Category Archives: Morally dead situation

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.

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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 Youth earn diploma in a day!

… in Philadelphia under suspicious circumstances

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A recent article, “Baltimore  foster care youths get diploma in a day in Philadelphia,” Nov. 23) describing the referral of youths in foster care to a high school diploma program in Pennsylvania, highlights one of the glaring  deficiencies in Maryland’s educational programs — the lack of educational  options for students in high school. While Maryland may have the “highest ranking  school system” in the nation, its one-size-fits all approach to educating high school students leaves many of our most at-risk students without reasonable options for securing a high school diploma.

In the case of older teens living in foster care, many of them have attended  many different schools in multiple school systems. Because they lack a  consistent education, they fail to earn credit in courses they are otherwise  capable of passing. At 18 years of age, many of them still need 2-3 years of  schooling to meet Maryland graduation requirements. Many other teens placed at risk because of poverty, unmet mental health needs or educational disabilities,  face similar challenges.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-foster-care-diplomas-20131123,0,6270528.story

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OPINION

In PGCPS District, there are still problems involving homeless youth and the issues are not always addressed properly. Read more >>> PGCPS Mess

 If you want a more effective, and less corrupt, School Board, citizen needs to get involved in our political system.

We need great candidates to run in 2014. We need to financially invest in them and make a change. We need to knock on doors for them. We need to wake the sleeping electorate and help them understand that without their informed vote, partnership with schools, and protection of their significant taxpayer investment in the public schools, it hurts all of us. An underperforming school system run under corruption and lack of transparency consistently hurts the image of the county and Maryland as a State. It limits our ability to attract good economic development and it is a drain in our purses. Poor education of our youth leads to limited professional opportunities and increased crime. We are all hurt by those outcomes. As many of you know, many children do not attend the public schools because of fear of crime.  Many parents in Maryland and in Prince George’s County in particular are still waiting for the schools to get better, and at this point prefer a faith-based private schools for their children. However, we strongly believe in the value of high-quality public schools, and know we cannot move forward as a county and State without making sure that we have this problem solved first. That is a challenge we must all own and collectively tackle together, and until we do that, there’s not going to be significant achievement on any other front. Corruption as a way of life here in Maryland must be eliminated.

Political corruption is the use of power by government officials for illegitimate private gain. An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties, is done under color of law or involves trading in influence.

Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement. Corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking, though is not restricted to these activities. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by private persons or corporations not directly involved with the government.

The activities that constitute illegal corruption differ depending on the country or jurisdiction. For instance, some political funding practices that are legal in one place may be illegal in another. In some cases, government officials have broad or ill-defined powers, which make it difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal actions. Worldwide, bribery alone is estimated to involve over 1 trillion US dollars annually. A state of unrestrained political corruption is known as a kleptocracy, literally meaning “rule by thieves”.

Some forms of corruption – now called “institutional corruption”– are distinguished from bribery and other kinds of obvious personal gain. Campaign contributions are the prime example. Even when they are legal, and do not constitute a quid pro quo, they have a tendency to bias the process in favor of special interests and undermine public confidence in the political institution. They corrupt the institution without individual members being corrupt themselves. A similar problem of corruption arises in any institution that depends on financial support from people who have interests that may conflict with the primary purpose of the institution.

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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.

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Prince George’s BOE seat continues to remain vacant

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It took Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) less than a month to select Lyn Mundey to fill the school board seat vacated by Carletta Fellows (District 7) earlier this year.

After Donna Hathaway-Beck (District 9) resigned in late August, Baker quickly started accepting applications. Christian Rhodes, his education adviser, said at the time that the county executive planned to make an appointment by the end of September.

Three months later, the seat remains empty.

Baker has appointed four members on the 14-member board, which includes a student member.

Filling Hathaway-Beck’s seat would help Baker, who earlier this year sought a complete takeover of the school system, solidify his influence over the board.

So why has it taken so long for him to make the appointment? >>> Read More Washington Post

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Teacher slams scripted Common Core lessons…

…that must be taught ‘word for word’

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A public school teacher in Delaware wrote the following moving piece but asked not to be identified out of fear of retaliation. It explains what is happening to many teachers who are being given scripted lessons  aligned to the Common Core State Standards by their principals and district superintendents.  Note that this teacher is not opposed to standards. It’s an important point, as critics of the Common Core’s implementation in many school districts have been accused of being opposed to standards and wanting to keep the “status quo.”

Here is the teacher’s piece: >>> Read More Washington Post >>> See video  >>> Read the Blaze >> TheBlaze

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OPINION

Here in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), Common Core lessons are being pushed down the throats of educators without proper consultations and preparations. Many teachers are actually saying– they are being asked to teach a curriculum that is incomplete, using materials that are not age or reading-level appropriate and are being “encouraged” to fill in the gaps—while they run a classroom.  It’s important to remember that, the teachers’ evaluations in 2014 will be based upon the MSA test scores from this coming March (2014). The MSA test does not match the new common core curriculum. It would be like studying history of France then having to take a test on the history of the US.

Rather than rush the process, Teachers need at least 2-3 years to adapt to the new standards, align new curricula with these standards, and then the state can give the new assessments that align with the Common Core standards. These rushed scenarios are wrong and completely inappropriate.

It’s important to note that,  when CEO Kevin Maxwell heard of a grievance having been filed in Baltimore County Public Schools by the union there, He quickly emailed the attached document to circumvent any possibility of unfair treatment of the PG County educators by the PGCPS Management; In our own considered opinion, we have reviewed the documentation submitted and we have detected numerous prima facie anomalies in the process contrary to laws of the land.

Rather than work with people, changes which we advocated for are not being done and problems are being covered up. Clearly, this is not the Prince George’s County which is in harmony with itself. Everyone in PGCPS District knows the unions are in bed with the management.  (Read more) So why did CEO Maxwell make it so obvious by summoning Mr. Kenneth Haines who is leaving at the end of his term in 2014 and is term limited? Below is the questionable letter.

The superintendent and head of PGCEA sent this to teachers on Monday:

TO: All Teachers

FROM: Kevin M Maxwell, Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer
November 25, 2013
Kevin M. Maxwell, Ph.D
Chief Executive Officer
MEMORANDUM 
Kenneth Haines, President
Prince George’s County Educators’ Association (PGCEA)

RE: Teacher Evaluations 

First, I would like to personally thank each one of you for the immeasurable effort you put into educating the children in our district each and every day; it is both appreciated and important. I would also like to thank PGCEA for their support and collaboration in creating the new teacher evaluation process. Thus Mr. Kenneth Haines, PGCEA President, joins me in sending out this memorandum. The purpose of this communication is to clarify the professional practice component of the new evaluation process and provide the new forms that will be used for teacher evaluations.

In our new teacher evaluation model a large portion of all teachers’ professional practice rating will be based on the formal Framework for Teaching observations. A smaller portion of the professional practice rating will be based on data from two other multiple measures:
· A student perception survey based on a teacher’s classroom environment
· Component 4E in Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument on professional growth
The data provided from these sources will provide valuable information to support a teacher’s professional growth.
Attached to this document are copies of the new interim and final evaluation instruments. Please review these documents carefully. They will be utilized for interim evaluations for select teachers, and final evaluations for all on-cycle professional practice teachers being evaluated using student growth during the 2013-2014 school year.

It is important to note that both Ken and I recognize the enormous magnitude of this change not only for Prince George’s County but for the entire state. Our joint commitment between our organizations is to continue to review our work, each and every document and process, to ensure validity and reliability. If changes or adjustments need to be made along the way we will not hesitate to review those concerns mutually to ensure that we have developed the best possible model.

As a final note, we know you may have questions related to the new evaluation model and its implementation. Comprehensive information regarding evaluations is available in the new Teacher Evaluation Handbook which, along with other valuable information, is posted on the Staff and Educator Effectiveness Delivering Student Success (SEEDS) website at http://www1.pgcps.org/seeds/. In addition, you can email questions directly to the Employee Performance and Evaluation Office at teacher.evaluation@pgcps.org. Again I would like to personally thank you for your dedication to our students, and your efforts on their behalf.

KMM: whr Attachments
cc: Monique Davis, Ed.D
Mr. Robert J. Gaskin
Mr. William H. Ryan Associate Superintendents Instructional Directors School-Based Administrators

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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.

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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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.

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.

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.

Figure 3

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.

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.

Md. says it will include more special ed students…

…in national test

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

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

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

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

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

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.