Category Archives: Outrageous BOE Featherbedding

PGCPS finally hears our cry…

….concerning high suspension rates and outlines new disciplinary policy in student handbook to address the concern.

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In Prince George’s County Public school system, there were 15,615 suspensions in the 2011-2012 school year and 13,951 in 2012-2013, a drop of 1,664.

Prince George’s County schools (PGCPS) have a new discipline policy that officials hope will reduce the number of suspensions following our expose in corroboration with Washington post and keep students in school. The PGCPS school district has done a good thing by improving their disciplinary code for students. Enforcing too many days of suspension leads to students falling behind on their homework and many never catch up again. Since many students are punished for misbehavior, in many school districts around the country, this is a good improvement for sure. Zero tolerance should not be a base for disciplinary codes.

According to Washington post, …”The policy, outlined in a handbook recently distributed to the county’s 123,000 students, reduces the number of offenses that could include suspension as a punishment and places a maximum number of days a student can be kept out of class for a specific offense.”… >>Read more Washington post

Many schools across the nation report increases in the use of punitive disciplinary methods (e.g., suspension). As a result, many students on suspension become a problem to our society. The need for these disciplinary practices to address serious student misconduct is undisputed. However, what research has questioned is why some students seem to be suspended more often than others, what effects suspension has on students, and whether or when alternatives to suspension might be more effective practices than suspension itself.

In general, African-American male students are suspended at higher rates than are other racial/ethnic groups. While the reasons for the connection between race and school discipline is not clear, this relation likely occurs because of an interplay among many factors that cut across student-, teacher-, administrative-, policy-, institutional-, and community-level factors. Research suggests that school systems that incorporate comprehensive schoolwide practices that are positive, consistent, collaboratively regulated, and culturally sensitive are much more likely to have lower rates of suspension than schools without such practices. School systems that incorporate such comprehensive proactive policies are also much more likely to enhance their students’ current and future academic achievements as well as their broader life successes.

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We are like farmers. We plant seeds of thought and emotions in our lives. That which we plant will produce effects in which we must live. There can be no effect without a cause. The cause is what we believe, how we act and react to what we experience. The cause lies within us. It is the essence of our being, our spirit. ~ Iyanla Vanzant

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Federal judges rules in favor of 4 Cases.

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Two different federal judges have ruled that a total of four separate discrimination lawsuits against the Prince George’s County Public School System can advance to trial in federal court. The first of these four trials is scheduled for November 2013. Collectively, these four discrimination lawsuits allege violations of the following laws:

•Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – failing to accommodate an employee with a known disability.

•Title VI and Title VII – racial hostile work environment/retaliation.

•Title VII and Title IX – sexual hostile work environment/retaliation.

The four plaintiffs include two white men and two African American women. One lawsuit is demanding $1,000,000 and three lawsuits are demanding $5,000,000. The attorney Bryan A. Chapman who has been handling some of these cases and who was reprimanded by Hon. Judge Peter J. Messitte on several occasions for filing defective complaints, refusal to file rebuttal and other issues has been fired by several clients recently. The said clients decided they will never go to the jury trial with Mr. Chapman for letting their friends down and making false and misleading statements to defeat justice. As indicated, the termination arose from unethical behavior of an attorney who is entrusted to uphold the rule of law and who instead led several cases being dismissed deliberately. According to confirmed reports by several plaintiffs in Federal court, Thatcher law firm and PGCPS legal department played a major role in this corruption and an investigation is warranted to uncover the truth of what happened. “We are not going to rest until the whole truth comes out.” said several former clients who no longer have faith in the Court system. “Everything is so broken down starting with the Prince George’s County District and Circuit Courts and it is not funny anymore.” added another.

Mr. Chapman “far exceeded zealous advocacy and included repeated abuse of the tools of the legal system.” Among some of the rules Mr. Chapman violated were; asserting a position for which there is no non-frivolous basis in law or fact; using means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person; engaging in conduct that was not legitimate advocacy, in a professional capacity, manifesting bias or prejudice based upon race, religion, and disability (mental condition). Mr. Chapman who has a history of unethical litigation practices and disciplinary proceeding in other cases in Washington Dc, the virulent bigotry he has manifested in Federal proceedings in Greenbelt should never be ignored including his lack of any insight into his misconduct.

The school system has a two billion dollar annual budget. The school system also receives hundreds of millions of dollars in federal assistance, so there is no cap on the amount of damages a jury can award in each of the four lawsuits.

One of the four lawsuits alleges that Angelique Simpson-Marcus, the African American principal of Largo High School, called Jon Everhart, a white male English teacher, “white bitch” and “poor white trash”. In the fall of 2007, the principal told Mr. Everhart that she would fire him and take away his teaching certificate as “payback” for a time when white principals mistreated black teachers. Complaints of racial harassment were made to Superintendent William Hite and other school board officials in 2008 and 2009, nonetheless, the racial harassment/retaliation continued until Mr. Everhart was terminated in the summer of 2010. Jon Everhart v. Board of Education of Prince George’s County, 11-cv-1196 (PJM) Others on the way to the jury include Tracy Allison v. Board of Education of Prince George’s County, Ruth Johnson v. Board of Education of Prince George’s County ~> Tracy Allison – Order, jon everhart order and Ruth Johnson)

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Swearing in for New PG BOE Members…

 …New school board takes shape #PGBOE

  Naming of New BOE by CouncilNaming of New BOE Member

Upper Marlboro, MD – The final three appointees to the Prince George’s County Board of Education were announced today by County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III and County Council Chair Andrea C. Harrison, on Monday, June 17, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. These appointments and the subsequent swearing-in were held in the Council Hearing Room of the Prince George’s County Administration Building, in Upper Marlboro, MD. (See ceremony in pictures below)

HB 1107 went into effect on June 1, 2013 and authorized the addition of four appointed members to Prince George’s County Board of Education. The four new members (Dr. Segun Eubanks, Dr. Beverly Anderson, Dr.Daniel Kaufman and Mr. Curtis Valentine) will now work with the current nine elected members– bringing total voting members to fourteen (including the student member). Under the new law, the County Executive appoints three members and the County Council appoints one member to the Board of Education.

County Executive Baker already appointed Dr. Segun Eubanks on June 1, 2013 to serve as Chair of the Board of Education as the first of his three appointments. The law also stipulates that the County Executive’s three appointees must be as such: one with education experience, one with business, finance or higher education experience, and one with management experience. The Council appointee must be a parent with a child currently enrolled in the Prince George’s County Public School System. (Read more)

Union corruption in PGCPS has been the biggest issue beside the Board membership disfunction. If they can fix the union problems and a few things identified in our blogs, everything else will work wonders. (See our Top priorities here). As a movement, we thank the County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, County Council Chair Andrea C. Harrison and the County Council for appointing great leaders. We wish them well in their new assignment.

Naming of New BOE Member

Dr. Daniel Kaufman the new Board of Education Member flagged by his family including his 3 week old baby at the podium

Dr. Beverly Anderson Newly sworn

Dr. Beverly Anderson the new Board of Education Member flagged by our County Executive Mr. Rushern L. Baker, III .

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Mr. Curtis Valentine the new School Board Member with Chair Andrea Harrison and Vice Chair Obie Patterson District 8 .

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Newest Board of Education Members- Dr. Beverly Anderson (Third from left), Dr. Daniel Kaufman (Fourth from left), and Curtis Valentine (Fifth from right) after being Sworn-in with our County Executive Mr. Rushern L. Baker, III (Second from right), County Council Chair Andrea C. Harrison (Center), Councilman Derrick Leon Davis (Far left), Board of Education Chair Dr. Segun Eubanks (Far right), Board of Education Vice Chair Carolyn M. Boston (Third from right), Board of Education Members Amber Waller (Fourth from right), Donna Hathaway Beck (Second from right) and Carletta Fellows, M.A.Ed. (Fifth from left)

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Reform Sasscer Movement for Prince George’s County

“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” ~ Denis Waitley

The PGCPS Audacity to squander:

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OUTRAGE: Principals’ watches, microwave ovens, dinner cruises etc

It has finally come out.  $167,000 of frivolous and unwarranted expenditure in the midst of depravity and there is more.  What gives these vogues the gall to perpetrate such daring and mind boggling unethical acts? Is it something in the PGCPS waters or do they simply take us for morons or simpletons?

These acts of wanton unaccountability have to cease by taking the right actions after identifying the culprits. Enough is enough. What is the justification that PGCPS gets money and what are their motives by buying Gold Watches, jewelry, paraphernalia, what next?  Autographed designer underwear and shapeless bras??

What has come out of this audit confirms what we have been saying all along. Maybe now the honest citizens of PG County will finally wake up and speak out against such flagrant abuse of power and public coffers.  (Read more Washington Examiner ) (NBC News)

Misappropriation of public funds is not, though, the only act of corruption. Corrupt practices are many and varied. Corrupt practices range from misappropriation of public funds and deliberate misuse of public property to demanded enormous tips for favours or for routine services. Racism and discrimination are also corrupt practices which may happen in all aspects of life and have been going on in this PG district for a long time.

More than ever, nations around the world are enacting new laws and cooperating with each other to fight corruption. The change is driven by growing recognition that corruption inhibits economic growth and limits nations’ development potential. Companies like Cisco, Coca cola et al are expected to police their operations to make sure anticorruption laws are observed.

In the wake of the morally dead situation involving various unethical lapses involving several Board members here in Prince George’s county, we must do something to stop the problem. If the Board members were well-trained, they would not have engaged in Outrageous BOE Featherbedding. They could have requested assistance of teachers in their District  as helpers who could provide these services at no additional costs.

This means that all of us need to be aware of the broader regulatory scope and potential risks. The things that count as bribery are more than what you might think. And the rules apply around the world, even in countries where corruption seems deep-seated.

OVERVIEWbribery

Corruption violates the public’s trust, threatens national and international economic and social development, and substantially impedes fair trade. To combat corruption, most, if not all, of the schools with the county, elected representatives must enact anti-corruption laws and regulations.

Pursuant to these laws and regulations, it would be generally a crime to give, pay, or promise “anything of value” in order to influence an act or a decision; obtain, retain, or direct business; or secure an improper advantage of any kind.

PGCPS Internal Anti-Corruption Training

PGCPS must require the following personnel to complete global anti-corruption training:

  • Superintendent of Schools
  • Board of Education Chairperson, vice Chairperson and all the other Board of Education (BOE) members.
  • Senior administrators involved in Management of resources.
  • Legal personnel, except those who do not perform transactional work or provide compliance advice.
  • Principals, Assistant Principals
  • Guidance Counselors
  • Central senior staff involved in directing policy.
  • Employees in sales, marketing, or services organizations who are directly involved in sales transactions with customers or channel partners or distributors who are located outside the United States if any.
  • Employees located outside the United States who are in the sales, marketing, or services organizations if any etc.

PGCPS Partner Anti-Corruption Training

PGCPS also requires our channel partners, distributors, and sales-supporting consultants to complete anti-corruption training. Partners may register and complete this training (This can be developed and downloaded on-line with assistance of project management led by Ms. Lisa Price).

Legal Due Diligence Process

As a part of its process to select and retain the most qualified business partners who share similar values, PGCPS must learn to follow the legal due diligence steps outlined below. “Business partner” here means any PGCPS Board member, reseller, systems integrator, distributor, sales agents, or  sales-supporting consultant, legal representative such Thatcher Law firm  et al.

Step One: Business Partner completes PGCPS’s on-line questionnaire.

Step One: Business Partner partner completes PGCPS’s on-line questionnaire. The process begins with the business partner’s completion of a short (under 30 minutes) on-line questionnaire.

The questionnaire includes a certification that the business partner’s representative has completed PGCPS’s Partner Anti-Corruption Training.

Step Two: PGCPS completes an internal review.

Once the business partner such as Thatcher Law firm has submitted its responses to the on-line questionnaire (including completion of the training), a PGCPS due diligence team will receive notice of the submission and review the partner’s responses. The due diligence team will directly contact the business partner if it has any questions about the partner’s responses or seeks other information.

Separately, PGCPS channel and other business organizations undertake to carefully review the business partner’s business qualifications, certifications, sales, etc., according to PGCPS’s global channel partner program requirements. If the business partner is a distributor, PGCPS’s internal Distribution Review Board will review the partner’s qualifications, etc.

Step Three: PGCPS makes the final determination to bring the business partner onboard or renew its contract.

The last step involves PGCPS’s final determination whether to bring onboard a new partner and/or renew an existing business partner’s contract. If PGCPS elects to go forward with either a new or a renewing business partner, its channel or other business teams will work with the business partner to finalize and execute the appropriate contract.

For some types of contracts or renewals, PGCPS encourages its business partners to accept the contract through an electronic “click to accept” tool as a quick and efficient way to complete the contracting process. Once adopted, the process will eliminate “No bid contract”  debacle as shown by Thatcher law firm fiasco in 2011.

Technology cannot fight corruption. People can.

An online site is not a solution a lone. It is merely a tool. One cannot iterate this statement enough. Technology can empower citizens, raise awareness and pressure authorities. Yet, technology cannot fight corruption; it cannot change cultures, detect problems, propose solutions or amend laws. People can. As we are building online tools, we should remember their raison d’être: they should be part of a broader strategy of engagement and participation.

However, we are hopeful that technology if applied properly in PGCPS will result in systemic change and strengthen transparency and accountability initiatives. With the growing use of IT by the government and all sectors, transparency measures will become embedded in the system.

Citizens need to have a way to hold their government to account and to ensure that the laws on the books to stop corruption are actually enforced. This is particularly true in countries, states and counties where there is endemic corruption like in PG.

Independent oversight by civil society is the best way to check and challenge those who might use entrusted power for personal gain, our definition of corruption.

Civil society functions are the eyes and ears of citizens and PG County NAACP among others needs to stay active to make the local government and Unions accountable.

The PGCPS status quo of continuous unabated corruption, conmanship, gerrymandering and professional misconduct involving the Sasscer adminstation with the support of the unions and other conspirators etc is not the answer!

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Washington Post Presents…

State of Education in Prince George’s County Town Hall

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What kind of school superintendent does Prince George’s County need right now? What will be the results of this spring’s dramatic change in which County Executive Rushern Baker will select the superintendent and the chairman and vice chairman of an expanded Board of Education? Join The Washington Post for a discussion of these and other hot-button school issues in Prince George’s during the second installment in a three-part Behind the Headlines discussion series on the state of education in the Washington area. The series launched in the District on April 24 at The Post and will conclude on September 18 at Fairfax High School in Fairfax County, Va. 

Robert McCartney, Columnist and Former Assistant Managing Editor, The Washington Post will moderate the forum.  The panel will include Del. Jolene Ivey (D), Chair, Prince George’s House Delegation, Maryland General Assembly; Verjeana M. Jacobs, Chair, Prince George’s County Board of Education; Earnest L. Moore, President, Prince George’s County PTA Council; Christian Rhodes, Education Policy Adviser, Office of the Prince George’s County Executive; and Ovetta Wiggins, Prince George’s Education Reporter, The Washington Post. 

Date:  Thursday, May 23 
Time:  6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m. 
Location: Prince George’s Community College 
                 Largo Student Center – Community Rooms A, B, C 
                 301 Largo Road, Upper Marlboro, MD  20774 
                 Free parking will be available. 

Admission: FREE (Seating is limited, so please arrive early)                                           
                                                               
To RSVP and submit a question for the panel, please e-mail behindtheheadlines@washpost.com.  All questions and RSVP’s must be submitted byThursday, May 23 at Noon. 

Go to www.washingtonpost/education for the latest coverage and analysis of schools, home school and education policy for DC, Maryland and Virginia.

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Outrageous BOE Featherbedding of $2 million @Sasscer

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OUTRAGEOUS!!

It appears like the current Board led by verjeana Jacobs has dropped another bomb shell by continuing to act like a Mafia staffing the court in its waning days. (Read more) (More)  This is the blatant abuse of Board power and a continuation of the epicenter. For the last several months, we have been warning about this board’s unethical and unabashed wayward behavior.

The actions of the Verjeana Jacobs led board prove our point that something needs to change urgently.

This same Board of education (BOE) cut media specialist positions and reading recovery positions 2 years ago. They still refuse attempts to provide a full-time art teacher to all schools. They allow an eighth grade Algebra class to have 43 students, and Kindergarten and 1st grade classes with 30 students.Embezzlement~~element61

The BOE members featherbedding of $2 million is a daring move right in the middle of a recession, layoffs and furloughs in the county. These egocentric and selfish actions confirm everything we have been saying in our blogs. They have been taking away from innocent kids while pretending to help them.
The elected school board needs to be dissolved in our view. It is loaded with crooks, schemers and some who are not so educated led by Ms. Jacobs, who is the worst of the bunch and taking advantage of the situation. Admiration to Ms. Donna Hathaway Beck (District 9) for standing firm and Ms. Carletta Fellows, M.A.Ed. (District 7) for keeping away from this unethical practice.

There is No smoke without fire and now this is even a major reason to support Baker: Their so-called $7000 in travels voucher and petty cash needs to be confiscated.  It’s an abuse not only here in PGCPS but has been abused elsewhere.  Let them bring receipts for a refund. Reform Sasscer Movement believes that Ms. Carletta Fellows tribulations was a set up by Ms. Jacobs in order to way lay her in the upcoming expanded BOE.

We are clearly outraged. How in the world does an outgoing board have the audacity to appoint not one but fifteen (15) strategic employees (lobbyists)? What is their motivation? Surely, they are not doing this to decrease the unemployment rate! There is nothing benevolent or philanthropic about this board’s action. The citizens of PG County should rise and demand that these appointments be annulled.

This is not a board game of checkers considering the budget constraints. The least the board could do is act responsibly and return the money.

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