Category Archives: Prince George’s County Chapter

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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State Super has Md parent arrested…

… at Common Core forumparent, parent becomes cause celebre.

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Last week in Maryland a parent was arrested and charged with second degree assault on a police officer after speaking out at a town hall meeting organized by the local education board and Maryland State Superintendent Dr. Lillian M. Lowery.  Like most town hall forums, this meeting was a sham, where the officials would only answer pre-selected, politically correct answers that they approved of. Questions from the audience of about 160 people, which consisted of parents, PTA members, teachers, and school administrators, were submitted on cards prior to and during the 1-1/2 hour meeting for the Q&A period which lasted about 40 minutes.

The meeting was about a new style of curriculum that is being implemented at public schools called “common core”.  Many critics have accused this new curriculum of dumbing down the material, which would go along with the progression that we have seen over the past several generations.

Robert Small, age 46, was one of the only parents with the courage to speak up, despite the fact that many other parents cheered him on.

“Look, I am being manhandled and shut down because I asked inconvenient questions,” Small said. “Why won’t they allow an open forum where there can be a debate? We are told to sit there and be lectured to about how great common core is.”

As he was being taken out, Small said, We’re sick of this. This is not a CNN political game. This is a public town hall… Listen, don’t stand for this. You’re sitting here like cattle. You have questions.  Confront them.They don’t want to do it in public….Parents, you need to question these people….Do the research,.Then he said, “Is this America?”  Research on common core can be found >>here<<

Mr. Small was arrested after being removed from the auditorium and charged with second degree assault of a police officer and a second charge of disrupting a school function.

The video clearly shows that, if anyone was aggressive, it was the security guard, not Mr. Small. What may have happened out in the hall however, is unknown.

In the second video clip (click here), you can hear multiple parents call out how their question was not read and they were ignored.

There will be one more out of four Common Core meetings hosted by county school boards in Maryland.  This one is on October 1 in Prince George’s County.  Click here for more info.

ANALYSIS

Proponents of the standards are still struggling to explain the initiative to parents, many of whom say they’ve never even heard of Common Core.  Arguments for and against the new standards have had little impact on public opinion because, according to a Gallup survey of public schools, 62 percent of Americans have never heard of the Common Core. With the debate now shifting to the alignment of high-stakes tests to the Common Core Standards, people on both sides of the issue agree that the battle for the hearts and minds of parents will be crucial.

As you have seen in the video the questioning from Mr. Small was for the better of the community. However, he was cut short and forcefully removed plus charged with criminal offense. There was no need for leadership to act that way. The Maryland State Board of Education (MSBE) is out of control and it is accountable to no one in the State.  What has really gotten stuck in our craws most has been the imperial, patronizing manner in which the Maryland State Board of Education (MSBE) leadership has been conducting its business. Superintendent Lillian M. Lowery arrived more than one (1) year ago spouting transparency and community engagement, but what we’ve mostly gotten has been something far less. Maryland State Board of Education (MSBE) President Dr. Charlene Dukes and the MSBE set the stage by surreptitiously hiring full time staff members to lobby the state Legislature to increase the power of the MSBE to impose working conditions to cover their own diabolical acts because they are not elected but selected. So far they have succeeded and this trend must be reversed.

The MSBE and President Charlene Duke’s leadership and their cohorts are like a junta ruling by fiat, disconnected from the community denizens. They are not elected by anyone and aren’t fooling everybody with their placating, after-the-fact patchwork rationales that diametrically contradict their own actions. The only transparency that has come to light is that they think that teachers, parents and the public are that gullible, or just not as smart as a third-grader. In the process, they appear disingenuous and are only losing credibility and fomenting distrust.

The person who should have been charged in the above video was the security guard. He had no right to be pushing the speaker. Also, he was getting in his face like a typical thug who wanted to fight. The parents whose rights are violated like this should take a stand and sue them for violating the law. If we do not start standing up to these people, they will assume more and more power. Tax payer dollars made that meeting public. People can leave if they are bothered by his questions.

The hearings have been taking place been between 7pm- 8:30pm as indicated below in the past schedule. A word of  caution though, the meetings may not be teacher-friendly, but we certainly hope for the presence of retired teachers and other professionals to turn out in the last meeting on October 1, 2013.

If you want change to happen, stay engaged with the Maryland State Board of Education system and ask tough questions. Elected officials definitely needs to get involved and demand changes concerning transparency and accountability initiatives in the State level. As seen here in Prince George’s County, corruption is the order of the day in the State level and involves money meant to help the children but has been directed elsewhere. Maryland State Board of Education is the mother ship of corruption and discrimination. Parents and Elected officials must create accountability mechanism and demand tough changes to roll back the trend. For those who missed their chance, the October 1, 2013 meeting at Charles H. Flowers High School in Prince George’s County is the last one, here has been the schedule:

Easton High School in Talbot County on Sept. 10.

Forums will also be held  Sept. 16 at South Hagerstown High School in Washington County

Sept. 19 at Ridge Ruxton School in Baltimore County.

The final discussion will be held for the Washington DC region on October 1, 2013 at Charles H. Flowers High School in Prince George’s County.

Read more >> Examiner >> Washington post

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Dr. Lillian M. Lowery Maryland State Superintendent  of schools has shown very poor leadership skills and received an F grade for Common Core meetings so far.

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Pr. George’s school leaders…

…need to keep faith with parents

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Pr. George’s school leaders

By Keith Harriston, Friday, September 20, 11:29 AM

Here’s some unsolicited advice for the Prince George’s public schools chief executive, Kevin Maxwell: Let those who work for you in central administration know that misleading parents is bad policy.These days, parents with children at Judith Hoyer Montessori think that deception is school policy. (For transparency: I have a child at the school.) Why?

In late 2011 and early 2012, the school district held public meetings to discuss new school boundaries. The plan included moving Judith Hoyer to the former Oakcrest Elementary building about four miles away. Such a move to a larger facility, officials told Judith Hoyer parents, would allow the school to expand to include grades seven and eight. That would leave families in central Prince George’s with a full kindergarten-through-eighth grade Montessori program and put them on equal footing with public school Montessori programs that serve families in northern and southern Prince George’s. >>> Read More Washington Post

ANALYSIS

Traditional liberal concepts of democracy and citizenship rely on an informed citizenry to hold governments accountable. If they do not contribute fully because of their disappointment with government failings, and as a result withdraw from the political and democratic processes, some Politians might like it. When citizens withdraw, it is not the politicians that suffer but rather the people and their fellow citizens that do. While politicians might play the political game merely to win an election, this does great harm to their communities and nations all over the world. In this case, this how former county Executive Jack Johnson  was able to pull off through a reign of terror for many years without accountability. We should never let such a scenario revisit itself  here in this county. On this note, we applaud the parents of Judith Hoyer Montessori for demanding transparency. Parents in the other schools should do the same thing. This is the only way to keep the leadership in check.

“Winning elections only matters if the governing that follows progresses the county and the nation. The nation only progresses where citizens as a group are better off after the elections than before.”

Whether citizens are better off or not, it is a matter of judgment on the part of citizens and not necessarily what political factions assert. In the end, in an open democracy, the wisdom of the citizenry wins out.

We believe trust in government will not be restored by what citizens expect but by what they inspect within their local governments. There is a great need for politicians, at both the national and local levels and especially here in Prince George’s County, to be forced to submit themselves to greater inspection, scrutiny and accountability.

Politicians, should be scrutinized both before and after they are elected. Parents needs to get involved with parent teacher Associations (PTA) in their neighborhood schools.  They need to subject their leaders to rigorous scrutiny as to their thoughts about governing and their conduct in the governing process. The issue is to get at the heart of their policy content, intent and execution.

Only an alert, attentive and active citizenry can ensure this level of inspection. It is much to ask of people caught up in their everyday lives and the burdens of making ends meet, but when politics matters to the quality of everyday life, then involvement is mandatory.

While an active change in governing structure is important, the media cannot do it alone:  “It is not enough to leave the media to this inspection alone.  The media must play its rightful role, but an active media and active citizenry can make for a powerful inspection mechanism for politicians. If you want to make an inept politician shake, tell him or her that both the press and his constituents are demanding to speak with him or her and have some tough questions to ask.”

Sleeping voters and a passive media are an ill-intentioned politician’s dream.

As articulated before, Mr. Rushern Baker’s biggest test is creating a smooth transition within the schools, but if he wants to pass this test, he must persuade every single PG County citizen that he has sincere intentions that transcend his own political interest, for the wellbeing of the County to include other groups into the change management with the New CEO.

If PG County is to attain its aspirations for modernity, its politicians must see value in balancing county and national drivers of growth. This way, they can create enabling environment for Businesses to flourish while embracing other groups as part of the county system.

Our world needs drastic improvements in governance structure especially here in PG County under County Executive Rushern Baker III. If any improvement is to come, alert, attentive and active citizens must rise up and demand for it. The more alert, attentive and active, the greater the improvement is likely to be. Schools in the county are not going to progress if we do not get involved in the process and demand accountability. It’s our moral duty.

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“The collapse of good conscience and the absence of accountability and public scrutiny have led to crimes against humanity.” ~Nelson Mandela.

Open Letter to Mr. Rushern Baker…

…Concerning nomination of Robin Barnes-Shell As acting executive director of the Office of Ethics and Accountability.

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RUSHERN L. BAKER III, County Executive

Office of County Executive

County Administration Building, Room 5032

14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 – 3070

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dear Mr. Baker,

On behalf of the entire membership of the Reform Sasscer Movement, a nonprofit education and advocacy group, composed of several thousand responsible citizens in PG County, we are writing to express extreme disappointment in the decision to nominate Ms. Robin Barnes-Shell, as the head of PG County’s Office of Ethics and Accountability in effort to battle corruption. This position is intended to “honor those employees who exemplify commitment to principles of good conduct and courage.” We fail to see how Ms. Barnes-Shell will head the office. Previously, Ms. Barnes-Shell prejudiced employees by conducting unfair hearings or none at all, covered up corruption, proffessional misconduct  and other acts of abuse against employees, students, etc.  We fail to see how Ms. Barnes-Shell can be held as a role model in the school system.  In light of the facts, Ms. Barnes-Shell is closely acquainted with the very people involved in the same thing she is supposed to fight – corruption. This is a bad decision in that respect. It is especially ironic and inappropriate that Ms. Robin Barnes-Shell be given this recognition to run such an office which demands a high-level of integrity.

Please consider the ramifications of this nomination and the importance of leading by example. Ms. Barnes-Shell does not hold true to “transparency and accountability”. We remain hopeful that she will continue to attempt to redeem herself through words and actions in other areas of the county, but as of now, we feel strongly that she deserves neither recommendation nor reward of such a high office given her conduct in advancing corruption, proffessional misconduct, nepotism  in PGCPS and also what she did to others within and outside of the school district.

We, members of the Reform Sasscer Movement, are kindly asking you to reconsider the nomination of Ms. Barnes-Shell. Additionally, our efforts as a group have previously endorsed you taking over the entire PG county school system.

Sincerely,

Reform Sasscer Movement for Prince George’s County

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Baker accepting applications to fill seat on PGCPS board.

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Mr. Baker

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) is accepting applications for a seat on the Board of Education — again to help us grow even stronger!

This is the third time this year that Baker has taken applications to fill a seat on the school board.

Baker’s office will accept applications until Sept. 19 to fill the seat vacated by Donna Hathaway-Beck (District 9).

Hathaway-Beck announced recently that she was resigning after serving nearly seven years on the board. She said she wanted to spend more time with her family. Today September 6, 2013 is her last day as a Prince George’s County Board Member of Education and we wish her well.

In July, Carletta Fellows (District 7) resigned from her seat. And earlier this year, Baker accepted applications from across the county after he was given authority to appoint three new members to the reconfigured board. Ms. Lyn J. Mundey has since been chosen to replace Ms. Fellows.

Applicants interested in the latest opening must live in District 9. Applications are available on the county’s Web site or at the County Administration Building.

Baker plans to name a replacement by the end of the month, according to Mr. Christian Rhodes, the county executive’s education adviser.

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Prince George’s County substitute teacher dies in school.

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A substitute teacher died Friday morning at a Prince George’s County high school after suffering a medical emergency, according to a school official.

Max Pugh, a spokesman for county schools, said no Largo High School students were in the stairwell when the man collapsed about 7:45 a.m., just before the start of school.

A vice principal called 911, but emergency workers were unable to revive him, Pugh said.School officials said the substitute teacher had worked for the school system since 2003. Friday was his first day at Largo.

Pugh said the school will send letters home with students about the incident. Students were kept in their first-period classrooms until 11 a.m. after the medical examiner came to the building.The school system did not release the substitute teacher’s name or age. Officials were waiting until the next of kin were notified. (Read more NBC News)

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Meet the New CEO for PGCPS TODAY – @CROSSLAND.

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County Executive Baker (Left), New Schools Chief Executive Officer Maxwell (Center) and Board of Education Chair Dr. Segun Eubanks (Right)  pictured above.

County Executive Baker and New Schools Chief Executive Officer Maxwell to Attend Meet and Greet Hosted by the Board of Education at Crossland High School  today July 10th, 2013
First of Three Opportunities for Residents to Meet the New CEO of Prince George’s County Public Schools
Upper Marlboro, MD -Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III and the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Prince George’s County Public Schools, Dr. Kevin Maxwell will attend a meet and greet for residents at Crossland High School, 6901 Temple Hill Road, Temple Hills, MD, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on July 10, 2013. The event is being hosted by the Prince George’s County Board of Education and will provide residents with a chance to meet and talk with Dr. Maxwell.

“We are excited to have Dr. Maxwell join the team that will move our school system forward more rapidly. I am sure that residents want a chance to meet him and this event is designed to provide that opportunity,” said County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “Dr. Maxwell knows and is invested in Prince George’s County and its schools. He is committing his outstanding talents to ensuring that our school system is amongst the finest in the state. He was educated in our schools, he taught in our schools and now he will lead our schools. Dr. Maxwell is an innovative educator who has come full circle and I am confident that his greatest achievements are still yet to come.”

“Dr. Maxwell’s return to Prince George’s County Public Schools is an important step forward for this County. He brings the type of energy, expertise and innovation that we need to move our schools forward. I encourage the community to come out and meet Dr. Maxwell to wish him well and share your thoughts on how to take our schools from good to great,” said PGCPS Board of Education Chair Dr. Segun Eubanks

County Executive Baker recently appointed Dr. Kevin Maxwell to serve as CEO for the Prince George’s County Public School System and this is the first of three events over the next few months where residents can talk with the new CEO. Crossland High School was selected as the first location because Dr. Maxwell began his career there. Students, parents, Prince George’s County Public Schools faculty and staff, business and community leaders are welcome to attend.

WHAT:
Meet and Greet with New Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell (light refreshments will be served)

WHO:
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III
Board of Education Chair Dr. Segun Eubanks
New PGCPS CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell
Prince George’s County Board of Education

WHEN:
Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Crossland High School
Multi-purpose room/cafeteria
6901 Temple Hill Road
Temple Hills, MD 20748