame others, don’t claim credit for the success of their team, but always accept responsibility for failures that occur on their watch. Most of all, leaders are accountable to their team. I’ve always said that leaders not accountable to their people will eventually be held accountable by their people.

14. It’s the culture stupid: The lesson here is that culture matters – forget this and all other efforts with regard to talent initiatives will be dysfunctional, if not altogether lost. Don’t allow your culture to evolve by default, create it by design. The first step in cultural design is to be very, very careful who you let through the front door. People, their traits, attitudes, and work ethic (or lack thereof) are contagions. This can be positive or negative – the choice is yours. The old saying, “talent begets talent” is true, but talent that aligns with culture will produce better results than talent that does not.

15. Show some chutzpa: Leadership absent courage is a farce. We are not referring to arrogance or bravado, but real courage. It takes courage to break from the norm, challenge the status quo, seek new opportunities, cut your losses, make the tough decision, listen rather than speak, admit your faults, forgive the faults of others, not allow failure to dampen your spirit, stand for those not capable of standing for themselves, and to remain true to your core values. You can do none of these things without courage. Courage is having the strength of conviction to do the right thing when it would just be easier to do things right.

The moral of this story is leaders need to be honest, have a demonstrated track record of success, be excellent communicators, place an emphasis on serving those they lead, be fluid in approach, have laser focus, and a bias toward action. If these traits are not possessed by your current leadership team, or your emerging leaders, you will be in for a rocky road ahead…

Which of these traits stand out to you? Do you have any other signs of ineffective leaders worthy of mention? Leave a comment and share your insights with others…

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Update: Crossland High student fatally shot

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(Courtesy of the Johnson family) – Brandon R. Johnson

When Brandon Ramone Johnson’s friends and family light candles Sunday for his 18th birthday, they won’t go on a cake. Instead, the candles will be lit at a vigil memorializing the Crossland High School student, who was found fatally shot in a parking lot over the weekend in Prince George’s County.

Patrol officers found Johnson after they were called to a parking lot on Suitland Road at about 3:15 a.m Saturday, police said. He was declared dead at the scene. >>> Read more Washington Post  >>>  WJLA >>> Gazzette

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Prince George’s delegate proposes bill that would strip BOE of credit cards

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Maryland Legislature

A state bill that would prohibit Prince George’s County Board of Education from issuing credit cards to its members is being proposed by a freshman delegate.

The proposal comes months after the board stripped former school board member Carletta Fellows of her credit card after she used the district-issued card to pay hundreds of dollars in utility bills.

Del. Alonzo Washington (D-Prince George’s), who is seeking reelection, said he decided to offer the bill after hearing from his constituents about improving government oversight.

“I’m not looking at anything in the past, I’m just looking toward the future,” he said. “This is about transparency and accountability.”

Under the bill, credit cards would no longer be issued to board members after July 1, 2015.

Washington said the bill would put the school board members on the same footing as county council members.

County council members lost their county-issued credit cards several years ago after a Washington Post article revealed that some members were using the cards for personal expense, including clothing and prescription drugs, a violation of county policy. >>> Read More Washington Post

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Del. Alonzo Washington (D-Prince George’s)

OPINION

The Maryland legislature and Prince George’s County Board of Education should rewrite the policy to resemble private sector, common sense, guidelines and take away the credit cards.  If the person holding the card is responsible for paying the bill and then submitting an expense report, the chances of mistakes or abuse is virtually eliminated.

Credit card misuse has been on the rise not only in Prince George’s County but around the country. For Example one of the finalist selected by PGCPS Board members had his credit card taken away recently. (Read more) And in Atlanta, School board member confessed to misuse of credit card (Read more). In  Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative School District, Superintendent Trevor Ebel resigned after an auditor’s report found district credit cards were used to purchase thousands of dollars worth of restaurant meals, alcohol and expensive hotel rooms at out-of-state conferences. (Read more)

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Crossland HS student fatally shot in Pr. George’s Saturday

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Prince George’s County police have identified the person found dead in a parking lot in Suitland over the weekend as a 17-year-old freshman from Crossland High School.

Patrol officers found Brandon Ramone Johnson after answering a welfare check at about 3:15 a.m. Saturday in the 4900 block of Suitland Road, police said. They found Johnson suffering from a gunshot wound when they arrived and declared him dead at the scene.

Detectives were not able to identify Johnson until Sunday because he didn’t have identification on him, said Lt. William Alexander, a spokesman for the Prince George’s police.

Police detectives are working to determine suspects and motives, but do have leads they’re investigating, Alexander said.

Police say anyone with information should call 1-866-411-TIPS.

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Baltimore Teachers tell Dance they are frustrated…

… by Common Core, other reforms

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Baltimore County teachers at a town hall meeting Thursday night told  Superintendent Dallas Dance they are desperately trying to keep up with the fast  pace of state-mandated educational changes that have brought them more work and  much frustration.

Teachers, some in tears and some angry, said the first year of the county’s  introduction of its new curriculum tied to the Common Core had significant  problems that have yet to be addressed. More than 100 teachers attended the  forum, the first Dance has held with teachers.

Vicki Charikofsky, a Millbrook Elementary School teacher, said she is an  experienced teacher who had mentored colleagues but that she was having  difficulty with the workload.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/blog/bs-md-co-teacher-town-hall-20131205,0,3602063.story#ixzz2mgvtBaoV

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In Prince George’s County, please read Opinion concerning Common Core directives issued by CEO Maxwell recently. Click here >>> OPINION

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.

0

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 has far to go in testing…

…and teaching special education students

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Excluding children with disabilities from assessments artificially inflates  state rankings and reveals instruction issues

The Baltimore Sun gets high marks for uncovering the shameful fact that  Maryland ranks first nationally in improperly excluding  students with disabilities from taking the leading national test of reading  ability (“Md. excluded large number of special-education students in national  test,” Nov. 16). These exclusions inflate the state’s test scores. They also  deflate Maryland’s reputation as the No. 1 education state as ranked by  Education Week.

The exclusions help to reveal how certain practices ruin many, if not most,  chances that students with disabilities have for academic success. But they are  only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the lack of understanding — not  just about testing but about overall instruction of students with  disabilities.

Maryland has excluded so many students mainly because, under the rules  governing the test (known as the National Assessment of Academic Progress),  students with disabilities cannot have the test questions read aloud to them.  Without this “read-aloud accommodation,” as it’s known under federal law, many  students with disabilities would fail the test, lowering Maryland’s national  ranking.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/bs-ed-special-ed-20131205,0,3427384.story#ixzz2mgmn5mpS

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OPINION

  • Here is Prince George’s County we must emphasize that, real improvements in a school system like ours take time and hard work. Miraculous sudden improvements in student achievement reported today by Washington Post, when there were so many problems last year is likely the result of outright fraud or a rigged evaluation system designed to produce desired results.>>>> (Read More Washington Post )
  • We must demand election reform. We must move away from a system that enables elected officials here in Maryland  and party insiders to ensure that their preferred candidates always win down ballot races, such as elections for Board of Education members. Slates formed by incumbent elected officials and their “sample ballots” must go.  We deserve to have real elections where all candidates must sink or swim based on their own merits.

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.

0

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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