Category Archives: Lilian Lowery

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

Nancy King

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 But the test is considered outdated because it doesn’t test for what students are learning in classrooms this year under the state’s new Common Core education curriculum.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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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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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.

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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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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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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.

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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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Common Core resistance growing in Maryland

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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.

As Maryland moves ahead with school reform and the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, state officials are facing growing resistance among teachers, lawmakers and others who are concerned that too much change is being forced onto schools too soon.

The issue in Maryland has become political. In the next legislative session, House Republicans plan to push for the state to withdraw from the Common Core initiative; and Harford County Executive David R. Craig, a Republican gubernatorial hopeful, has said the Core is too costly and gives too much control over Maryland classrooms to national testing organizations, my colleague John Wagner reported here. >>> Read More

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Call your elected officials now and the media. Demand investigations and intiation 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.

Maryland Senators grill Dr.Lowery…

… and others on Common Core

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Dr. Lillian Lowery Embattled State Superintendent is currently presiding over deep-seated corruption in Maryland school system.

A panel of state lawmakers grilled Maryland’s top school officials Thursday over whether education reforms are being executed too quickly and putting undue  stress on teachers.

Senators on the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee told  state schools Superintendent Lillian M. Lowery that they have been bombarded by  concerns from teachers and parents.

Many, they said, complained about how the state is simultaneously implementing three big programs: a new testing system, new ways to evaluate  teachers and a more rigorous set of education standards known as the Common  Core.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/blog/bs-md-common-core-20131121,0,4256476.story#ixzz2lLVnQLM9

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See and read more>>> Maryland protest on corruption in Education and other matters here

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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