Category Archives: PGCPS

Happy Holidays!

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We all wish you a
happy holiday season
our sincere thanks for
your goodwill and loyalty
throughout the past year
we look forward to meeting you and being of greater service next year!

cheers!

~ Reform Sasscer Movement for Prince George’s County ~

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happy_holidays

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Baker fills vacant seat on Pr. George’s Board of Education

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Ms. Sonya Williams – New Board of Education Member District 9

Upper Marlboro, MD – Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III announced that Sonya Williams has been appointed to serve on the Prince George’s County Board of Education to represent District 9.  Ms. Williams will fill the District 9 vacancy on the Board of Education created by the resignation of former School Board Member Donna Hathaway Beck.

“Ms. Williams will be a great addition to the Board of Education.  We had a strong pool of candidates to choose from and Ms. Williams certainly brings a set of unique skills that will serve our children and the school system well,” said County Executive Baker.  “I was impressed with her innovative ideas to get more parents involved in their children’s education and her commitment to making our schools overall the best they can be.  Her experience as a parent, as President of the Gwynn Park Parent Teachers and Students Association (PTSA), and her skill with development and management of complex projects will be a tremendous asset to the Board.”

Maryland House of Delegates Bill 1107 charges the County Executive with appointing a member to the Board of Education whenever a vacancy occurs. Although the law does not require it, County Executive Baker conducted an open search to fill this vacancy and provided residents of District 9 with an opportunity to apply for the position. Since this vacancy was created as a result of an elected board member leaving office, the County Executive’s appointee must be a resident of District 9.

Ms. Williams is the second appointee to replace an elected Board of Education member under the new education reform law in Prince George’s County.  The County Executive previously appointed Lyn Mundey to the District 7 vacancy in September of this year. >>> Read More Washington post

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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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12 Ways to spot Ineffective Leader.

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It’s important to realize that just because someone is in a leadership position, doesn’t necessarily mean they should be. Let us 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 the text that follows, we will address how to spot ineffective leaders pointing out a few things that should be obvious, but apparently aren’t:

  1. Poor Character: 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…
  2. 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.
  3. Poor Communication Skills: 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.
  4. Self-Serving Nature: 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 over abundance of ego, pride, and arrogance are not positive leadership traits. Long story short; if a leader receives a vote of non-confidence from their subordinates…game over.
  5. One Size Fits All Leadership Style: Great 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.
  6. Lack of Focus and Follow-Through: 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 do not possess a bias toward action, or who cannot deliver on their obligations will not be successful. Leadership is about performance…Intentions must be aligned with results for leaders to be effective.
  7. Not Forward Looking: No vision equals no leadership. Leaders satisfied with the status quo, or 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.
  8. Disconnected from the Market: 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 customer satisfaction and loyalty. They find ways to consistently engage them 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.
  9. Not Invested: Leaders are fully committed to investing in those they lead. They 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.
  10. Not Accountable: 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. we have always said that leaders not accountable to their people will eventually be held accountable by their people.
  11. Not Focused: 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.
  12. Lacking Vision: 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.

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 up and coming 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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Roadmap-Forbes

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!!

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In our opinion, We aver and therefore believe Maryland State Board of Education President Dr. Charlene Dukes shown here has demonstrated a culture of corrupt leadership style and continues “an integrated pattern of pay to play” and manipulation during her tenure. Both leaders need to resign to create room for new leadership.

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Dr. Lillian Lowery Embattled State Superintendent is currently presiding over deep-seated corruption in Maryland school system. She has demonstrated a culture of discrimination and racism while on the job.

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

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

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

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OPINION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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In our opinion, We aver and therefore believe Maryland State Board of Education President Dr. Charlene Dukes shown here has demonstrated a culture of corrupt leadership style and continues “an integrated pattern of pay to play” and manipulation during her tenure. Both leaders need to resign to create room for new leadership.

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Dr. Lillian Lowery Embattled State Superintendent is currently presiding over deep-seated corruption in Maryland school system. She has demonstrated a culture of discrimination and racism while on the job.

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

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

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

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Md. 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.