Category Archives: Public Rally

Kudos to the MD General Assembly for reform efforts.

Annapolis-State-House-MD-flag_304

We are Prince George’s County Public School District (PGCPS) observers in 15th and 32nd year, and we support the current bill HB 1107 and any related bill in the Maryland General Assembly. What has really gotten stuck in our craw most has been the imperial, patronizing manner in which the PGCPS leadership led by Ms. Verjeana Jacobs has been conducting its business.

Even if these members have been defeated for the superintendent position, they still pose a “clear and present danger”. They should never be allowed near the school board leadership in any capacity of authority or influence. The Prince George’s County Board leadership is a disgrace. We should make ensure that there is no way they can weasel their way into the board leadership ever again. The new Superintendent should do everything in his or her power to be the true new broom and sweep out the mess. The facts about ruthless and unethical board aspirants is detailed below. Every parent and concerned citizen of this county should ensure that the past never repeats itself. We owe our children at least that much. Vigilance starts with proactive action.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Alvin L. Crawley arrived seven months ago spouting transparency and community engagement, but what we’ve mostly gotten has been something far less. Several students have died, corruption continues as usual and He does not communicate properly. His first thing on the job was to block communication with PG parents tweeter feed unprovoked. (See Attachment) His tweeter feed only tweets on occasion and he lacks proper communication skills, yet he wanted to be the next superintendent.

Prince George’s County Public School District Chairperson Ms. Verjeana Jacobs and the Board members set the stage by surreptitiously hiring lobbyists to lobby the state Legislature to defeat several House Bills including HB 1107 introduced in Annapolis recently because corruption, nepotism and professional misconduct within the schools. This way, the current situation remains the same. Their effort to defeat the bills fell flat and became a public embarrassment.

In response, however, Board Chairperson Verjeana Jacobs and several Board members said Monday that the board would reopen the search for a new superintendent if that would fend off a proposed takeover plan under consideration in Annapolis. “We are still ready and willing to look at this superintendent process again, “Jacobs told a joint hearing of the Prince George’s House and Senate delegations. “Let’s get rid of the elephant in the room.” (See the story here)

“It was the first concession that Jacobs has made in the battle over County Executive Rushern L. Baker’s III plan to take over the school system. The unexpected announcement comes after school officials were closing in on picking the county’s next superintendent, which would be the eighth in 14 years”. As reported by Washington post. We support the bill and we hope to see changes as soon as possible.

Up to this point in PGCPS, we have seen what has become a pattern: there is an insular, preordained agenda going forward, and whenever there is sound pushback, if not a firestorm of public disapproval and outrage, the PGCPS leadership delivers measured comments to mollify the malcontents no matter how incongruous the rationale. Verjeana Jacobs’s notion “to reopen the superintendent search process, improve the quality of teachers’ experiences” is in stark contrast to the ominous proposals that will more likely discourage longevity. Dr. Alvin L. Crawley and Ms. Verjeana Jacobs appears willing to see teachers scrounge, beg and go out-of-pocket, or do without chairs, desks, books, paper, tape and sundry other necessities often taken for granted. Also, if they accepts the premise that there needs to be a stronger principal pipeline, then how do you give them such power to wield without safeguards, such as due process? And, too, wouldn’t their justification for non-union raises also apply to teachers, among others? How about interfering with hearing examiner by bribing and other incentives?  It is that arbitrariness that all employees dread.

The Board of Education (BOE) members and the PGCPS Union leadership and their cohorts are like a junta ruling by fiat, disconnected from the community denizens. They are not fooling anyone 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, support staff, 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. Every keen observer is aware what has been going on behind the scenes at Sasscer (PGCPS HQ).

To our distinguished veteran colleagues, don’t let the door hit you on the way out as you defend the dysfunctional status quo.

To all involved parents that currently have children enrolled in Prince George’s County Public Schools, our voices were heard. Thank you for sending your concerns to those that have the power to vote our voice.

For the first time in a very long time, our PGCPS teachers, administrators and staff will receive classroom resources they need, our children will be provided additional assistance, albeit transportation/ELL resources, and systemic academic opportunities.

Ms. Verjeana Jacob’s continuation as a Board Chair and continuing the corruption is a perpetuation of a culture of impunity. We must demand an end to that and new leadership led by the County Executive Rushen Baker .

Kudos to the Prince George’s delegation in Annapolis who have decided to endorse changes within our County. We give the County Executive and the new Superintendent our total support and wish him or her well. However, we will hold him or her accountable and will not repeat the blind and unchecked support of years part. This has been actually lesson learnt at the expense of our children’s lives and reputation of the schools which languish at the bottom of all schools in Maryland.

We have one  fugitive former superintendent  hiding as a refugee superintendent in Philadelphia where his fortunes are beginning to unravel. Let us bring him back to justice and make him answer for his well documented crimes of neglect and malice.

It is a Sad day for the lobbyists in Annapolis and the Board lawyers involved in “NO Bid contracts” against the state law!!! BOOHOO!

Letter to Maryland General Assembly.

Maryland

Dear Maryland General Assembly,

On behalf of Prince George’s community, we offer the gift of perspective.  Consistent with any other gift, whether you choose to accept is up to you.

Our message to you today is predicated on the substantial support of Prince George’s County citizens with regard to the controversy between County Executive Mr. Baker and Board of Education Chairperson Ms. Verjeana Jacobs.  The inherent conflict in Mr. Baker’s proposal is outweighed by the potential progress of the school system and community.  The Prince George’s County school District system BOE leadership is not working and change is overdue!  Mr. Baker proposes that very change and we support him.  Here are our reasons.

  1.  The approval/decline of Mr. Baker’s proposal, regardless of what direction is takes, has far reaching consequences well beyond the political triumphs, or failures of Ms. Verjeana Jacobs.
  2.  Your decision will reflect on both your integrity and the integrity of the Prince George’s County Public Scholls (PGCPS) District system. It will set a precedent as to whether (a.) nobody messes with the Maryland General Assembly or (b.) The Maryland General Assembly can be bought or sold to the highest bidder…or the one with the most money.
  3. Your decision will not be silent with regards to the children; the children will see first-hand your expectations of the school system and what initiative you will take to protect the children.  In approving Mr. Baker’s proposal after amendments, you are sending a message that is loud and clear even to our children – there are bad consequences for bad actions and corruption involving elected Board members does NOT pay in Prince George’s County Maryland.  It is only fair to tell you that the democratic process does regretfully allow you to choose to send the message that corruption, neglect and waste do pays.  Further, you will be encouraging the children to become corrupt politicians and officials, as those professions (if you want to call them that) are lucrative venture and will incur no scrutiny from the Senate. Consequently, all self-respecting political aspirations must take a back-seat to the engagement of conmanship, gerrymandering and plain professional misconduct, including nepotism and corruption.
  4.  The PG Senate and the entire General Assembly is in fact the judge in this trial that decides the fate of our PG community.  The General Assembly has the opportunity, if not privilege, of handing down a sentence that redresses the inadequacies that have plagued the Prince George’s County community.  But in order for the General Assembly to do so, the community must take its rightful position as jury and find the School Board guilty in light of its neglect of the community that it has sworn to protect.  That guilty verdict will act as the ultimate precedent; it will deter future politicians and officials from neglecting the lives of the citizens of this community.  You will be effectively telling us tomorrow whether we voted for you to be our  custodians or not. You have only one chance to do it. That chance is this year, 2013. If you bungle it then, 2014 will be next year too late; the die will have been cast and the future will have been set in stone.
  5.  Prince George’s heart is bleeding. It has been bleeding for sometime now and the corruption keeps on cropping up.  It especially bled during the days of Jack Johnson who is serving time in jail for corruption and other vices. Thank God! Many of you have been around and you care.  But the ulcer really flared up after  Ms.Verjeana Jacobs was elected as the Board Chairperson.  Impunity reigned supreme as the corruption, professional misconduct and nepotism glared before cameras of our televisions. You were there. Thank God! We bled profusely and many students have died recently as impunity was sworn in at night. You were there. Thank God! Because you know, five years later, impunity has taken a new face; this one is more clever, smoother, craftier and lawyer-like.  This new face is armed with sophisticated tools such as powerful organizations and lobbyists that benefit directly from the Board of Education. This entity camouflages itself in the skin of a snake-oil salesman. You, as the Maryland General Assembly, have to remind that heckler that Prince George’s County wants that element gone.
  6. Your decision will inspire and influence the integrity of the Board of Education aspirants; your sweeping reform will deter corruption and inspire a system that is based on merit and the ability/capability to truly build the nation and advance our resources for posterity.  In the absence of such reform, corruption will have been rewarded, encouraged and advanced.  This course of action will foreseeably deal a lethal, if not fatal, blow to the entire democratic process.
  7.  Reread No. 6.
  8. Repeat No. 7
  9.  Go back to No.5 twice, then No. 6 again.  You have a huge decision to make and should treat it as such.
  10.  Eschew No. 6
  11. IF YOU FAIL TO LIVE UP TO 12, and only IF; We and many others will view you, for the long term, as nothing more than political egg-heads intent on sleeping with Prince George’s County enemies of progress, thereby proving that there is nothing supreme about you; in fact, you are nothing more than ordinary self-serving business types bearing a striking resemblance to members of the even-toed ungulates of the Suidae family.

Well, Great men and women of Maryland General Assembly, thank you for your patience in reading thus far.

Here’s hoping you will DO THE RIGHT THING!

12.  If you do the right thing, all Prince George’s County citizens will know that whether high and mighty or lowly and meek, the Maryland General Assembly is above reproach and does not bow down to any self-declared deities, much less self-imposed and willfully manipulative characters intent on abducting democracy in Maryland and especially in Prince George’s County School District.  The malefactors suffer from delusions of grandeur and superiority and you can give them their wake-up call.

Our courts and media must continue to play their rightful roles.

Diverse players from the non-state sectors must raise their voices.

The Prince George’s County reform efforts especially for schools will only show a maturing County if we collectively demand changes and keep the social cost it entails at a minimum.

Sincerely,

Reform Sasscer Movement for Prince George’s County.

Mr. Baker & Amendments to MD HB 1107

Rushen Baker

Prince George’s County Executive Mr. Rushen Baker

We appreciate the proposal by the County Executive Baker to take charge of the Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) school District.  Most of the opposition to a drastic change of direction for the school system is motivated by person’s own political/financial welfare; people’s opposition is based on some current power/position they currently have. For example Board of Education statement led by Ms. Verjeana Jacobs was not sincere given what they have done in the last eight (8) years.  (See the statement here)   In any event, a lot of people don’t have the children of this country’s best interest at heart.

How could anybody say that they are happy with being the toilet bowl of education in the whole state of Maryland?

Something needs to change!! This is not a money problem. The problems that we face are derivative of lack of vision, leadership, and direction. With the revolving superintendents and the high school-educated community activist school board, the schools do not have a chance. Proof is in the pudding!  The Washington post was right on their article (Read it here). This article calls Baker’s tactics ruthless and cold blooded.  Maybe So!  But guess what!  That unwillingness to compromise and/or tolerate the school system’s inadequacies is needed!  We think it’s ruthless and cold blooded how the school system is educating the children in PG County!! We support the change wholeheartedly; anything has to be better than the status quo.

The Only thing we could ask the State legislature to do is to press Mr.Baker to keep his promise and to hire an independent Inspector General as part of the amendment.  (See HB1107 Amendments  here).  2014 Election year is fast approaching and we will waive our right to select the officials that determine the fate of our school system if we do not act fast.  Elections themselves, like we have always said in our tweeter feeds, (are) not a wedding reception where everybody is happy and singing. Elections are emotive, and mobilization for support, as we have seen last year, has emphasized on candidate’s record and promises made plus the delivery. The Inspector General would ensure that there will be somebody to keep the county Executive now and in the future plus  his superintendent honest or accountable. If Mr. Baker is not up to the task, we request him to pass the torch to the State of Maryland and Governor O’Malley to take over the struggling school system. In addition, you can also call your elected officials in Annapolis – Maryland and request the same. Previous County Executive Mr. Jack Johnson and his wife Leslie Johnson went to jail last year because of the lack of accountability and corruption related matters. We do not want Mr. Baker to expose us and/or our community to the same calamity.  We are sure the Feds will be happy to see that the County can do better on their own than to keep revisiting the same situations. It’s time!

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Demands for better County government must be heeded.

Board of Education members must heed public concern.

Public outcry at corruption, impunity and economic instability sent shockwaves around the world in 2011 and 2012. Protests in many countries quickly spread to unite people from all parts of society including Prince George’s County – Maryland. Their backgrounds may be diverse, but their message is the same: more transparency, accountability, transformation, innovation and change is needed from our leaders. Better yet, corrupt leaders must leave the office and create a way for new leadership.

The 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index shows that public frustration is well founded. No region or country in the world is immune to the damages of corruption. The vast majority of the 183 countries and territories assessed score below five on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (very clean.) New Zealand, Denmark and Finland top the list, while North Korea and Somalia are at the bottom. In the United States, Prince George’s County Maryland is among the top most corrupt counties. The previous County Executive is serving time in Jail for corruption as we write this. (Read more).

The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries and territories according to their perceived levels of public sector corruption. It is an aggregate indicator that combines different sources of information about corruption, making it possible to compare countries.

The 2011 index draws on assessments and opinion surveys carried out by independent and reputable institutions. These surveys and assessments include questions related to the bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and the effectiveness of public sector anti-corruption efforts. Perceptions are used because corruption is to a great extent a hidden activity that is difficult to measure. Over time, perceptions have proved to be a reliable estimate of corruption. In this regard, we continue to focus our effort in the fight against corruption by advocating reforms for Prince George’s County school system (PGCPS).

Education reform efforts can no longer afford to treat all schools, staff and students as if they are beginning at the same place, both academically and socioeconomically.  The PGCPS system has no plan of action. The Board of Education must come up with a plan and must address communities’ present conditions. A holistic approach requires that we begin the process of making thoughtful school funding allocations and channeling resources to low-performing schools with the most need. By doing so, we improve struggling schools, increase student success, and bridge the achievement gap. The Corrupt administrators involved in extra marital affairs, selling of contra band and practicing discrimination must be shown the door! (see news realese US Department labor)

Although teachers play a vital role in educating students, parents also have a pivotal part in determining the educational success of their children. In a recent Gates Foundation survey of 10,000 teachers nationwide, 98 percent said family involvement and support have a strong or very strong impact on improving academic achievement.

Parents must attend parent-teacher conferences and extra-curricular events to monitor student progress and express concerns. They must also reinforce teacher directives about homework and studying. Teachers, parents, school leaders and public officials must collaborate and act in a concerted effort to fulfill our mutual commitment to educate our students. Corruption as a way of life as practiced by Dr. William Hite and his kitchen cabinet must be eliminated once and for all. (see entire list here).

“This year we have seen corruption on protestors’ banners be they rich or poor. Whether in a Europe hit by debt crisis or an Arab world starting a new political era, leaders must heed the demands for better government,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International. In Prince George’s County school system, we must demand for better change and transformations… talk about crooks, there’s an environment over infested with crooks taking from the children to fatten their own pockets in PGCPS!!!

Public sector governance that puts the interests of its citizens first is a responsibility that transcends borders. Governments must act accordingly. For their part, citizens need to continue demanding better performance from their leaders in the schools. Corruption begins in the schools and then spreads… said one concerned parent.

We must realize that teaching the information necessary to receive a proficient score on the Maryland HSA, MSA or any other high-stakes exam does not mean that the students have learned the critical thinking skills necessary for success in higher education or the job market.

PGCPS teachers stand ready to work with the Governor, County executive and BOE members to create the outcomes our students deserve. Despite the challenges we face, public education stakeholders must renew their commitment to create a community and a school system that honors and respects children’s natural curiosity while capturing their full potential. Above all, we must fight corruption, nepotism and professional misconduct in every way.

If we work together, the situation shown by this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index can improve. These are our countries (our communities) and our future. It’s time!

Finally as President Obama said recently during a graduation ceremony,  “Our founders understood that America does not stand still; we are dynamic, not static. We look forward, not back. And now that new doors have been opened for you, you’ve got an obligation to seize those opportunities……..

So don’t accept somebody else’s construction of the way things ought to be. It’s up to you to right wrongs. It’s up to you to point out injustice. It’s up to you to hold the system accountable and sometimes upend it entirely. It’s up to you to stand up and to be heard, to write and to lobby, to march, to organize, to vote. Don’t be content to just sit back and watch. ” We agree with the United States President and it is time to make changes in PGCPS.

Reform Sasscer Movement Secretariat for Prince George’s County.

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Public Rally at PGCPS Sasscer Huge Success.

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The public rally at sasscer last evening (12/5/2011) was a huge success. Many people turned out in solidarity to show their disgust against the leadership of Dr William Hite Jr. There is need to treat workers with dignity and respect many speakers said. “The fight against nepotism, corruption and professional misconduct etc within the PGCPS school system must be won and won without much delay”.  Several speakers among them Senator Joan Benson, Board Member Edward Burroughs III,  NAACP PG chapter President Bob Ross, Local 2250 President Shirley Adams etc  spoke to the crowd. (Below are some pictures).

Sign the petition~> Here

 

Public Rally at Sasscer today!

A public rally will be held in front of PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS ADMINISTRATION BUILDING – SASSCER in Upper Marlboro today December 5, 2011 from 4pm to 6:30pm – To protest  nepotism, professional misconduct by senior PGCPS staff, discrimination, malfeasance, coercion, gross incompetence, corruption etc. Be there!

Sasscer Administration Building
14201 School Lane
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772-3050

“We need to support & encourage the administrators, teachers, support staff and parents of children attending failing Prince George’s County Public schools to keep up the pressure…”

(Other details)

Sign the petition~> Here

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